INTERVIEW: MADISYN GIFFORD TALKS DEBUT SINGLE 'WITHOUT YOU,' HER INSPIRATIONS, SIGNING WITH 604 RECORDS + MORE

Photo by: Kiri Anne
Known for launching some of the country's top names – from Carly Rae Jepsen to Marianas Trench, Canada's premier indie label 604 Records introduce a distinct artist to the pop orbit with their newest signee, Madisyn Gifford.

“The first time I heard her voice, I was floored. Her voice is simply arresting,” President Jonathan Simkin states. “There is something so unique about her voice. It’s the tone, but it is also the emotional resonance that she packs into every note. It was the voice that first caught my attention. But then when I heard her original material, and discovered she is also an incredible songwriter, I was sold! She has a real mystical vibe to her, reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, and other iconic female singers.”

The twenty-year-old singer/songwriter from Vancouver is as brilliant of a lyricist as she is a vocalist. Gifford is excited about her new venture with 604 and to share her talents through her signature indie-folk music stylings:

“I remember being fifteen and looking online at different record labels one night and something just stuck out to me about 604 Records. I think I just immediately had it in my brain that it was the place I needed to be! When I got the offer I was over the moon excited! It felt like such a full circle and rewarding moment for me. My experience so far with 604 has been nothing short of spectacular. I feel as though I am a part of this supportive and amazing family that really treat their artists with such love and respect.”


Gifford worked with acclaimed producer Colin Janz to build her brand new single and debut release, "Without You." Her introductory is a striking soundscape tied with enriched vocals and enveloping storytelling that demonstrate maturity and mastery well beyond her years.

“[Without You] is a song about heartbreak and loss. It was one of the first songs I had ever written when I was seventeen years old and going through a few different kinds of heartbreaks all at once. I think that comes through in the lyrics because the song isn’t necessarily romantic and can be applied to really any type of loss. More than anything it’s about those last few difficult steps before moving on, accepting that someone is never going to be in your life the way that they once were.”


While anticipating her upcoming EP Learning to Exist, Gifford's debut single is only a taste of what's to come from the rising young artist in the coming year and beyond.

Q: How would you describe your artistry/sound and who are your musical inspirations?


I would say that my artistry when it comes to music is a combination of so many inspirations I’ve had throughout my life including my favourite books, movies, music, and scenery. I love making alt-pop music with heavy guitar influence and a lot of focus on the lyrics, I think mostly because that’s the type of stuff that I grew up on. As for other musicians that inspire me I would say throughout my life I’ve been heavily inspired by artists such as Stevie Nicks, Ani Difranco, and Norah Jones. More recently I find myself drawing a lot of inspiration from some artists like Gregory Alan Isakov, Pheobe Bridgers, Ben Howard, and Taylor Swift. I tend to lean towards artists who place a lot of focus on lyricism, because I myself love words.

Q: What can you tell us about your debut single “Without You”:


Without You is a song that I wrote on my guitar when I was seventeen years old while sitting on my bedroom floor. I wrote it during a period in my life that I had been facing a significant amount of loss and I think writing it was a big part of me moving through that. It’s the second song I had ever written and I think in a way you can hear that in the lyrics, but I also think there’s a sort of charm to that. As for the production when I brought this song to Colin we kept the base of the song mostly the same other than changing around a few lyrics and him rewriting the chords. I don’t think it really came to life though until his production was finished! He was able to keep the feeling of a raw piano track while adding in so many elements that just give it so much warmth and magic. I was so happy when I first heard the mix! The entire process went so smoothly.

Q: Congratulations on signing with 604 Records! How did inking a record deal with them come about?


Thank you so much! And the deal actually first started as a demo deal for a duo that I was in before called “Born Human”. Eventually my old duo partner and I amicably parted ways and I was offered my solo demo deal. Colin and I got to work on some songs right away and luckily for me Jonathan really liked what he heard and proceeded to offer me a record deal! I was over the moon excited right off the bat and so far I have had nothing but amazing experiences with them. It is such a positive and creative environment and I am so beyond grateful to be a part of their team!

Q: Do you have any advice for young aspiring artists who are a seeking a singing?


Hmmm... I guess I would just tell them the only thing I know to do, which is to create as much as you possibly can and do it without borders. What I mean when I say that is although music and songwriting has always been my main focus I have also explored so many other creative outlets throughout my life that more often than not ended up feeding into my songwriting in some way. Just create as much as you can and if you make things you are truly excited about, hopefully from there the opportunities will come. Also be kind, always.

Q: What’s getting you through these times?


I guess this feeds into my last answer because mostly I’ve just been creating as much as I can and as often as I can! When I’m feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with everything that’s going on in the world I try to channel most of it into my music or other outlets of mine such as journaling or photography. I always feel my best when I’m being creative!

Q: What’s next for Madisyn Gifford?


I just want to continue making music and putting it out into the world! I have an EP planned to come out in early 2021 and after that I just want to continue putting my feelings into songs that hopefully resonate with others. I’m so so excited about the music I have coming out though and am beyond excited to have the opportunity to share it with the world!



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