Interview: Madison Cunningham on the Grammys and International Women’s Day

Credit: Claire Marie Vogel

Getting bragging rights for your parents as you mature as an artist.

Madison Cunningham has made quite a few waves since releasing her first album, ‘Authenticity’, in 2014, including being nominated four times for a Grammy since 2020, finally winning Best Folk Album in 2023 for ‘Revealer’  her third album. She may have won a Grammy for Best Folk Album, but her music includes elements of americana, singer-songwriter pop, and jazz elements accompanying her carefully observed and crafted lyrics. Wednesday 8th March 2023 is International Women’s Day and Madison Cunningham is headlining a concert at The Barbican, London, In Her Words that is celebrating young women artists.  Despite a very hectic schedule, Americana UK’s Martin Johnson was given the opportunity to ask Madison Cunningham what winning the Grammy has meant to her, and why she is excited about playing The Barbican.

 What was it like winning the Best Folk Album Grammy for ‘Revealer’?

I would say generally I was super surprised. I didn’t expect a win for the album and I think it just made it that much more special to feel that every song was represented in that win.

You had a Grammy nomination for 2019’s ‘Who Are You Now’, what do think the difference is between the two albums?

I like both of those albums for different reasons and I think Revealer is a little bit more mature in the writing and some of the musical choices. I think maybe the recording style as well.

What is your approach to songwriting, are you very disciplined or is it as the muse takes you?

I think in order for the muse to take me, I need to be disciplined in order to make way for that and so I lean heavily on routine and practice.

Do you have any particularly favourite tracks on ‘Revealer’?

I would say ‘Life According To Raechel’ is a favourite, also ‘Sunshine Over The Counter’ and ‘Your Hate Could Power A Train’.

What does being a Grammy winner mean from a career perspective for an up-and-coming artist like yourself?

I think that remains to be seen. The weight that it truly holds I think is bragging rights for your parents and it’s a cool story to tell, but, I’m curious to see what waves it will really make for me in the future.

What are your thoughts about being on the bill for In Her Words at the Barbican?

I’m really excited about this show at The Barbican, especially since it’s on International Women’s Day and I think this bill of artists and women is really special and I think there’s a lot of significance behind this coming together.

You have been nominated for an americana Grammy and won a folk one, do you bother about genres yourself?

I generally think that genres are silly but a way to sort of make people feel comfortable. Or it’s a way to direct people to where you are, or what spectrum you stand on. I don’t really identify with a particular genre but folk is just fine!

What are your plans for the remainder of 2023?

Mostly writing and some light touring, playing music live.

At AUK, we like to share music with our readers, so can you share which artists, albums or tracks are currently top three on your personal playlist?

The three I’ve been obsessing over recently are ‘The Longing’ by Tamino, ‘Shadow and The Frame by Daniel Rossen and ‘Vanity Fair’ by Squeeze.

Madison Cunningham’s ‘Revealer’ is out now on Verve Records.
 Details of the In Her Words concert at The Barbican can be found here.

About Martin Johnson 399 Articles
I've been a music obsessive for more years than I care to admit to. Part of my enjoyment from music comes from discovering new sounds and artists while continuing to explore the roots of American 20th century music that has impacted the whole of world culture.
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