With her acting career, Piper Madison has had a guest-starring role on Nickelodeon’s 100 Things to Do Before High School, which won her a Young Artist Award for her portrayal of Zelphaba and has recently appeared in a short movie titled Afterthoughts. Piper is also a talented singer-songwriter and earlier this year, performed at SXSW, released her latest single I Used to Care, and is soon to release her debut album. Catching up with Piper, she chats more about working on 100 Things to Do Before High School, winning awards for acting and music and her single releases.
In March, you released your latest single I Used to Care, can you tell us about it?
I wrote I Used to Care during a stage in my life when I realised I was giving others too much power over my emotions and my state of mind. This song isn’t about choosing not to care about anything… it’s about choosing myself.
What has the response been like to your previously released singles – Hard Feelings and Pumpkin Pie?
I was shocked by all the love and support for my previous singles. Listeners sent in videos jamming to Hard Feelings when it came out, and people were saying they were touched and awed by Pumpkin Pie. It makes me so happy to see people responding positively to my music.
Your single Shots Fired was selected as the winner for Best Theme Song at the Artemis Film Festival, what was this like?
I still can’t believe it! I feel honoured that Shots Fired was a winner in the Artemis Film Festival, alongside so many other passionate and talented artists. This song has an emotional message that is really close to my heart, so I’m really glad people have been able to connect with it.
How would you describe the feeling of winning awards for your music?
It’s encouraging, and makes me feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Pursuing something you really care about can be scary because there are always moments of doubt and ‘what if’s. Being recognised for my music just reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to, and that I am on the right path.
We understand you have been recording your debut album, how is this coming along and how excited are you to release it?
I’m so excited to share this project that has been in the works for over a year now. This album is like my baby, and it’s finally almost all grown up and ready to take on the world. Through this album, I’ve learned to navigate my mind as a songwriter and discover not only who I am as an artist, but as a person.
What was the experience like performing at SXSW 2019?
Performing at SXSW was a dream come true. I had never been to Texas, so it’s crazy that my first time going was to perform at this awesome festival. The whole week we were in Austin, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I can’t wait for the next one!
As a multi-instrumentalist, what instrument came first for you and are there any you’d like to learn to play?
I started playing piano when I was eight. Then when I moved out to California from Louisville, Kentucky, I started learning guitar. Now, I’ve added ukulele and banjo to the list. I’m starting to learn how to play the bass right now, and I’ve always wanted to learn the violin!
With your acting career, you played Zelphaba in Nickelodeon’s 100 Things to Do Before High School, how did you find your time on set and what did you enjoy most about playing the role?
Filming 100 Things was one of my favourite acting experiences. The cast and crew were so professional and positive and created a fun environment. I met some of my good friends while I was working on the show and am so grateful to have had the opportunity. It was super cool playing a witch and getting to see how all of the effects and stunts were done on set. My favourite part of playing Zelphaba was getting to put my own personality into the role.
Your portrayal of Zelphaba saw you win a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series, how did this feel?
Winning a Young Artist Award for this role was so exciting. My family and my best friend came to the ceremony to support me, and I just remember thinking, even if I don’t win, this is amazing. Then I heard my name announced as the winner for this category. I felt so thankful and proud and happy. In that moment, I was feeling more inspired than ever to keep going in my acting career, keep working to improve my skill, and keep my head up even in the down times.
Is there anything you can tell us about the short thriller Afterthoughts and your character Jayne Smythe?
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but in this film, I got to play a super dramatic role. I had never done something this intense and emotional before, so it was a really fun challenge. Jayne Smythe was actually one of my favourite roles I’ve played, because I was able to tap into this raw emotion. I even got to cry on camera.
How did you get into acting and is it something you always wanted to do?
When I was little and living in my hometown of Louisville, KY, I used to come home from school every day, turn on the television, and tell my parents, “That’s what I want to do”. I would point at the kids on TV and beg my parents for acting. Eventually, they got me started in some acting classes in Louisville and I got an agent in Louisville. Long story short, my sister and I were invited to an acting camp in LA and ended up getting a Los Angeles agent. We moved here six months later.
Can you tell us about the charity work you are involved with?
I work with animal rescues such as Homes Fur All and Rescue Train to help find forever homes for abandoned animals, and proceeds from the streaming and downloads of my song Shots Fired go towards the Brady Campaign to help bring an end to gun violence.
What are your career plans for 2019?
I have another single coming out in the next few weeks, followed by remixed versions of the song. Immediately after those releases, I’ll be dropping my debut album! After the album drops, I’m planning on a tour later in the year. Follow me on social media to stay updated on upcoming performances and releases!
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