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Madison Calley Pulls The Strings To R&B


Madison Calley Pulls The Strings To R&B

You may not yet know her by name, but Madison Calley has very likely hit your social media For You Page on more than one passing occasion.

The bronze-skinned beauty has been seen tens of millions of times perched in her living room in long flowing vibrantly colored skirts, amid a lush indoor plant-scape, steamer blasting, making beautiful music with her golden harp.

Calley’s relationship with the unlikely instrument began at a very young age. Growing up in Washington, DC, she went out to eat every Sunday after church with her family to a local restaurant that featured a female harpist.

“She covered a lot of Disney songs at the time, so I always loved watching this harpist,” Calley shared, revealing that she had been eyeing the harp since about age 4. “My mom’s thing for me and my brothers was that she wanted us each to pick an instrument and a sport. I was so fascinated by that one, I chose the harp.”

But that infatuation turned into a love/hate relationship throughout her childhood.

“Once I started, I started to really resent the instrument, because it’s a very difficult one to learn,” she said frankly. “I also had to learn two years of piano first just to get down music theory and learn how to read music.”

Finally getting her first harp at 8, Calley faced a new challenge that Black people in the classical arts community often have to tackle.

“I never really felt like I was really included in the classical community, and I always felt outcasted,” she said. “I was always the only Black student anywhere at any recital I ever went to. So it was a very difficult journey, and I definitely would say my parents are the main ones that made me stick with it.”

With her mother’s encouragement, constantly telling her that dedication to the instrument would reward her someday, Calley’s talent eventually carried her all the way to college.

She was accepted into Carnegie Melon for music study. And though she excelled,…

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