For Madelyn Patterson, being a professional singer has been her dream since she was a little girl and one she hoped would be closer within reach when she found out she was going to be a contestant on this season of “American Idol.” Plans changed slightly when it was announced during the show last week that she did not make it through to the next round, but the 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Jackson, Georgia, is not going to let anything stop her from pursuing her dream. In fact she stated this has given her a new motivation to keep going.
“I know that my future is before me and whatever happens, I’m just going to keep singing and keep pursuing music. I’m excited,” she said during a phone interview.
Madelyn was in Thomaston last week prior to the airing of last Wednesday’s show and stopped by English’s Café in to visit with one of her biggest fans, Mrs. Sylvian English and her crew at the restaurant.
“My mama has done Mrs. Sylvian’s hair forever,” said Madelyn when asked of her connection to Thomaston. She continued, saying what a sweet client Mrs. Sylvian has always been and how she had encouraged her singing over the years. “I wanted to come over to see her and get to know her family.”
Madelyn has grown up singing her entire life, stating she comes from a musical family. Like many singers, she first started singing in church and noted Southern Gospel music has had a huge influence on her life, but considers herself to be a country singer.
Prior to the “American Idol” tryouts, she had flown to Los Angeles in hopes of being on the “X-Factor.” However, after being cut during the show’s boot-camp without being given the chance to sing for the judges, Madelyn was more determined than ever to use her talent to make her way to stardom. She auditioned for “American Idol” this past August in Austin, Texas.
“After I didn’t even get the chance to sing out there, I thought ‘I am not going out like that!’ So, I flew home for a week and then turned right around and flew back to Austin to audition for ‘American Idol’.”
When the competition first began, Madelyn made it past the judges to earn a ticket to Hollywood where she sang “Already Gone” by season one Idol winner, Kelly Clarkston for the solo round. She then made it through to the group round of the competition in what is called “Hollywood Week,” which aired on the FOX network last week. She noted that it was one of the most stressful weeks of the competition to go through, but one she feels has helped prepare her for what it would be like to be a star.
“Just being there and not really having time to sleep, it begins to weigh on you. But you just have to be able to shut all of that out and just push through until the end. It has been a very humbling and cool experience; they say Hollywood Week is set up to see if you have what it takes.”
Madelyn feels she does have what it takes to make it in the music business as this is something she has been preparing for her whole life. However, no amount of practice could prepare her for how nervous she would be when she had to perform for the judges on the show.
“It was crazy! Very nerve wracking, but you know you have to take this moment and give it everything you have,” she said.
Although it made her nervous, she was extremely excited to get to meet this season’s judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., as they are not only people whose music she has enjoyed, but also ones whose opinions and guidance she respects greatly. She was most impressed how much each of them seems to care about the contestants and how good they all are at what they do. One regret she has is that she did not have much time to have in depth conversations about her craft with any of the judges, but she is thankful for the tidbits of information they did give her.
When asked what her favorite part of the whole experience has been, she was unable to narrow it down to just one.
“Being in Texas and meeting all those people and making friends for a lifetime have been just amazing. It has been so cool to see how things work behind the scenes and getting to meet people in the industry. It is just awesome.”
In addition to be a singer-songwriter, Madelyn is also the mother of a two-year-old little boy named Brantley, as well as licensed cosmetologist. She noted that she enjoyed doing hair for a while, but has since decided to focus her time on signing and giving it everything she has got.
“I just want to put everything into it right now and see how far it takes me. It’s what I love to do. I’m going to be singing as much as I can and book shows locally, or anywhere somebody wants me to come sing. I know my path has already been laid out in front of me and I don’t have anything to worry about. And if nothing happens between then and now, I’ll definitely go back next year (to ‘American Idol’).”
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1