Madison Vickery


Madison Vickery is an A&R's at Atlantic Records. We spoke about how she approaches putting sessions together and how the COVID climate has forced songwriters and producers to adapt. Her roster includes the likes of Arlie, Chappell Roan, Electric Guest, MILCK, Wafia, Jake Troth, and Breland, as well as working on teams for Portugal The Man and Miike Snow.

When pairing up established artists with developing writers/producers (and vice versa), what do you look for?

First and foremost, I like to have a direct relationship with the writer/producer so I can really understand their vibe, how they operate in the room, and what types of projects they gravitate towards. They don’t necessarily have to be an obvious fit, but I really listen for unique song concepts and production and how they could potentially add to a project. With developing writer/producers, I like to set up one-on-one’s/facetime coffee hangs with the artists so they can get to know each other before going into the room or sending ideas back and forth.

With a newfound focus on live streams and remote sessions, how do you see this impacting the way records will be made in the future? In regards to the sessions, the sound, and quality.  

More and more artists have their own in-house studios and are making records at home, and most producers/mastering engineers I work with have their set-up, so I feel this will not truly affect the sound quality of the records. However, I do think this new approach will breed even more unique ideas, concepts, and production elements than before. I have a friend who is using his plants, hooking up plant synthesizers to Ableton, and creating trap beats from the vibrations of the plants. It’s wild!

In terms of sessions, I think every artist/producer/writer has slowly been finding their new rhythm in quarantine culture. I have some artists that are open to Facetime sessions, others that like to send ideas back and forth instead. Some feel comfortable having socially distant sessions – everyone has their own pace of how they are approaching this, and that will continue when this dies down. It’s been great to see the music community come together and approach their creative processes in different ways. I feel that we are all even more connected now!  

What personal project are you most excited for in 2020 and lastly, are there any artists you have on repeat or upcoming albums that you’re excited about?

I have been working on the debut Arlie album, which I am very excited about. Nate Banks (Arlie) is a very prolific writer and producer, and he has a unique range of rock, psychedelic, indie-pop songs to intimate ballads on this record. He’s really challenged himself and I am stoked for everyone to hear it! Be on the lookout for Arlie later this year.

Another artist I am working with is Chappell Roan, who is an extremely talented writer and vocalist. At a young age she has nurtured a mature sound for herself, and we are starting to release more music for her this year. Her debut single “Pink Pony Club” released a few months ago and has been a driving force for her new sound. She pulls influence from artists like ABBA, Elton John, Lana Del Rey, and is writing some beautiful nostalgic pop records. Her new single “California” is coming out 5/29!

On a personal note, I am highly anticipating the new Khruangbin album this summer. Their first 2 singles and videos are so beautiful and compelling. The quarantine has highlighted my love for atmospheric music.