Interview: American Idol winner, Maddie Poppe chats about life on the American Idol tour and more
© Maddie Poppe, used with permission

Maddie Poppe lived her American Idol dream to the fullest when she won season 16 this year. The 20-year old singer/songwriter is at the peak of her momentum as she starts the American Idol tour with six other finalists from the show. Poppe’s song choices were laced with well-crafted storytelling on the show. Fans can expect to hear some of their favorite songs on the tour.

The American Idol tour will be making a stop at Tucson’s Fox Theatre on July 23 as a part of the 40 plus city tour. The other performers on the tour include Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Catie Turner, Cade Foehner, Gabby Barrett, Jurnee, and Michael J. Woodard. Former season eight American Idol winner, Kris Allen, will be added to the roster as well.

AXS was able to catch up with Maddie Poppe for a brief interview prior to her appearance in Tucson. Here are the highlights.

AXS: Life is very busy since you’ve won American Idol. When did the American Idol tour begin?

Maddie Poppe: We started on July 11. Everything has been crazy busy with all that is going on.

AXS: How is the tour going so far?

MP: It’s going good. It’s very different. I’ve been told it’s not like the usual tour. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m with six people that I love and we have so much fun together.

AXS: When did your journey with American Idol start?

MP: On August 29 it will be a year since my audition. That was my first open call audition. That’s when it all started. 

AXS: One source mentioned that you auditioned for The Voice before you auditioned for American Idol. Is that true?

MP: Yes that’s true. I didn’t get a chair to turn around on season ten of The Voice. I was 17 years old then and I just wasn’t ready. I can’t say that I blame them for not turning. I didn’t give a very good performance. The timing wasn’t right for me.

AXS: Everyone is interested in the American Idol tour. Can you tell me anything about the show and what the fans can expect?

MP: We actually only had about a week to rehearse for the tour. I’ll be performing about five or six songs. You can expect to see everything you saw on the show. There are a few new songs, but they really wanted us to do songs from the show.

AXS: You became romantically involved with Caleb Hutchinson during the competition. How are things going with you and Caleb?

MP: Things are great being on the road with him. He makes it a lot easier when you are separated from family for so long. It’s a lot easier when I’m with him.

AXS: Are you a songwriter as well as a singer?

MP: I do write songs. I haven’t been able to write lately. I’ve had so much (activity) going on that I haven’t been able to clear my mind I guess. I used to write a lot. I hope to get back to that soon.

AXS: You really picked out some unique songs during the competition. You didn’t perform the typical of the top 20 hits that seem to be utilized during this kind of show. One song particularly memorable was Melanie’s “Brand New Key.” How did you find that one?

MP: Thank you. I picked what I like to listen to and that was what I wanted to play. “Brand New Key” was a song that I heard on a TV commercial and I went and looked it up. That’s how I first heard it.

AXS: If you had a superpower, what would it be?

MP: I think invisibility would be my first choice. Another superpower would be flight. Flight would be really cool.

AXS: If you weren’t working in music, what would you be doing?

MP: I think I would be doing video production. That was what I was actually going to college to learn while I was pursuing music. I also love graphic design as well.

AXS: What’s the worst job you ever had?

MP: That would probably be picking up rocks in the summer.

AXS: What music are you listening in your car today?

MP: I listen to really slow music. I really like sad music. I don’t know why. I just really do ‘feel’ that music. I like the deep tracks that no one finds. I really like Rachael Yamagata and her album, Chesapeake.

AXS: Who is your biggest influence?

MP: My dad is my biggest influence in music and in my life.

AXS: What is the best advice you ever have gotten?

MP: It sounds very cliché, but the best advice I have gotten is to always be myself. That has come from many people along the way.

AXS: If you were interviewing yourself, what question would you ask that has not been asked before?

MP: I have not been asked about my mental health. It makes sense since you don’t really ask people about that. My mental health is crazy. I’m crazy. I’m all over the place. I think a lot of people in this industry are like that.

To check the American Idol tour schedule, please click here. Grab your tickets for a show near you, click here.