From Louisville to Los Angeles to Danville, Piper Madison is making her mark on the music world.
Centre student Piper Keesee, known onstage as Piper Madison, has been saturated in music her entire life. Originally from Louisville, Piper and her family moved to Los Angeles in 2011, where she worked as an actress while going to school. In 2020, they moved back to Kentucky.
Piper grew up surrounded by music. Her mother, a banjo player, and her father, a guitar and piano player, encouraged her to pick up an instrument as a child. Years later and with multiple album releases under her belt, Piper is crooning to crowds while working toward a degree in Creative Entrepreneurship.
She first began taking piano lessons in elementary school, and picked up guitar a few years later. But it wasn’t until she began writing songs that she realized music was a passion she was going to pursue for the rest of her life.
When Piper was only 12 years old, one of her friends passed away. She turned to songwriting to help process her grief.
“It was my way of dealing with the emotions of it all, and I found it very therapeutic,” Piper shared. “I kept writing after that.”
Eventually, Piper had enough songs for an album, and brought the idea of recording to her parents. Her father’s support was instant, and he began interning at a music studio to learn sound engineering and production. Soon, a makeshift studio was built in the family’s living room, which eventually became the fully-fledged studio where Piper finished recording her debut album “Who’s Running Your Mind?”
This first album was inspired largely by alt-rock female powerhouse singers, such as Hayley Williams from Paramore. As her music evolved, Piper found herself returning to her earlier musical influences.
“My mom used to play Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and The Judds all the time in the car,” she said. “I was exposed to a lot of bluegrass and country music early on. I find myself circling back to those early influences as my music is shifting into Americana, indie folk and country.”
Piper’s goal is to be a touring artist and performing songwriter, and Centre College is helping her achieve that dream. She is designing her own major at Centre: Creative Entrepreneurship, which is focused on a combination of music and business courses, with supplemental classes in theatre, psychology and creative writing.