Country Next: Maddox Batson

We are proud to showcase country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. In this installment, we talk with Maddox Batson.


Lauren Coin

| Posted on

July 11, 2024


11:19 am

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Maddox Batson; Photo by Mary-Gates Kennedy Allen

One of country music’s newest and youngest stars, Maddox Batson, is making a name for himself with his charming voice and personality.

The 14-year-old skyrocketed to fame on TikTok earlier this year, gaining a loyal fan base of over 3 million followers across social media platforms. 

Before virality, Maddox was playing four-hour-long sets with his father, a fellow musician, which he described as a “character-building” experience.

“[My dad] was the one that made me play the long shows because he wanted to turn me into an actual musician and not just a guy behind the camera,” Maddox said.

@maddoxbatson Same time next week @Wyatt Flores ?! #fyp #viral #wyattflores #maddoxbatson #pleasedontgo #countrymusic #blowthisup ♬ original sound – Maddox Batson

Maddox recently shared the stage with pop star Jessie Murph at Hangout Fest for a performance of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros and joined Wyatt Flores at CMA Fest for a performance of Flores’ “Please Don’t Go.” That same weekend Maddox became the youngest artist to play Whiskey Jam, causing them to open up the typically 21+ venue to all ages, which led to the room reaching capacity.

Maddox recently caught up with Country Now to discuss his online popularity, musical inspirations, future plans, and more. Read on to find out more about Maddox Batson in this exclusive Q&A below.

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in country music?

I’ve been doing music pretty much my entire life. My dad was growing up around bluegrass and stuff and I’ve been doing that. I’ve been listening to all kinds of music and I’ve been surrounded by it for pretty much my entire life. I used to do basketball, it was like the only thing that I did, it was what I really wanted to do, and I got a knee disease that completely put those dreams to a halt, so I had to do something else. So I picked up music and started doing TikTok lives and stuff like that. And I got picked up by this booking lady and she started booking me for shows in Texas, and the second I got up on the stage, I was like, dang, this is pretty much what I wanted to do. That’s what I liked about basketball, was people clapping for me after I made a basket. I like the applause, and I like the people. I like the fans. And that’s why I want to do it because of the fans and the support they give me. And after I got my first round of applause, that was pretty much why I wanted to play.

Your song “Tears In The River” has blown up on TikTok and has amassed more than 5M global streams. What has your rapid rise in popularity been like?

It’s been absolutely crazy, honestly, I never would have thought. I played my first show at a winery last year, like to the day, pretty much for like 12 people and half of them were family members. So releasing that song and seeing it rise in popularity on TikTok was a pretty surreal experience. I never thought that would happen, but I just count my blessings, and I really do appreciate all the fans who made it go big. 

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How do you balance making music, performing, social media fame, and everything that goes into being an artist at just 14 years old?

Luckily, I have two great parents surrounding me, so I get mentored a lot on how to keep my mental health straight and stuff like that. Being 14 years old is way harder since, you know, I am a kid, but I try to do it, I try to lay low as much as I can. I try to get out to the farm as much as I can, just try to act like a 14-year-old. I’ve said that a lot, but really, just try to act like a kid. And that really helps me, because when I’m around my buddies, I don’t really think about it. But I have a great team around me. I have two great parents, so it’s pretty easy for me to balance it out. It’s pretty cool to have all that kind of stuff, but sometimes it gets overwhelming. So it is kind of hard sometimes. But I really do appreciate it and I think I balance it pretty well.

I saw that you recently started homeschooling. What has that transition been like?

Homeschool is most definitely different because I’m a very social person. I actually did homeschool in fifth grade during COVID, but I was not a big fan, because I’m a very social person. I like to talk to people, so it was definitely weird for me. But I went homeschooled about probably four or five months ago, and it’s honestly been a very good decision for my career because school took up a lot of my worries. I was missing a lot of days, so it was kind of hard. So the decision to withdraw from school and go homeschooled is probably the best decision. I really do like it now. I like to chill at home, get my work done by 11, and then I’m good for the rest of the day. But yeah, I’m a pretty big fan of it. My buddies are definitely jealous sometimes, though.

Who are your biggest musical influences and how have they helped shape your sound?

Honestly, I listen to literally everything. I’m very eclectic, but my biggest inspiration musically has to be my father because I just grew up around it and he was the one who introduced me to music. But artist-wise, I like anywhere from Ken Carson and Playboi Carti to George Strait and Keith Whitley. I like Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra; I like their voices. I like the way that Garth Brooks and Morgan Wallen entertain. So really, a lot of people are very inspirational when it comes to my music and I really appreciate that. But pretty much my dad, through and through, for sure.

@maddoxbatson My first CMA Fest let’s Go! Come see me!!! 6/5 WME x Losers Live 7:50pm 6/7 Spotify House 6:00pm 6/8 Fan Fair x Meet and Greet 11:00am 6/8 Boot Barn x Whiskey Jam 4:00pm #fyp #viral #maddoxbatson #cmafest #country #nashville #morganwallen #fyp #viral ♬ original sound – morganwallen

You had a very busy weekend at CMA Fest–including becoming the youngest artist to ever play Whiskey Jam. How does that milestone feel?

Honestly, I didn’t even know I was until after the show. Until Ward came up to me, he runs Whiskey Jam, and was like ‘Yo Maddox, you’re the youngest person to ever play a Whiskey Jam and you put it to capacity.’ And I was like, ‘what?’ It kind of caught me off guard because I didn’t know. It was very, very surreal. I know I’ve said that a lot, but pretty much my entire past year is pretty surreal. And it was sick, for sure, I like to hear it. It was a pretty cool milestone for me and I give it all to the fans because they’re the reason I was there.

You seem to have a very special and personal connection with your fan base–including performing unreleased songs at fans’ houses. How have these interactions shaped you as an artist?

The fans are the reason I’m doing this, you know, I wouldn’t be putting out songs if it wasn’t for them. They’re the only reason I’m here, and I just give them the biggest thank you and biggest round of applause for them, you know, because they’re just the greatest fans I could ever ask for. They’re very supportive of me. I get comments all the time, ‘Maddox, dude, you don’t know how much this means to me. You don’t know how much this saved me’ and stuff like that. And I’m just like, dang, you know, it’s pretty cool to hear, and I just want to give it all to the fans for sure.

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What was the experience like filming your first music video for your newest single “I Wanna Know?”

It was crazy, because I was actually out on my childhood farm where I grew up. Shout out to Alli Ingram. She was a very great actress, very great person. I had a really great time with her that day. And it was pretty cool, because I like a film crew and all that stuff. I kind of felt like Justin Bieber a little bit. It was kind of cool, for sure. I liked it.

What is some of the best advice that you have received as an artist?

Obviously from my dad, he gives me a lot of advice, just stay true to yourself. Don’t try to let other people push you into things that you don’t want to do. Keep your priorities straight, keep your faith, and all that kind of stuff because that’s a big thing for me. I want to always keep my relationship with God before anything, for sure, that’s just big for me. Just keep your priorities straight, keep your dignity. Got that from my dad.

What’s next for you?

Honestly, right now, we’ve got some songs in the works. I mean in my vault, I probably have like, 35 songs, really good songs that I’m really excited to show for you guys. ‘Tears in the River’, and ‘I Wanna Know’, is not the extent of the music. I’m really excited for what’s to come. I just want to give a big shout out to you guys because you’re the reason I’m making all those songs, so thank you so much, and I’m ready for all the music to come out shortly.

Fans can keep up with Maddox Batson on TikTok and Instagram.

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Lauren Coin

Written by

Lauren Coin

Lauren Coin is a junior at Michigan State University studying Journalism with minors in Broadcast and Public Relations. She has previously published articles for The State News, MSU’s student newspaper.