By Cristi McKee | Photo: Madison Avery
Tallahassee born and raised musician and songwriter, Madison Avery, has always wanted to be a singer, but only began performing during her first year at Florida State University 4 years ago. Recently graduated with a degree in Retail Entrepreneurship from the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, Avery is now a full-time independent artist who is traveling the globe.
On Thanksgiving day several years ago, Avery delivered “the shock of the century” to her family when she brought out her guitar and performed “Me and Bobby McGee” to them. “I did not know how to play guitar previously,” she explains, and her family was genuinely surprised at Avery, who recalls a family member recording the moment. It all progressed from there.
Since then, Avery has performed at numerous gigs all over Tallahassee, including at The Brass Tap, Finnegan’s Wake, The Junction at Monroe, Backwoods Bistro, and more. Most recently, the singer-songwriter has had performances in Nashville and London. “If I had to pick a favorite performance in my career so far, it would have to be a solo performance I did in SoHo London at The Spice of Life. This is a venue packed with audience members who pay their undivided attention to the performer,” she says.
Inspired by the likes of The Lumineers, Norah Jones, Janis Jopline, and Corinne Bailey Rae, whom she credits as her musical icons, Avery takes musical aspects from each of these artists to employ in her own music. “I have always looked up to The Lumineers for their soul and authentic song structuring. Janis Joplin has inspired the raspy singing technique that I often use,” she explains.
With a number of original songs available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and wherever you listen to music, Avery’s favorite single that she has released is “Head Over Heels.” She remarks, “this one holds special meaning because it was my first ever release and it’s not what people expected to hear.”
Her music style and career has been most impacted by her dad. “He is an artist himself,” Avery details, “and although he doesn’t know the first technical thing about music, he has the best advice and a great ear for critiquing. I am definitely stubborn when it comes to taking criticism from him (because he’s right 98% of the time), but I wouldn’t be here without his support and encouragement.”
Avery is not only a talented musician, but also an avid traveler, self-proclaimed “health nut,” and animal lover. “Although music is one of my greatest passions, it is only a part of who I am,” she states. “Outside of the music scene, I’m a family girl. If I’m not writing or doing pilates, I’m planning a trip with my best friend Sarah Anne or enjoying the little things (such as Netflix and ice cream), with my family or my boyfriend, Jonathan.”
She would like to say a special “thank you” to her family members and friends who have supported her since day, even “when my fingers could hardly play an F chord.” She also extends her gratitude to “all the locals/acquaintances/strangers who have become groupies and friends. You guys are a huge reason why I keep doing what I do!”
Avery is currently working on her first EP, which is produced by Zach Pelham, and is expected to be released later this year.