Musical prodigy and multi-talented young actress, Madison Taylor Baez is set to take audiences and Hollywood by storm! Just under 10 years old and already a breakout star, Baez will be making her series regular television debut as “Young Selena,” alongside Christian Serratos (“The Walking Dead”) in the upcoming Netflix original, “Selena: The Series” slated for summer 2020.
The coming of age story will follow late Tejano singer, Selena Quintanilla’s journey as her dreams come true, and the many life-changing choices on the singer’s journey to success. Ricardo Chavira (“Desperate Housewives”), Gabriel Chavarria (THE PURGE), Noemi Gonzalez (“The Young and the Restless”), and Seidy Lopez (TRAINING DAY) will be starring as the rest of the Quintanilla family.
Not at all a newcomer in the spotlight, Madison has been making waves since she began singing the national anthem for the LA Lakers at just 8 years old. Since then, she has performed for the LA Dodgers, LA Lakers, LA Rams, LA Galaxy, Harlem Globetrotters, and this past summer Madison was the first 8-year-old in the history of the Orange County & LA Fairs to perform two 40-minute shows by herself.
A young girl, with an amazing soulful voice, Madison was introduced to music at the age of 3 by her father and began using it as a way to help her and her family cope as her father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer when she was just 4 years old. She continues to perform and donate her time all over California at charity, cancer, and sporting events as well as local fairs and schools. When Madison is not singing or performing, she is can be found hanging out with her friends or playing video games, soccer, and with her dog Jax.
Welcome to TV Series Hub, well-known as the “Anthem Girl”, how else do you introduce yourself to people?
Thank you for having me lol by my name Madison Taylor Baez or now as “Young Selena.”
You began singing at a very young age of 3 and have never looked back as a coping mechanism to your dad’s stage 4 colon cancer. How did it change your life?
It changed my life in the way that I understood that by me singing to him it was helping him. He would get so happy and excited that I was learning new songs for him and he said it uplifted him to keep fighting. I also realized that singing and music was just in me and there has not been one day I haven’t sang a song.
How is your dad doing now?
He is doing great cancer free and he manages my singing career. I’m so happy he is with us and I don’t know if I would be here without him. I love him so much!!
Currently 9 years old, you have already performed at the LA Dodgers, LA Lakers, LA Rams, LA Galaxy, and Harlem Globetrotters. What else do you hope to accomplish in the coming years?
I want to continue growing and developing my singing and develop a bigger fan base, put out an album and do some concerts for kids. I have done some mini concerts at the LA and Orange County fairs and it was very successful and a lot of fun. With my acting I am hoping get more opportunities for both TV and especially movie roles. Getting a great movie role on the big screen would be exciting.
What languages do you speak? Do you sing with all of them?
English, a little Spanish and Tagalog. I can and have sang in all of them. My Dad is Hispanic and my mom is Filipino so I picked up little bit of both languages from them but mostly from Lola (Grandmother) I love singing in multiple languages because I am able to touch more people.
How did you get into the singing industry?
When I was 7, my dad taught me the National Anthem and he sent a video of me singing it to the LA Lakers and didn’t tell me. They called and invited me to sing at a game and then my dad tells me “Maddie your singing at the Lakers game in a few weeks.” I was like “huh? Really? Ok!” Lol and from there it took off with many other professional teams and colleges inviting me to sing over the last 2 years. A few of those appearances went viral especially both of my LA Dodgers appearances which received National News coverage. That’s how I’m now known as America’s Anthem Girl which is pretty cool.
Moving to your acting career is exciting, how did you decide to try out acting?
My Theatrical Manager Kim Matuka runs and owns Schuller Talent and she’s known for discovering young talent. She discovered Anna Kendrick at 10 years old. She saw one of my singing videos at 7 and contacted my parents and got me into acting. It was actually a very natural progression for me as singing is acting. As a singer and an actor, you have to be able to give different emotions and passion depending on the type of song I’m singing or a character I’m acting in. I love acting a lot and prior to getting my role as young Selena, I gained some great acting experience. In the last 2 years I have filmed 11 National commercials, co-starred in the short film “The Tooth Racket” that is out now and doing very well at film festivals as well as being featured in 2 music videos.
How did being multi-talented add value to your brand?
As far as value to my brand I feel it has opened up more doors and opportunities. Also being able to sing, act and also play several different instruments will hopefully continue to make my brand more marketable, not just to young kids but to adults as well.
You portray “Young Selena” on Netflix’s “Selena: The Series”. After a crash-course from your parents and a movie, you feel in love with Selena. How excited were you to get the role?
OMG! I was super excited I just couldn’t believe it. My dad told me I got the role after getting the call while we were at my soccer practice. I thought he was kidding at first but then I saw he had tears in his eyes and I knew he was serious. Then I had tears of joy. I have been on cloud 9 ever since.
How was the audition?
The audition process was great. Both the initial and the call back audition were a month apart and fun. I was very prepared and read the required scenes and sang both in English and Spanish. I felt very confident after based on the reactions of both the casting directors and producers for the show. The whole process took 2 months before I was given the news I got the role.
What is “Selena: The Series” about?
It’s about the family story from the beginning of when Abram (Selena’s father) has this idea to a start a family band with Young Selena as the lead singer. It tells of the many struggles the family had to endure to achieve his dream of worldwide success. As for young Selena, my character is a fun loving girl who is finding herself as a singer wanting to make her dad proud.
How was it working with Christian Serratos?
Christian was great! I only worked with her on the show promo and we had lots of fun. I had been on location a few weeks before Christian arrived and on her first day on location I gave her a personal tour of the studio lot and some of the crew were filming it. It was a great way for us to meet and bond. We also would visit each other in our dressing rooms.
Off the set, you have a flexible schedule and a supporting school behind you. How important of a role have your friends and family played so far?
They have all been a huge support! Knowing that my school and teachers are excited for me and support me and are so flexible with my school work is awesome because I love attending my private school Heritage Oak. My friends are happy for me and don’t treat me any different at all. When I’m with my friends it’s not about my acting or singing, it’s just friends hanging out which I love. As far as my family I would not be here without them and they always support everything I do and I love them so much. At the same time I have to keep up my grades, do chores and pick up after my doggy. Staying humble and kind is very important to my parents as well as to me.
What has been your funniest fan experience?
Well, one time, I was shopping in a store with my mom and these 3 girls around my age were following us and every time I turned around to look at them they would hide behind a clothes rack. Finally one of them comes up to me and says “you’re that singer “Anthem Girl” right?” I was like “yes, that’s me and they all started smiling and jumping up and down. They said we saw you on TV and at the Dodgers game and we follow your IG. I thanked them and spent time talking with them and they asked If I would signed their T-shirt’s and take pictures so I was happy to do so.
Do you have a nickname from your friends?
MaddieGirl. My parents call me that as well.
In your free time, what are your hobbies?
I love playing video games and soccer, going to movies with my friends, painting, and playing my piano and electric guitar.
Another impressive feat is giving back to your community by participating in charity events. Why is it important to do that?
Seeing my father battle his Cancer for 6 years and him getting better knowing how much my singing helped and made him happy. I just want to give that same feeling to others who need it. I feel God gave me these gifts so I need and must share them. How does it feel after giving back? It is such an amazing feeling seeing people smile or even cry happy tears knowing I was able to give them something special from me for that moment. I will always sing at charity events if I’m able because It’s the right thing to do and I get so much back in return.
Any future projects? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have a few things in the works I’m excited about and hopefully can share soon. In 5 years, I hope to have inspired many kids and even adults to find that thing they love and go after it. I hope to make some great music maybe top chart hit and be recognized for my acting.
Thank you for joining us, any final words to our audience?
Thank you for having me. I would like to let all the Selena fans out there know that it was such an honor and blessing to play young Selena. To all those who may not be too familiar with Selena, my hope is that being in this role I inspire a whole new generation to get to know the Amazing Selena she was as a person, listen to her music and her family story.
Photo Credit: Tamara Tihanyi