SALT LAKE CITY — As singer-songwriter Madilyn Paige performs for youth groups, she often hears of struggles with insecurity and depression. Those stories, along with her own, inspired the Provo-based singer's recently released album “Anymore” (Shadow Mountain Records, $8.98), which focuses on hope and self-worth.
“I knew I wanted to put out music that was relevant and current sounding, but that had a good, positive message that could help people,” Paige said of the album that was almost three years in the making.
At only 21, Paige already has plenty of experiences to write about. At the age of 16, she joined team Usher and began her journey on the sixth season of NBC’s “The Voice.” She advanced to become a top-20 finalist on the Emmy Award-winning singing competition, and her self-titled debut EP was released soon after in early 2015. Paige also auditioned and received a golden ticket for the 15th season of “American Idol,” but was later eliminated during Hollywood Week.
Through her experiences and the inspiration of others, “Anymore” results in a thoughtful album that takes listeners through the struggles from not feeling good enough, to trying to fight through mistakes, to working together and changing to become better.
Each of the album's seven songs has a story behind it and a deeper meaning to Paige, all of which Paige shared with the Deseret News.
With the deluge of social media, Paige knew she wanted to address the illusion of perfection that is portrayed online.
“So many of us, especially the youth, feel this need to look perfect, be perfect and have perfect lives,” Paige said. “On social media … it looks like everybody around us are living perfect lives. We just get this obsession with perfection.”
Paige said this pressure to be perfect is something she has struggled with for years. The song “Perfect” confronts the daily, in-your-face bombardment and negative impact of social media with a reminder that “you’re already worth it.”
'Anymore' (featuring David Archuleta)
Paige teamed up with David Archuleta for the title track, “Anymore.” She felt the message was inspired and needed to be heard. She also knew that it was meant to be a duet and was excited when Archuleta, the runner-up on season seven of “American Idol,” was interested in recording the song with her. The two also performed the duet “Seasons” on Archuleta’s 2017 album, “Postcards in the Sky.”
“We wanted to have a song on the album that could help people heal,” Paige said of "Anymore." “No matter what, you can always change, you can always become better. Your past does not define you.”
Paige called “Scribbles” the heart of the album and a powerful song in her life.
“I’ve really seen God’s hand in my life so much, leading me from opportunity to opportunity,” Paige said. “That’s because I’ve trusted in his plan instead of relying on my own plan for myself. Because of that, I ended up in a greater place than I could have imagined.”
'One Day at a Time'
Unlike the other songs on the album, Paige wrote the main hook of the song years ago. But like the other songs on “Anymore,” Paige said “One Day at a Time” was influenced by friends and family members.
“(It) was inspired by a lot of people in my life that I’ve met and have really hard trials,” Paige said. “It’s a song about hope. No matter how hard things are, it’s just one day at a time and you’ll get through it.”
This power anthem of the album is a fun, catchy, upbeat song geared toward girls and unity.
“There’s so much division in the world,” Paige said. “It is so easy to compare and feel like you’re competing with others, but we’re so much stronger and so much more powerful when we work together.”
Paige gives a pat on the back to anyone who has performed an anonymous act of kindness in the song "Anonymous." To her, those "heroes for other people" are not always known, but deserve recognition.
This Latin rhythm-inspired song encourages individual worth and started with the word shine.
“We’re all different and unique in our own way and we all shine in our own way,” Paige said. “One of the biggest issues is self-esteem and self-confidence that I’ve discovered as I’ve been talking to youth and performing for youth. It has been one of my greatest struggles in my own life. … 'Shine' and 'Perfect' encompass this message of ‘you are beautiful the way you are.’”2 comments on this story
It is a dream come true for Paige to be able to do what she loves — songwriting — and have people be able to hear her message. And as the pressures of social media increases, Paige hopes that her songs will inspire and lift others, especially young people.
“I feel like it is a very vital time for youth to be reminded of their self-worth because it is so easy to compare and it's so easy to not feel good enough with all these media influences out there,” Paige said. “For that reason, I think right now is such an important time for youth to hear these lessons.”