In her last interview with RANGE, Madisyn Gifford cheekily dubbed her music “bitchy pop,” but we’ve come to realize that she’s covers much more ground than that. Gifford is basically Vancouver’s answer to the cavalcade of mega-popular Gen Z pop stars who combine their ear for a great hook with instrumentation that’s a little heavier. The rising singer-songwriter has a unique willingness to open up with some vulnerable and hyperspecific lyrics – in this case, mostly about relationships and how they go wrong, though she’s also applied this technique to describe her own experiences with BPD. With an indie-folk background and a supportive record label behind her at only 21 years of age, Gifford’s many possibilities are still unfolding.
What was your first live music experience?
The first concert I ever went to was Sarah McLachlan when I was around 4 or 5 years old and I just remember being in complete awe. I fell asleep to a compilation CD of her music my parents had burnt for me every night as a kid and I remember thinking she was just the coolest person ever.
When did you realize you wanted to be a performer?
I don’t think I can pinpoint an exact moment but I can’t remember a time that I didn’t love performing for people. As a kid whenever I would go to any sort of party or gathering I would always make everyone there be quiet for a few minutes so I could sing for them. Usually songs from Annie.
Who are some of your biggest female-identifying inspirations?
As for musicians, my biggest inspirations as an artist have probably always been Ani DiFranco, Stevie Nicks, and Taylor Swift. I genuinely believe that I learned how to song-write through listening to their discographies on loop growing up.
What are your memories of the Women & Songs compilation series?
I actually owned a couple of the Women & Songs compilation CDs as a kid and I remember listening to them in the car with my mom. I always found all of the women I was listening to so inspiring and thought they were so cool. I remember thinking that one day I wanted to be just like them.
Why did you choose the song you covered for this project?
As I said earlier I genuinely believe I learned how to song-write through listening to Ani DiFranco’s discography on loop growing up and “32 Flavors” has always been one of my favourite songs of hers. My mom and I listened to her together so much growing up and her music has always been such a bonding thing for us, which is one of the main reasons I was so excited to cover this song. My mom missed her prom to go to an Ani DiFranco concert and she has always been a staple in my household!