By: Kelsey Phillips
Sophomore, Maddy Kopsch is a young songwriter living right here in Clarkston. Kopsch began writing music at just 11 years old and has been fulfilling her hobby for about 5 years now. At a young age, she took a liking to Taylor Swift's music and has found a place in her heart for her music ever since.
Kopsch says, "My favorite song by [Taylor Swift] is 'All Too Well' because I just love the lyrics. They really speak to me" speaking of her favorite artist.
Over the summer, she got the opportunity to perform her own music at The Bluebird Café, where Swift was discovered, a very amazing opportunity for the young songwriter.
In addition to her love for Swift, Kopsch is also inspired by the band Coldplay.
"They kinda taught me what it truly means to be a musician, and how you have to craft it all yourself" She said about the band.
Coldplay was introduced to her by her father, another musician in her life that has inspired her.
In 2013, she got the opportunity to audition for America's Got Talent, at just 11 years old.
"I don't remember much about it, but it was pretty cool." Kopsch recalls.
She sang "Drops of Jupiter," originally by Train, but she followed the musicality stylings of Taylor Swift for this performance.
Kopsch has classified her music mostly as Indie, as it has been all written by her, and does not necessarily fall into any other musical category. The majority of her songs have been written on her guitar, which she calls Chris, and is a lot of the time written in her basement where she finds a space of comfort and independence.
"Sometimes, I'll just sit in the car or in class and lyrics will come to my head and I'll just type them into the Notes app on my phone and save them for later," she shares. "Most of them are sad, and about people who hurt me, but a few of them are happy too."
Kopsch has written a total of fourteen songs, six of which have been recorded on her very own demo.
"Recording was a very long process." Kopsch explains. "It took like an hour to do just one song."
The steps to doing this included having to record the guitar parts first then having the recording guy edit them to her liking. Proceeding the editing of the guitar melodies her vocals are recorded over top of that, a very exhausting process as you can imagine. Her favorite song in the end was "Let Her Cry" because she feels it is her "most lyrically advanced song."
In fall 2016, Kopsch joined Clarkston High School's a cappella group, Detroit Voice, as a freshman. During the year, as the group learned new songs, the director came to her asking if she would like to arrange and perform one of her own. Kopsch chose her song "Sweetest Disguise", the first song she had ever written, about a break-up she had with a close friend at twelve years old.
Kopsch speaks about the overwhelming opportunity, "Performing 'Sweetest Disguise' was one of the craziest and most amazing things ever. It was the first time I'd really sang one of my own songs in front of a crowd, and every time we would sing it I was afraid of what people would think. There was no reason to be afraid is what I found out after awhile because every time we performed it, we got a great reaction and it would almost bring me to tears."
Detroit Voice was then accepted into the International Championship of High School A Cappella (better known as ICHSA), the following spring, where again Kopsch got to perform "Sweetest Disguise."
"After the show, this random guy came up to me with tears in his eyes. I had no idea who he was, but he hugged me and told me that the song I wrote touched him deeply, and that small moment was life changing for me. I realized that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: reach people's souls through lyrics and move them with my stories," Kopsch states, remembering the wonderful experience.
Following that performance, she was awarded with the award for "Best Arrangement" which was also an amazing achievement to receive.
"Sweetest Disguise will always have a special place in my heart, no matter how tired I grew of singing it a million times over and over again with Detroit Voice." Kopsch expresses.
The things Kopsch has done with her music already, at such a young age is absolutely amazing and unbelievable for most. She's only fifteen years old, imagine where you will see her name in ten to twenty years.