Interview: Musician Madeline on Honest Songwriting

2 mins read

Madeline Rosene music
Photos by Alex Huggan

Honest and authentic are words that come to mind when describing the music of Madeline Rosene. I’m also tempted to add astute, or sagacious, or one of those other fancy adjectives that best implies a mix of wit and good judgement.

Her voice is sweet and her lyrics are playful, but her messages are direct and her expression commanding. It’s smart and fun. Specific and relatable.

The singer/songwriter describes her style as indie pop-n-roll, and touches on topics like dating in Los Angeles, sugar daddies, and drunk texts, all while strumming away on an acoustic guitar. Madeline recently performed with her band at L.A.’s Hotel Cafe, and has been working on a full-length album.

We caught up with Madeline Rosene on her obsession with music, how she feels about the industry, and what to expect from her next.

Have you always been into music?

Yes! I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t obsessed with music. As a kid, I would make up songs in my head. I didn’t start playing guitar until the 5th grade and I finally put words and music together in the 7th grade when I wrote my first song, “Scattered Dreams.”

It was a pretty bad song but when I think about it now, it has continued to inform the way that I write and it includes a sort of punchline at the end of the song. The last lines of that song were “Some day you will regret this, the day when I’m rich and famous. And you’ll wish you would have stayed…back in the 7th grade with me….”

I have always loved discovering new music and playing with words.

What instruments do you play?

Guitar. I used to play stand up bass in my school orchestra.

How would you describe your music style? 

I call it as indie pop-n-roll. I think I kind of made that genre up. The lyrics are definitely the focal point. I try to mix humor and irony in when appropriate and grab my listeners’ attention. As a songwriter, I need to have a sense of humor because this industry is difficult and humor helps me get through the day.

I try to evoke several emotions just in one song. I have certain songs that I’m not sure whether they are happy, sad, funny, or completely apathetic. I like to sort of leave that up to the listener and let them have their own experience and interpretation.

Are your song lyrics inspired by your life? 

Absolutely. It would be hard to draw from nothing. I have a decent imagination but it’s certainly not that good. I play with actual quotes that people say and certainly experiences in romantic and unromantic relationships (fuckbois beware).

Do you have a good luck charm?

I have a pink baseball hat that has a baby bear on it. I’m really into baby bears. I wear this hat a lot. I’m pretty certain it creates all my luck and opportunities. No doubt. #babybearforthewin

Prized possession? 

My Fender acoustic guitar that Fender sent me…also my Fear of God bomber jacket.

Madeline Rosene music

Favorite meal? 

Spicy tuna on crispy rice. No, I don’t want to “share” it. *pokes invader’s hand with chopsticks

How do you feel about L.A.?

I love it. It’s home now. It took a while for it to become home but I love being surrounded by creative people with inspiring ideas. I hear new ideas every day. You can easily fall in love with people’s stories and energy out here. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of phonies too with no original thoughts to speak of.

There is a lot of contrived BS out here but there are also ridiculously talented savants too. You just have to find them and once you can distinguish a phony from a non-phony, LA becomes much more enjoyable.

What’s next for you? 

I’m still working on my album. It’s called “Raised on Porn.” It deals with a lot of millennial life issues. I’m not releasing anything until more of it is complete. I will be releasing my single, “Late” first and the music video is beautiful– directed and shot by Ben Shani Productions.


Find Madeline Rosene: | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Twitter

Madeline Rosene

Related: An Interview With Grammy-Nominated Singer-Songwriter Ray Dalton


I'm Kate Ferguson, an L.A.-based Writer, Filmmaker, Photographer, Social Media Strategist, and Blogger at, right here, That's Random Kate! (Previously Divvy Mag.) I love storytelling in its various forms, growth, shooting 35mm film, learning super random facts, building community, and admiring palm trees. Find me on Instagram: @KateFerg. (Where there will definitely be 35mm photos of palm trees.)