Inside the darkened, renovated MTV studios in the heart of Manhattan, Madison Beer seemed right at home.
She was preparing to take the stage at MTV’s "Total Request Live," dressed in her signature hoodie and singing her edgy new single, “Say It To My Face,” during the show’s sound check.
Moments later, cameras were rolling as she chatted with friends and family while getting her hair and makeup done ahead of her live "TRL" performance.
This is life now for Beer, 18, a small-town girl from Jericho, who was discovered by Justin Bieber six years ago, after she posted a YouTube video singing her rendition of Etta James’ “At Last.”
“Everyone starts somewhere,” she said about Bieber’s involvement during a phone interview. “It doesn’t make me upset. It’s a proud feeling, if anything,” she said, adding, “I think, also, people are starting to absorb me for me and not associate me with Justin all the time.”
Growing up on Long Island, Beer said, has given her the ability to see who she really is. “It taught me a lot about how I was raised — coming from a small town on Long Island and having no musical outlets to go to, it inspires me whenever I am feeling down or whatever, to go and post a YouTube video.”
When she returns home from traveling, Beer said her favorite haunts include Bagel Boss in Jericho, Cippolini and Toku restaurants in Manhasset, and the Roosevelt Field Mall. She remembered fun times as a child riding her bicycle around West Birchwood with friends and said she misses her brother and dog most when she’s on the West Coast, where she currently resides.
Although she hasn’t yet performed at a local music venue, Beer hopes one day to play on Long Island. “I would like to perform at the Nassau Coliseum; that’s the goal. But, right now, The Paramount would be really cool.”
Last summer, Beer released “Dead,” a breakup anthem that originated from an online meme that she and the song’s writer came across. “It’s just making fun of an old saying,” she said about the inspiration behind the song. “When your ex is like, ‘I can’t live without you,’ but you see him breathing,” she explained. “It’s not serious, obviously. I’m not actually wishing death upon someone.”
Her second single, the edgy pop tune “Say It To My Face,” which was released on Nov. 3, was inspired by “the haters,” she said. “A lot of people are really focused on me. I always say, ‘Why focus on someone more than yourself?’”
But still, those “haters” seem quick to put her down, she said, with taunts such as, “You’re never going to be successful” and “You’re never going to do anything with yourself.” Her response? “Focus on you and do your stuff instead of sitting there all day making fun of me.”
Beer said she either wrote or co-wrote every song on her upcoming EP, and has contributed to her music videos, as well.
The singer said she plans to tour the U.S. and Europe sometime early next year.
But that’s not all she has planned for the future. A little-known fact? "I want to get a master's degree in ... psychology," she said.