Poppe staying true to her musical roots

Tickets still available for the Iowa native’s show at Fort Madison High School Friday night


FORT MADISON – Iowa native and 2018 American Idol winner Maddie Poppe said despite fame and fortune she wants to stay true to her writing.

The 21-year-old will be holding a concert at Fort Madison High School on Friday following the annual North Lee County Relay for Life starting at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $40 each and there are a very limited number of $100 VIP tickets that are still available at www.relayforlife.org/northleecountyia or by calling Fort Madison Community Hospital.

Poppe is set to launch a nationwide tour in October.

In an interview with The New Mix in Burlington, the Clarksville, Iowa native said fame that has come with winning American Idol is not what she expected.

“It’s completely different than I thought it would be. It’s hard to understand it unless it happens to you,” She said.

“I thought it would be different and didn’t realize it was as much press, and radio was a whole different world. I didn’t realize everything that comes along with it.”

Poppe is coming off playing at the Iowa State Fair to a packed house on opening night and then recently returned from a trip to Sacramento where she was diagnosed with laryngitis. But she said therapy has allowed her to keep performing.

She said her influences are Sara MacLachlan, Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, who she is touring with starting in October.

She said she is looking forward to the tour and is hoping to try some new things on stage, but said sticking to her musical roots is important.

Poppe has 10 original songs on her first album “Whirlwind” but says the songs aren’t written by her.

“It can sometimes take months or even years to get a song written and I had a couple months to get the album out. There were so many good songs that came in that it was hard to get something of my own out there,” she said.

But her plans are to move forward with writing and sticking to more wholesome songs, despite what some fans may want to hear. Most of what Poppe is doing now involves cover songs.

“I don’t want to just be a cover artist, but it’s hard. People like to hear songs they know and so we like to play those live, so I like to throw those in there, but I don’t want to fully rely on those,” she said.

“If that’s what people are drawn to, but I grew up to family-friendly music. I don’t want to make music where parents have to turn the station if my song comes on. I want it to be appropriate for everyone and that’s important.”

She said when she’s creating songs, she likes to think of her grandparents and little girls.

“I do have a lot of younger fans that come to the shows and there are videos out there of them singing my songs. I try to be a role model for those young kids because there’s a lot of music out there and I don’t think kids always know what they are listening to,” she said.

“I don’t think I would gravitate toward the kind of lyrics that are in today’s pop music. It makes it challenging to stand up to that when there are songs people want you to sing and it might be a No. 1 hit song but there might be a lyric you can’t support. At the end of the day it comes down to putting your foot down and saying even if the song comes with fame or money, that I don’t think I can do this.”

The North Lee County Relay for Life begins at 5 p.m. Friday at Fort Madison’s Richmond Stadium. For more information or to donate visit the website at www.relayforlife.org/northleecountyia .

Click here to buy tickets now.

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