Madison Beer Interview

Madison Beer Is Over Feeling Seen and Not Heard

With the release of her second studio album on the horizon, Beer is ready for the world to truly listen to what she has to say.

Madison Beer doesn’t care if you don’t love her. In truth, she doesn’t even need you to like her, although it’s always an interesting concept: thinking someone would dislike a person who, with hundreds of millions of followers across all of her social platforms, seems to be rather well-liked. But as the 23-year-old musician isn’t afraid to admit, there are plenty of people who don’t. 

“I think that the right people will listen,” Beer says of making peace with any animosity aimed towards her online. “That's what I've learned the most, is that the people who I'm truly trying to reach will understand, will see it for what it's worth, and will actually, even in the quietest voices, I think the right people will get it."

Why would someone dislike Beer, exactly? Maybe it’s her ability to sing about heartbreak in a way that’s devastating, sexy, and vengeful all at once — especially on her upcoming album (coming soon) — that intimidates people. Maybe it’s the It Girl quality that’s evident in everything from her Instagram feed to the way she speaks to the outfits she wears that haters can’t get over. Maybe it’s the fact that faceless internet trolls feel a need to project their own insecurities onto her, assuming there’s no way that someone as cool or as pretty or as successful as Beer in their eyes could ever possibly experience any sort of hardship. 

But ask the singer about her relationship with the massive following she’s been growing since first entering the social media-sphere at the young age of 13, and she doesn’t mention any of this. Instead, she sums up her online presence with the understatement of the century for someone who’s been through what she has, simply explaining, “It can be a double-edged sword.” 

“I feel like I've spent a lot of time feeling unheard. I could be shouting a message from a rooftop and people would just be taking pictures,” Beer says, diving deeper into her misunderstood dynamic with social media. 

“I think [having a large following while growing up] impacted me negatively in a lot of ways. I think that I am overly paranoid,” she continues. “I think that I'm constantly looking over my shoulder. I think that it's hard for me to trust people. I feel judged by people that I've just met … It's definitely been a lot of undoing as I've gotten older, because growing up, it was nothing but exciting.”

On one hand, Beer is grateful for the following (originally spurred by an “At Last” cover and a now-famous 2012 tweet from a certain Justin Bieber) that’s allowed her to release both a successful EP (As She Pleases in 2018) and studio album (2021’s Life Support) ahead of her sophomore effort’s 2023 debut. On the other, she can now look back on her whirlwind social media-fueled upbringing with the kind of clarity that comes from reflecting on her past and working on herself (both of which Beer has done in spades recently) to get to the point where she can truthfully say that she’s been there, done that, and got the PR-team-sent T-shirt. The way Beer sees social media now? She’s just kind of over it. 

“It's very easy nowadays for people to be like, ‘Oh, you're irrelevant now because you're not getting 10 million views on TikTok,’ and I'm like, ‘Well, I don't care,’” Beer says. “I’m putting that value on real-life things in my real-life relationships and my music and my tour.” 

Which brings us to her music. More specifically, her new music — a body of work with an entirely new energy that Beer teases is prepared to explore more than ever before. 

“To me, this album is more of a memoir. It's not really about one specific event, but more about specific things that have shaped me into the person that I am today,” Beer says of the album’s overarching themes, though she remains tight-lipped about what exactly those “specific things” are. “I'm trying to do a very good job this time around of keeping things very secret until it's really time,” she admits. “I can't say anything too specific yet.”

Madison Beer

Amber Asley

What she can say is that beyond singular themes of heartbreak (one of the main inspirations behind Life Support) or growing up in “a bit of a chaotic household,” her upcoming project contains a mixture of many experiences that all contribute to a “mature, honest, and vulnerable” piece of work that she believes would make her former self — the one that may have been more concerned with what others thought of her — beam with pride. 

“I think there are songs [on this album] that I would hear and be like, ‘That's really cool that I've come to a place that I could honestly say those things and not feel ashamed or scared or whatnot,’” Beer shares. 

That’s not to say her next album is completely devoid of the kind of heart-wrenching lyrics that’ll take you back to your most cataclysmic breakups — quite the opposite, actually. What differs this time around is that Beer is now able to sing from a place of reflection, drawing on the experiences of relationships past rather than the present. Which is partly because, in case you were wondering, her relationship status as it stands today couldn’t be better. 

“I'm super happy within my relationship, and I feel really safe, and I feel like I'm with someone I consider my best friend, which is very important,” she says when comparing her nearly two-year romance with boyfriend Nick Austin to prior ones. “In the past, I haven't really spent ‘friend time’ with my boyfriend, whereas now, I kind of do. So, it feels good.”

Of course, all of the good currently flowing into Beer’s life couldn’t have happened without a considerable amount of work on her part, professionally and personally. Beer explains that the process of getting to “write emotions down and sort of leave them in the past” when creating an album was “really healing.” She says it also took a great deal of personal development and acts of self-love (namely: boundary-setting) to get to a place where she felt secure enough to share the deepest parts of her soul so freely — something she also plans to do through the release of her memoir, The Half of It, out April 25th. 

“I'm just kind of like, ‘You know what, if something doesn't feel good to me or it doesn't feel right, or if I want to remove myself [from] the situation, then I deserve to do so,” she explains of the importance of marking clear boundaries. “I used to not allow myself to speak up, even when I felt like I should have, out of fear, and now I'm just like, ‘I owe it to myself to stand up for myself. Just like I would stand up for my best friend or someone that I really cared about.’”

It’s this very boundary-setting, Beer says, that’s allowed her to completely re-evaluate her relationship with social media — and assess the damages it may have already caused — in order to reach the point where the disapproval of random internet strangers no longer phases her. “Being a mindful young adult, I feel like I'm just looking back like, ‘Wow, I was really so young and I was really in situations I shouldn't have been,’” she says

Madison Beer

Amber Asley

On top of that, Beer admits that reflecting on the once-exciting hustle and bustle of her early days in Los Angeles in an unfiltered way has contributed to this change in perspective. “I think that I’ve been super honest with myself and about situations that I was put in that I shouldn't have been,” Beer says of growing up in the party-centric world of social media’s elite. “Those nights where I thought it was cool that I was at these parties or talking to this person or doing certain things, it was actually quite weird and inappropriate.” 

Even so, Beer realizes that she wouldn’t be where she is — connecting with fans, touring the world, and continuing to better her relationship with herself — if it weren’t for the exact series of events that have led her up to this point. And while she’ll be the first to admit that she’s done plenty of growing since first making it big on social media back in 2012, Beer maintains that she wouldn’t change a thing about her journey. (Even if she is posting way less these days.)

"I think sometimes I'm keen to say, ‘Well, I would tell her to do this differently or this,’” Beer says of what she would write in a love letter to herself. “And I do believe everything happens for a reason. I do believe that the person I am today wouldn't exist without [my past] mistakes or fuck-ups or heartbreak or whatever. I would probably just tell her that you will find people who do see you. You will find people who do love you. You won't feel the loneliness forever and you'll always figure it out."

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