Madilyn Bailey shows us how she turns her haters into inspiration for her music career

Madilyn Bailey handles her online criticism like a champ – she uses it as fuel to inspire her. See her story on today's In the Know: Profiles!

Video Transcript

MADILYN BAILEY: I don't think we ever really fully know ourselves. So I think that we're constantly changing. Like, every person is in a constant state of metamorphosis, and so it's kind of just like waking up everyday and being like, hello. Who are you today?

My name is Madilyn Bailey. I have been posting videos on YouTube for 10 years now. I started by posting acoustic versions of popular cover songs. I always had this delusion that I was going to be able to make it and I was going to be able to be a singer, and there wasn't ever anything else that I wanted to do or be.

When I was seven, my dad sat me down and taught me how to write my first song. I think he probably could tell I was very emotionally charged. You can't really turn off the bad feelings without also turning off the good feelings. And so I 100% believe in fully honoring your feelings and what you're in. Taking those emotions and putting them into a song releases my body from having to feel so heavy with them.

And so my dad was right, and he knew I was going to need an outlet for these emotions. And, you know, if, in any way, me going through these things and writing about them helps somebody else who's going through it, I mean, that's all I can hope for.

It's about coming to the realization that I don't want to have to keep score with other people, with, like, who I was in the past. I just want to be who I am now and exist within that and stop hearing everybody else's judgments of what they think that I should be. This is called bitter.

(SINGING) Looking out the window. Watching all the people walking by on the street I'll probably never meet, but if I did, what would I even say though?

My goal with my YouTube channel was always to build an audience to be able to sing original music for.

(SINGING) It's getting pretty lonely.

The point that I'm at right now with the music that I'm releasing, I think it's the best place that it's ever been and the most clear and the most focused and the most me that it's ever been.

(SINGING) They just want the old me back.

And so I think the balance between being authentic with my feelings and then also authentic with who I am at the same time, I think people really appreciate that.

All right, so this is what we call the wall of sass, which is where I put the name of every person who's ever subscribed to my Twitch page. So when they subscribe live, I get up and I write their name on the wall.

The first million was the hardest. Then after that, it seems to just snowball. But, yeah, I think it's pretty cool to see how my YouTube subscribers have kind of translated into this other family, this, like, super-interactive, live kind of family.

Let's play a game. Why not?

Literally everything around me in my life is because of them.

Here. Ooh, miss. Nope. And you too? You want one too? You want to die too?

I'm, like, eternally grateful to them, and I'm trying to give them as much as they've given to me, but I don't know how I could possibly do that.

Ooh, I missed. Oh, I died. Well, I did kill two people. That was pretty good. I'm not too bad-- not too bad.

The cool part about YouTube is you post a video and instantly you get feedback. For better or worse, hate comments, great comments, critiques, like, I feel like they were my sounding board.

Let's see. I mean, there's a whole folder of boob comments, just boob ones. "No boob." "Very small boobs." Here's-- this one didn't make it in the song but was funny. "Voice big but boobs small."

The one that inspired the song was actually "you're starting to look like a heroin addict. No offense." That's a complete sentence that someone left on a video. And I was like, oh my gosh. How is that not offensive? Like, that's the most offensive thing you could ever say to someone. So I was like, that's the name of the song, "No Offense." And I just pretty much searched, like, every way that you could spell no offense improperly and came up with a lot of comments, like you're 1% good at singing, no offense.

(RECORDING) You're starting to look like a heroin addict. No offense. You're 1% good at singing. No offense. Stop. Please. [VOCALIZING] Poison for my ears. No offense.

Have you ever considered to get bust implants? No offense. Is there a deformity in your lips? No offense. Stop. Please. You are destroying everything. Sorry.

(RECORDING) But no--

It kind of reminded me of how writing should be. It should be that. You should not be overthinking it like I normally do. Like this is definitely-- it helped me free up my process moving forward. So not only did I cleanse myself of all these hate comments and show people that they don't have that kind of power over me, I also kind of reminded myself of, like, how good songwriting flow should be with writing the song.

(SINGING) Panic in my mind is getting louder, and I can't stop it now, and I can't drown it out. This wasn't a part of the plan.

You know, I do it all for the songs. I do it all for the music. I get to wake up every single day and create stuff. That's my job. It's crazy. It's not normal. It's amazing. And so I want to treat myself in an amazing way so that I can continue to live this amazing life. Like, if you want something exceptional, you have to live an exceptional life. You have to do exceptional things. I want to live my life in the pursuit of creativity.

(SINGING) Don't pull away. It's too late. Are we falling in love?

More From

  • Mask chains are the stylish (and practical) accessory to keep your face masks in place

    We've rounded up our favorite mask chains from Etsy, and they're all under $20.

  • Shroud is coming back to Twitch

    It’s official: Livestreamer and clutch king Michael “Shroud” Grzesiak is returning to Twitch. In October 2019, Shroud left his 7 million followers on Twitch to stream exclusively for Mixer. He was part of the wave of Twitch streamers who left the platform and signed contracts with Facebook Gaming, Caffeine, YouTube and others. He spent some time as a free agent after the Microsoft-owned service Mixer was dissolved and merged with Facebook Gaming, but on August 11, the streamer announced that he is “coming home”. Fans have already begun camping out in Shroud’s channel, hyping each other up and sending the streamer donations and subscriptions before he’s even gone live. Fellow streamers such as Timothy “TimTheTatman” Bethar and Hammoudi “Yassuo” Abdalrhman have also warmly welcomed Shroud back onto the platform. Prior to leaving for Mixer, Shroud was one of the biggest personalities on Twitch. The former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro gained a massive following for his exceptional aim, threat awareness and cool under pressure. Shroud confirmed he’ll be streaming on Twitch again on August 12 at 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. PST

  • ‘Toxic positivity’ isn’t helping anyone

    “Toxic positivity” refers to the concept that blindly staying positive can mean rejecting anything that may trigger negative emotions. Excess of positivity, like excess of anything, can be dangerous — particularly in a time like right now, where we are constantly being told these are “unprecedented times” and how if we “all stick together” we can get through to the other side. Toxic positivity has gone into overdrive since the start of the pandemic.

  • 5 best-selling audiobooks we can’t wait to listen to

    Perfect to listen to during workouts, long car rides or just while relaxing, audiobooks are a welcome change of pace.