Madge Is Making Music for the Next Generation of Dysmorphic Kids

Madge Is Making Music for the Next Generation of Dysmorphic Kids

Photography: Cameron Tidball-Sciullo

Text: Elsa de Berker

Imagine, if you will, a theme park ride through multi-faceted musician-slash-producer, Madge’s head. It’s filled to the brim with nursery rhyme-like melodies, harmonic arrangements, and a little mob of demons, each competing for their turn on center stage. Now take that image, and apply it as the backdrop to their latest single—a catchy ear-worm of a track called “Headshot,” that’s already charting on Spotify and iTunes.

Since their early days in the music industry, the Los Angeles-based creative has been doing things their own way—and this new release is no exception. Born to a conservative Mormon family in Utah, they were raised within an infamously tight-knit religious circle. As a kid and then teen, such isolation led to the development of an expansive — and sometimes perilous — inner world in their head. “I have always been aware of all these different forces; these different people within in me, but it wasn’t until I wrote ‘Headshot’ that they formally presented themselves. It’s an angry song from four versions of myself, all with different perspectives.”

Allowing space for multiple personas has made coming to grips with a fluid identity that much easier, Madge says. “It feels very vulnerable, but also really healing to claim all of these different components and admit that they are all me.” In giving them life in music, Madge has also given each of the four characters a name: there’s the cheeky and goofy persona called A Girl; the “little dude minion” Red James; a raving poltergeist called Alice; and “the matriarch of all the demons, Old Madge.”

Old Madge, as the name suggests, has been with the real-life Madge the longest. “For at least three years, I’ve had this image of her—of myself—with long flowing hair and blood flowing out of my orifices. It sounds terrifying, but the way I’ve portrayed within ‘Headshot’ is super campy. I wouldn’t want to give the demonic part of myself too much power.” It’s this fetishized and simultaneously cartoon-like version of Old Madge that you’ll see in her photoshoot with Cameron Tidball-Sciullo, and in the video for the track that’s out now.

In the meantime, Madge encourages her listeners to “actively listen” to “Headshot.” “It’s not really a background song,” they say. “It’s a little bit bigger, and maybe a little bit scarier than anything I’ve done before, but I hope that it offers some connection for queer folk who are struggling in society or don’t know to tap into all the different parts of themselves. I've felt dysmorphic about what my anatomy labels me for a long time. I know it can be frustrating, but you don’t have to be suppressed.”

Check out MADGE's new music video for her single, "Headshot" below:

UP NEXT

Oliver Peoples Debuts A Dreamy Short Film