News

Student Spotlight: Madelyn Crowther

by Gemma Mastroianni
“My artist name speaks for itself; my name is Madelyn, and I like making music that sounds psychedelic. Therefore, I am Madelic.”

Madelyn Crowther is a fourth-year Digital Communications student at the University of Guelph-Humber. She grew up in Caledon, Ontario but now resides in Etobicoke. Not only is she a Media Studies student, but she makes a ton of groovy tracks in her spare time. I became friends with her in residence, and we became even closer because of our similar taste in music and a shared interest in media. From there, we became roommates.

Caledon may have been her home, but so was playing instruments. Growing up she frequently sang, played piano, and even taught herself guitar while attending an arts high school. Following her enrollment in the Media Studies program at UofGH, her interest in music expanded.

“I started realizing the potential of music production programs and began experimenting with recording instruments I had lying around in my room. I would even use random objects in my room, like a tic-tac box,” she said.

girl sitting with fur coat and hat on, looking into distance

She continued playing around with computer software such as Garageband and FL studios. These programs allowed her to utilize filters that would alter the sound of the instruments creating reverb and “mysterious” sounds. From there, she was hooked. She grew an attachment to these sounds and wanted more people to feel something from it. She wanted the energy from her music to bring euphoria and enlightenment to people, resulting in a self-reflective state.

“I love making my music progressive, changing it up and pleasantly surprising people. It’s really important to me. I loved writing lyrics in the past but for some reason, I don’t often implement too many songs with them. Mostly because I like how my music can speak for itself. I keep it instrumental so that people can go where they want while listening and let their mind visualize based off of their feelings.”

I wanted to dive a bit deeper into what inspires her instrumental sound. She expressed one of her biggest inspirations is nature itself, and she attempts to incorporate sounds and experiences she has had with nature into her music. “Nature has taught me so much about myself and its energy is so pure, so it’s influenced me exponentially through my music. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection in nature, so that is something that also comes out. Some of the best songs I’ve made are from moments where I’m not feeling my best. Through those emotions, I become inspired and the surge of energy helps me become creative.”

Although nature is one of her biggest inspirations, I was curious as to what specific artists inspire her sound as well. She likes artists that have a unique sound such as Aphex Twin, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Four Tet, Tame Impala, and others among the like. She is drawn to artists who approach music from a personal perspective and as a result, create something different from the mainstream. With apps like Spotify and Soundcloud, she finds new artists every day that she draws inspiration from.

I’ve watched Maddy go through her musical journey for almost four years now, and it’s inspiring to say the least. It definitely expands on my creativity at times, because I’m inspired by her drive. It’s been amazing to see her grow, musically and as a person. As her music has improved and grown into something so professional sounding, it left me with one question: what’s next?

Girl in tree resting elbow on knee

“It is really undetermined at this point in time, I take it day by day. I’ve released an album on Bandcamp, but am still constantly refining my sound with better equipment. I simply want my music to guide me. My dream is to have my own show and take people through my own musical journey. I want to try and stay local and take advantage of what Toronto has to offer. I know a few people and the business and it would be amazing to do local shows and take opportunities for smaller gigs and get myself out there.”

Crowther also expressed how she has been more reserved with her music through the years due to a lack of confidence. Through her own personal growth, she has begun to feel that her confidence is steadily increasing, and she’s ready to start making some new moves. She’s purchased a turntable and is ready to take advantage and start booking gigs.

As previously mentioned, I’m a witness to Crowther’s growth. I’ve seen her commitment to music while managing school, a relationship, a part-time job, and social life. I thought it was important for her to share how exactly she pulls it all off.

“All of these priorities bring me closer towards a good career and income but deep down, I know music has always been the driving factor of my purpose in life. I may enjoy education and making money, but I want to devote my life to music. I know the more time I make to work on it, the more I will feel content with my life. I have very limited time to work on music, usually only a few hours around twice a week. I find that the time limit actually drives me more,” she shared.

At the end of our chat, I asked her to offer some insight for anyone who wants to get into music.

 

Here is her best advice:

  • Utilize what you have around you to your best advantage
  • If you don’t feel inspired to work that day, don’t. Whenever you feel the most inspired, drop what you’re doing and follow through with that
  • Make your music for YOU
  • Experiment and be open to new things
  • Never be afraid to take risks and keep an open mind
  • Try things that make you feel initially uncomfortable
  • Take up opportunities to learn

“And finally, never give up. Have confidence in your music path. It may seem hard to maintain and sometimes it’ll feel like you’re never satisfied but keep pushing anyway. Your music will guide you towards success and happiness if you let it.”

To keep up with the latest from Maddy, check out her Soundcloud.

girl in fur coat in woods, smiling and looking over shoulder


Photos by Ashley Star. Edited by Gemma Mastroianni.

Follow IGNITE on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Snapchat for all things student life.