Maddie Zahm – QX interviews the exciting new queer voice in the world of pop.

Maddie Zahm
Maddie Zahm (Photo credit Gus Black, image supplied).

Maddie Zahm is a 24-year-old LA-based singer/songwriter and an exciting new queer voice in the pop world. She supported Pink on her two dates at Hyde Park in 2023, and her new album, Now That I’ve Been Honest, is out today.

The LA-based artist released a superb single, Step On Me, in February, which quickly gained over one million streams, a release that followed last year’s debut EP, You Might Not Like Her, a project that intimately documents the massive upheaval she’s experienced over the previous year.

After first appearing on American Idol, she has skyrocketed to fame. She has also embarked on a life-changing journey that includes leaving the stifling church community where she long served as a worship leader, undergoing significant body transformation, moving to Los Angeles and coming out as queer. QX was lucky enough to get to interview this stunning new queer artist.

What inspired you to pursue a music career, and how did you get started?

I remember when I was on American Idol and watched a few of the artists on there writing music, and it was so eye opening to see how they’d express themselves through songs! I went home and started working on writing my own music and realized how much I was processing through that outlet. I was raised in the church and was a worship leader most of my life, so my love for music was always there, but using it for anything outside of worship was new for me. 

As a queer artist, how do you navigate the music industry and ensure your voice and message are heard?

It’s been interesting navigating the music industry as a queer person, as I don’t really know any different. For me, I want to be an artist that everyone can listen to and relate to while also singing about girls. I think it’s important to normalize that not all love/breakup songs are about a guy and a girl. And it’s about time we get used to that!

Your music often explores identity, self-discovery, and empowerment themes. Can you talk about how your personal experiences have influenced your songwriting? 

Definitely. I tend to write about exactly what I am going through as a way to figure out how I’m feeling about it. I usually start off very, VERY personal and dial it back if we decide to release it. If people heard the original versions of my songs, I think it’d be a bit too TMI, haha. 

What advice would you give to young queer artists just starting in the music industry?

Biggest advice: WRITE WHAT YOU WANT. ABOUT WHO YOU WANT. It’s important. Not everyone is gonna understand it, but I’ve found a phenomenal community of people who have helped me understand the importance of representation even if it’s hard and uncomfortable sometimes. 

What can fans expect from your upcoming album, ‘Now That I’ve Been Honest’, and how do you hope to continue using your platform to promote LGBTQ+ visibility and advocacy?

The album walks you through a journey of me coming out and being thrown into very new dating experiences. I hope that it helps anyone who feels like they’re living without training wheels or a guide. I hope that by me processing these things out loud that other queer folks feel heard and seen.

Now That I’ve Been Honest is out on 20 October 2023 via Dollgirl/Awal Recordings.




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