Madison Park – The International DJ the Music Industry Needs

Madison Park, DJ and producer is curently signed to Capitol Records at the young age of 19. Madison was born in South Korea, showing her talent at a young age learning to play the piano with one found in her elementary school’s underground garage. Since then, her musical talents have flourished to the ambitious and talentedyoung artist whose music can be heard globally. Outshinning some of her veteran peers, we know Madison will be heard round the world!

At what age did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in music? 

Ever since I can remember, I definitely knew that I would pursue a career in music and eventually be heavily involved in an entertainment industry. However, I’m from South Korea and if you spend your entire life there, its culture affects you a lot, I mean A LOT. South Korea is a place where the idea of “doing music” for a living is just not a thing unless you are already a trainee for one of those big K-pop agencies from like the age of 11.

In other words, I couldn’t openly tell people that I wanted to become an artist and a DJ while I was still in school where I actually found a deep interest in natural science subjects, such as Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. So I had been telling people that I would become an “innovative” tech entrepreneur who builds cool things to save the world from energy crisis”.

Yeah, I was that specific even when I was lying to people about my dream haha. But after spending 12 years on being a “good school kid” and eventually graduating high school as a valedictorian (wink), I couldn’t let myself to keep hiding my identity and the real passion. Also, I just couldn’t stand the creative energy bursting out of my mind and body to make new music and find my own sound. It was something that nobody could stop me from doing. I was also very sure that this is something that I should be doing instead of calculating what fraction of a beam of particles of mass m and momentum p approaches the barrier of height Vo from the left would be reflected from the barrier.

Whenever I tell this story to other people, they always ask me the same question when the storyline comes to this point.

How did your parents react?

Thankfully, my parents were not one of those typical “Asian Tiger mom” types of parents who would never be supportive of the career path that I’m pursuing. Instead, they were rather supportive of the fact that I was not trying to fit myself into the predominant definition of “successful career” in South Korea. Otherwise, I would have been in an engineering school studying Physics and Math all day. How exciting!

How does music affect your everyday life? What inspires you in your music? Any influences? and Why?

I breathe, eat and wear music (C’mon fashion). A lot of the times, I literally fall asleep with my headphones while the playlist is still in the loop. In order for me to explain how music affects my everyday life, I basically have to go through every microsecond of my daily life haha. That’s how much I’m closely tied to music.

It’s very hard for me to think of a moment that I am not be listening to music. Even if it’s just a simple drum loop, I’m always listening to something.

I feel like I turn into a totally different person when I am with the right music at the right moment, and it definitely affects me positively in every possible way; I become more motivated, energetic and it helps me to go back to my roots and remind why I am making music for my life.

So just a side note, I ended up making a lot of playlists for different situation and moods incorporating a lot of film music and interestingly, I get inspired by these different “mood-specific songs” that really get me into that specific sinkhole of emotion. When I’m in that zone I explore, taste, and feel that emotion to the deepest level and those kind of experiences are the things that inspire me the most when making new music. In other words, different yet very specific and memorable emotion is something that inspires me when making my music.

In terms of different influences in my music, I cannot stress more about the significance of my classical training experience, in both Piano and classical vocal. I started playing classical piano when I was four and my mom took me to a classical vocal lesson for the first time when I was seven. That experience naturally led me to listen to countless classical pieces and eventually helped me explore the new world of film score which still remains as one of my favorite genres.

Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? DJ’s?

I always struggle with this kind of question because I have so many favorite artists and DJs and I really think each and every single one of them has their own unique sound and strength. But if I have to pick the top five, my favorites would be Martin Garrix, Kygo, John Williams, Major Lazer and Bebe Rexha. Oh, and Dua Lipa too.

I’m an extra huge fan of Martin Garrix because his music always makes me vividly imagine myself performing at huge EDM festivals like Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, EDC and a lot more. I genuinely get hyped not only about the music itself, but also about things that will happen in my career in the near future every time I listen to his songs. I am especially obsessed with his song “Pizza” because it incorporates a lot of orchestral components to the intense bass beats, which are two of my all-time favorite elements to use.

Tell us about a dream collaboration you may have with an artist.

I do have a list of artists and DJs that I definitely want to and will collaborate in the near future, but I know for a fact that I would genuinely feel like I am in my dream if I am collaborating with John Williams or Hans Zimmer who are two of my favorite film music composers of all time and my biggest source of inspiration. We would be working on either the next greatest symphony of the 21st century (wow that sounds very grandeur haha) or we would be composing different orchestral scores for the next Star Wars film together and conducting the orchestra at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles or Abbey Road Studios in London.

As you know, Bello is a lifestyle magazine. Can you tell us more about your personal style?

I try to keep everything simple and positive so that my mind is always in a peaceful state. I know it sounds like a statement from a meditation textbook ,but keeping my mind at that state is the very first priority for me and because the nature of my job it constantly requires my mind to create new things from scratch. Sometimes it gets really tough to stay in that state not only because of all the constant change of plans, but also an overwhelming amount of creative work to do in order to keep up with the amount of projects that I am pushing. Also, dealing with different kinds of dramas around you (let’s be honest we’ve all been there) while I am still adapting to a whole new culture in a different country as a foreigner who just graduated high school.

Especially after getting rid of grade one ovarian cancer about a month ago, I became really conscious about both of my physical and mental health and formed several simple daily routine rules that I should follow every day to stay healthy and happy. It invovled six-month long trial-and-error process, but I managed to form the simplest “daily routine rules” so that I can maintain both of my physical and mental health: getting at least 7 hours of sleep, putting in a moderate amount of workout to keep my metabolism going, being mindful of food that I put in to my body, schedule a time to follow up with emails and texts so that they don’t overwhelm me, smile as much as I can to my team while working in a studio, and always remind myself about how blessed I am to get to do what I am doing right now and think of three grateful things every night before going to bed. And if I get to have some free time, I always go to massage places and relax as much as I can. On top of that, I definitely want to continue my Taekwondo training and play soccer games more often!

Any words of wisdom you have for anyone looking to get into the music business?

I am not sure if I am at the stage where I can give people words of wisdom regarding the music business but I know one thing for sure: reach out to people like crazy. Email them, or slide into their Instagram DMs or just do whatever you can to reach out to people that you want to work with! Everybody in any kinds of businesses says networking is the most important thing, but most of the times they never tell young people how to actually network with people who are hiding deep inside of the industry. But it’s actually very simple. You just have to be very patient and professionally reach out to a ridiculous amount of people that you want to work together in your career. It definitely involves countless hours of research and sleepless nights sending out emails and messages, but you first have to find the right people and mentors who can really guide you to this wild jungle of music industry. Also, I cannot stress the importance of always staying alert and trusting your instinct when it comes to sorting out the “fake people” who are not genuinely willing to help you or create something that matters to you. Oh, and listen to A LOT of different kinds of music. All artists know for a fact that artists need an insane amount of quality input to eventually found one’s own sound. I am also still in the process of exploring, testing and discovering “the sound” and it always gets me excited and motivated.

Photography Henry Wu

Grooming Nick Metos

Styling Luke Funchetta

Production Maison Privée PR x BELLO Media Group

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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