Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye, best known as Maddie & Tae, might be young, but they've already weathered plenty, in country music and in life. The duo released their Start Here album in 2015, which included the No. 1 single, "Girl in a Country Song," and were hard at work on their sophomore album when their record label, Dot Records (an imprint of Big Machine) unexpectedly closed, leaving them without a record deal.
"Last year was a rough one," Marlow admits to PopCulture.com. "Basically, the label that we had been with for three years shut down. We still don't really know the business side of things, but it just basically shut down. We had made half of an album already, and were ready to put out new music, and so we were kind of in this holding period for a while, trying to figure out, 'Where's the next label home? How can we get our fans new music?' It was rough. Whenever you love what you do, and you're really passionate about it, it's hard to not get too emotional, and just keep the course and stay encouraged."
The young women released an emotional video at the start of 2018, detailing their journey, and a happy ending with a new record label, Universal Music Group.
"We ended up with a brand-new record label that we love," says Marlow. "It just feels like home. We finished the album, and we finally released a new single. I cried the day we released the single, because I thought we were never going to be able to put out new music again. When you go through trials, in your life, work, personal, whatever, it makes you appreciate the good times more than you would have if you didn't go through that."
Maddie & Tae both admit they had moments of uncertainty and doubts, but knew deep down that they were made to create music.
"I think there was maybe a moment of questioning whether we were cut out to do this, because it hit us so hard," Tye admits. "Our self-worth was definitely tied up in it, and we were confused. Your human emotions get the best of you sometimes. We definitely thought, 'Is this our path? We know we want it to be our path, but maybe this isn't what we're supposed to be doing.' But no matter what, we still kept our heads down and stayed true to us, and kept writing songs, and kept engaging with our fans.
"That's why we started a YouTube channel," she continues, "so we could talk to our fans, let them know we're still there, and engage with them in a different way, because we knew we weren't able to do that with music at the time."
Maddie & Tae just released their debut single, "Friends Don't," from the upcoming new record.
"'Friends Don't' is a story about my younger sister," says Marlow. "She called me one day, and was telling me about this situation with a guy that she was interested in, but wasn't really sure if it was just friends. They were all kind of in the same friend group. She was telling me a couple things, and I was like, 'That's not just friends. That's not a friend thing. He's making a move here.' We went into a writing session one day, and I was telling them about the situation, and we landed on the title, 'Friends Don't.' I think we finished the song in an hour and a half. Maybe even shorter. It was so quick."
Things might have been rocky in their professional life, but for Marlow, her personal life couldn't be better. The 22-year-old just announced her engagement to her boyfriend, Jonah Font, who was her high school sweetheart.
"I'm super excited," Marlow gushes. "Tae's been helping me. We're about to go dress shopping together, because that's my girl. She's going to tell me if it looks good or if it looks funky. I'm so excited. I'm on cloud nine. We're getting new music. I'm engaged."
As for the wedding, Marlow says they are still working on details, but she already knows she's going to need some professional help.
"Sometime next fall," she says of the date. "We're loosely planning right now, 'cause he and I, when we talk about it, we're just like, 'Oh God, this is really overwhelming.' I think I'm going to hire a wedding planner, like yesterday."0comments
Download "Friends Don't" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Instagram/maddieandtae