Madison Cummins, from Akron, OH, performed at the most recent Gage House Sessions 4. She has one of my favorite local voices, and her songs pull you into the story you won't soon forget. Getting to learn a bit more about her, her process, and inspiration hit home and made me appreciate this song even more than I already did.
Behind the Sessions
What first got you into music? My dad-- We grew up listening to classic rock, he would make me watch videos of Queen performing at Live Aid and our road trips consisted of Beatles album after Beatles album. We would even sing the Mockingbird song by Carly Simon and James Taylor when we drove places.
If you could open for any artist who would it be? Elton John. Hoping he would pull me on stage to sing with him at any song. (But "Don't go breaking my heart" would be a dream)
Do you sing in the shower? What songs? All. The. Time. Right now I've been doing a lot of "Everythings Alright" from Jesus Christ Superstar and "She used to be mine" by Sara Barielles.
What local musician would you like to collaborate with next? Ben Fuckin Gage
What’s the creative process look like? It can stem from so many things -- An experience. Heartbreak. A funny story. I wrote a song once about having a crush on my teacher. I like to bring storytelling into my songwriting when I can (even if it's a made-up story). I sit down with an idea and sometimes even just a word that is stuck in my head. Usually I'll start with music and singing ooohs and ahhhs until I find words to fit into the spaces. Some songs can take 10 minutes to write and some I've been working on for years but haven't finished.
About the Song
What’s the title of this song? I Feel Like Myself
What was the inspiration behind this song? I've gone through phases of depression and anxiety since I was young. I've learned to deal with it well enough that nobody usually would think it (I hope). But I was working at a job that made me feel like I was spiraling. Long nights and weekends working in a sort of toxic, work-obsessed, and negative environment -- I had no time to focus on music or even focus on a decent social life. I was neglecting certain relationships-- especially with myself. And I knew I had to leave, so I put in a month's notice. When that month was up I thought I'd feel empowered but I just kept feeling anxious. Where was I going next? What would I do? Should I do music full-time? Should I stay in Akron? Everything had stopped -- I took time to focus on music and started taking small jobs while I applied for something bigger. And then one day I woke up and I realized that the entire day I had felt like myself. No anxiety, no worrying about what's to come. I just felt good and motivated and like I was doing everything I could to become the person I want to be... And it was alright that I wasn't her yet. I just felt like myself and like I wasn't trying to be someone else. That's a feeling I remember when I sing the song and I hope people can relate to celebrating when they feel confident and themselves, while giving themselves a break when they don't.
Where were you when you wrote it? I wrote it in my parent's living room
Music or lyrics first? Music first, but I had an idea of the type of song I was going to write, so the lyrics came soon after
Do you have a favorite lyric/line in this song? "If you asked me to pinpoint myself, I couldn't pick it out alphabetically on a shelf. But I could tell you 'most days I'm kind. And I'm learning how to speak my mind'"
Around the Corner
What’s an upcoming show you’d like to promote?
Playing at Walsh University 11/21/19
My band "Is This Art?" is playing at the Happy Dog in Cleveland 12/13/19 at a ShowCase celebrating this year's Lottery League-- Updates on that show can be found on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Isthisart-831523660542384/
I'll also be playing a show with the Canton Symphony on June 11, 2020 at 7:30pm -- More info can be found soon on their site at: https://www.facebook.com/cantonsymphony/
What’s an upcoming project you’d like to promote? I'm currently working on my second album with the Monea Brothers -- hopefully to be released early 2020 -- I'll be promoting soon and any support in the meantime is much appreciated!
What message do you want to share with your fans? Support local music! There are so many amazing artists in our area -- and they want to get to know you. To hear about how music inspires you and what your day has been like. It's really a community that I'm proud to be a part of and am looking to grow in.
Find out more about Madison:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madisoncummins/ ______________________________________
or shoot us an email.
Gage House Sessions are private, invite only events. If you are interested in attending or performing please email us here.
You must be able to come to Akron, OH.
See all of Gage House Sessions 4 here.