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American Idol Alum Haven Madison Is Graduating High School — and on Her Way to Stardom (Exclusive)

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The singer-songwriter recently released her debut EP, ‘Turn Off All the Lights’

Haven Madison has released her debut EP, Turn Off All the Lights
The American Idol alum, who made the Top 8 last season, graduated high school this week
With a recent move to Nashville, Madison is ready to fly high
There is a buzz surrounding Haven Madison, and she can feel it.

“I walk in these writers’ rooms, and I’ve been greeted several times by people saying, ‘Why are so many people talking about you?’ Madison, 18, tells PEOPLE with a laugh while on a recent week-long writing visit to Los Angeles. “It’s been fun getting to walk in all these rooms and prove why there’s buzz.”

Certainly, there is a confidence oozing from the pop sensation who hit the big-time last year as a finalist on Season 21 of American Idol, as it is she who who recently signed her first label deal and recently released her label-debut EP, Turn Off All the Lights, a sweet collection of irate songs that each hold a lyrical punch within them.

“All the songs have some level of emotional pull to them,” explains the Clarksville, Tennessee, native that moved to Nashville just last month. “They make you either feel absolute rage or absolute empowerment or pure heartbreak or pure sarcasm.”

“How You Like Me Now” is an example of that unique sarcasm.

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“It’s super fun because it just scratches the surface of being a pissed-off girl, but it’s also chill,” says Madison of the bouncing ball of lyrics she wrote alongside songwriters Eric Arjes and Mary Kutter. “It keeps it happy and lighthearted.”

Amongst this seesaw of lyrical emotions is an undeniable sonic stunner of a singer who seems to be able to effortlessly hit notes that some could only dream of hitting.

“I think those were just natural choices that came to be when I go into songwriting sessions,” says Madison. “I just play a chord and start singing and whatever naturally comes out is usually the melody we go with, because it’s what the song wanted. I think the best songs are the ones where it’s almost as if the song already existed and I just had to find it.”

She hits some of those notes in the gorgeous “Sky Up.”

“The high notes are an ache,” she says of the sounds featured in the song she wrote with Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Dave Pittenger. “It’s what makes you feel so much. It’s when you can feel that mojo and that ache in my voice, and I’ve learned what placements make me feel that the most. Your voice is your instrument. So, it’s just learning the ways around that.”

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This learning journey began when Madison was just a youngster growing up in the spotlight of her dad — Grammy-nominated Building 429 lead singer Jason Roy. Madison was also homeschooled until she began attending public school during her freshman year of high school. “All public school taught me how to do truthfully was survive humans… and cheat,” she admits with a laugh.

It’s a life that Madison bonded over with American Idol judge Katy Perry, as the two made headlines last year with their collaboration on “Still Need You,” the poignant ballad Haven wrote about her brother Avery’s battle with depression.

“The moment we shared was vulnerable and raw,” Madison remembers of the performance that had the two wearing jeans and no shoes. “We literally fought our hair and makeup team away. We just wanted to exist here. I think it made for such a special moment for the two of us, and still to this day, it’s one of my favorite performances I’ve ever done.”

 

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