WATERLOO — “American Idol” 2018 winner and hometown pop sensation Maddie Poppe was back in Northeast Iowa on Monday, shooting a live music video for a song on her upcoming album.
The 21-year-old Clarksville native used the Grout Museum District’s Snowden House in Waterloo — and its baby grand piano — as the backdrop for shooting a live music video for “Not Losing You,” from her upcoming album “Whirlwind.” It drops May 17.
She wasn’t sure whether her record label, Hollywood Records, would produce a video for “Not Losing You” — so she shot one herself “to put on the internet,” she said, and scouted locations around the Cedar Valley.
“Originally we wanted a theater, and we just couldn’t find one that was perfect — we wanted like a vintage look,” Poppe said. “And then someone had mentioned this house and said that they have a piano and stuff, and I was like, ‘That sounds perfect to me.’”
When she got to Snowden House, her belief was confirmed: “When I went upstairs, I was like, ‘Wow — this is way better than I even expected.’”
She recruited several of her fellow students from when she was a digital mass media major at Hawkeye Community College to help with the production Monday.
She said that unlike a traditional music video, she wouldn’t be pretending to play and sing while her track is dubbed in later.
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“Instead of lip-syncing to the actual track, I’m actually going to be playing the piano and singing while they’re filming it. So it’s totally raw,” she said.
That matches the emotion of the song itself, “Not Losing You,” a song Poppe said was about her boyfriend, fellow “Idol” alum Caleb Hutchinson, who took second in the contest and also is in the music business.
“We were kind of talking about the future and how it’s scary, because we’re both musicians,” she said. “It’s really hard. But I think at the end I told him, ‘You know, it doesn’t really matter what happens with our careers, as long as we have each other.’ And so that’s what I wrote this song about.”
She wasn’t in town long. On Wednesday (5/8), she was slated to fly to Baltimore to do radio press, then to Los Angeles — all in preparation for the release of her first full-length album.
“Thank you for all the support — honestly,” she said when asked whether she had a message to her Iowa fans. “I thought, when I got back people would kind of be over it — it’s been a year — but they are still so behind me and just so supportive, and it really doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s awesome. I’m so proud to be from Iowa.”