Madison Cunningham at Miracle Theatre
As a young child, Madison Cunningham learned to love music through her father’s songwriting. She was playing music at the age of 7, and at 12 she was writing her own songs and performing with her siblings on stage. By 15 decided to take songwriting seriously. In the past few years, the 25 year old singer-songwriter has earned comparisons to musical greats like Fiona Apple and Stevie Nicks, but Cunningham says she grew up without much exposure to these artists (she notes Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan as major influences). Instead, she fostered her passion for singing and songwriting with her own internal compass—building her 2019 album Who Are You Now as “honest” music for herself. This honesty guides much of her creative process; Cunningham does most of her own arranging to honor her musical vision. It also means building a presence that is both powerful and approachable. Cunningham’s vocal ability is intense. Critics have been quick to compliment the “technical mastery” of songs like “Dry As Sand” and “Pin It Down.” However, her West Coast roots shine through, giving her coming-of-age album a familiar feeling. It’s clear that big things are ahead for the Grammy-nominated artist, whether it be upcoming performances with Harry Styles or her in-progress sophomore album. For a taste of this musical magic, be sure to catch Cunningham while she’s in D.C. S.G. Goodman opens. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE. themiracletheatre.com. $20.