Dreamy ‘70s music makes a comeback Oct. 9 with a UT student’s new single, “Out of My Head.” The song, filled with fuzzy guitars and lyrics expressing modern-day problems, will be the debut single of advertising senior Madison Williams, who goes by the stage name Maddy Hatchett.
Maddy’s inspiration for entering the music industry is her grandfather, Charlie Hatchett Jr., who passed away from cancer in 2014.
Charlie was a famed Texan music agent known for founding Hatchett Talent Agency. He booked acts like ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Don Henley. Charlie and his wife, Joy, also owned a recording studio.
“When I was a kid, I didn't know as much about what he did in the music business,” Maddy said. “‘I just said, ‘Oh, Grandpa, you're cool. You do shows.’ It was cool to watch how much he enjoyed it, and I think it fostered a love for music in me growing up.”
After losing her grandfather, Maddy moved in with her grandmother and began teaching herself how to play one of her grandfather’s old guitars. Six years later, she’s following in his footsteps with big dreams of making it in the music industry.
“It’s beautiful. I wish he could be here to witness (it),” Joy Hatchett said.
When Maddy moved to Austin for college, she said she immersed herself into the music scene. Her junior year, she was president of live music organization Euphoria ATX and helped coordinate gigs for artists in UTalent Records. She said she made it her goal to network with as many music organizations on campus as possible.
“A lot of music is knowing people and networking, so I really came in with that mindset of like, ‘I want to get to know people in this industry,’” Maddy said.
Last year, Maddy shifted her focus from networking to songwriting and performing. She jammed on her guitar, nicknamed Charlie, and enlisted three musicians to accompany her, including bassist Ian Heyman, a mechanical engineering graduate student. Together, they played bar shows and opened for Sarah Grace, who was a semifinalist on “The Voice,” and her band Sarah Grace and The Soul.
With her band, Maddy finished piecing together “Out of My Head,” a song she started working on in her sophomore year to tell the story of her experience in the music industry so far. She said the song is about the stress she has experienced while balancing music, school and other obligations.
As a self-managed artist, she said she books her own shows, writes all her press releases and handles all her branding.
“I don't think I realized how grueling the music industry could be,” Maddy said. “I love it, but I think it's good to realize that things you love have a price.”
With the help of Heyman’s friend, who works at The Recording Conservatory of Austin, they produced the song and will be releasing it on all streaming platforms. They’re also continuing to record more songs influenced by artists like Fleetwood Mac and Florence + the Machine with the goal of creating an EP.
“She's a super devoted musician,” Heyman said. “I can't say for sure that one person will be good and another one won't. But the odds are in her favor.”