Musical prodigy and multi-talented young actress, Madison Taylor Baez is set to take audiences and Hollywood by storm. Just under 10 years old, Baez will be making her series regular television debut as “Young Selena” in the upcoming Netflix original, “Selena: The Series.” The show will star Christian Serratos (“The Walking Dead”) and is currently slated for later this year. The coming of age story will follow late Tejano singer, Selena Quintanilla. The show will look at her journey as her dreams come true, and the many life-changing choices on the singer’s journey to success. YEM spoke with Madison Taylor Baez about playing the iconic star and what fans can expect form the show.
Young Entertainment Mag: When did you begin singing and acting? ?
Madison Taylor Baez: I started singing when I was 2 years old and I would get my father’s iPad and sing and memorize songs from the great singers of Motown and all genres of music from the 50’s to today’s music. At 3 years old, my father who introduced me to singing was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Over the last 6 years, I developed my singing voice by learning new songs to sing to him to help him throughout his cancer battle. I would sing at his hospital bedside after his many surgeries, at home during months of recoveries and during his chemo treatments. I was always at his side singing a song for hm.
At 7, my father taught me the National Anthem and sent a video of me singing it to the LA Lakers. A few days later, they called and I was singing at a Lakers game a few weeks later. From that single appearance, my music career took off and over the next 2 years, other professional teams called to have me to sing the National Anthem like the LA Dodgers, LA Rams, LA Galaxy, LA Kings, Harlem Globetrotters as well as colleges and many high profile charity events. Some of those singing appearances went viral and became a national story all over the news and I’m now known as “America’s Anthem Girl”.
This also opened the doors for me to get into acting. I started my acting career with commercials. I’ve filmed 11 national commercials for brands such as McDonald’s, Walmart, Chevy, Fujifilm, and others. From there, I got into film and television, first co-starring in the short film The Tooth Racket that won Best Comedy at the Just 4 Shorts Hollywood Film Festival this past April. And now I have my first BIG series regular role co-starring as Young Selena Quintanilla in Netflix’s Selena The Series.
YEM: What does music mean to you and your family?
Madison: It means everything to all of us. It has played such a big role in shaping who I am as a performer and person. Also, as I mentioned earlier, music and singing got our family, especially my father, through many difficult years as he battled cancer. Music is a healer and when things got tough for him and all of us during his journey, it lifted and soothed us as well as created such a happy environment in the worst of times. This is why I’m so passionate to share my singing voice with others. I know that music can help so many people. And I want to be able to do my part and give back.
YEM: What was your first time ever performing in public?
Madison: When I was 4 years old, my dad would take me to the hair salon every month when he would get his hair cut. And I would sing for everyone there and get lollipops. I did that over the years and will occasionally still go with him and sing a song. Everyone still works there and they all have watched me grow up singing. My fist BIG public performance though was when I was 7 years old and that was for the LA Lakers singing the National Anthem. That was an awesome experience.
YEM: You are playing young Selena in the upcoming “Selena: The Series” coming soon to Netflix! Were you familiar with Selena before joining the show?
Madison: When I got the audition, I didn’t really know much about Selena. But my mom and dad were huge fans. They told me all about her, and I researched her, saw the movie and I looked at all of the YouTube videos from the time she was young Selena to adult Selena. And I fell in love with her music. I also read everything about her and her family so I could really understand her story from the beginning.
YEM: What is your favorite song by Selena?
Madison: Oh wow! So many. Some of my favorites are Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, Dreaming of You and Coma La Flor. My absolute most favorite singing performance of Selena’s that I love to also sing is her Disco Melody that she performed at the Houston Astrodome. It is so fun that I have included it into my set.
YEM: What can fans expect from this new series?
Madison: Fans can expect to be inspired by the determination of Selena, her mother, sister, brother and father Abraham who keep getting back up after getting knocked down and having so many setbacks to follow their dreams. Also, you will see Selena transform and develop over the years into a superstar.
YEM: Will they learn new things about Selena and her upbringing?
Madison: Yes. The series will go deeper into the daily family struggles and what they all endured to achieve worldwide success. You will see and learn things about young Selena who is just starting out leading the family band and trying to make her father proud.
YEM: Do you relate to Selena in any way?
Madison: Yes, in so many ways. I discovered that mine and young Selena’s life mirrored each other’s in that both our fathers introduced us to music and taught us to sing and perform at a young age. We also both had to learn to sing in Spanish as well. Also, a lot of the moments in young Selena’s life that I recreated on-screen were many of the same moments in my life when I was just starting out singing. From all the many practices and driving around performing to the many conversations with her father about music.
YEM: Would you love to release an album of your own someday?
Madison: Yes, for sure! That is top on my list of goals and hopefully it will be soon. I’m working on my music now and collaborating with some great music people to write some original songs. I would love to be able to put out an album that both kids and adults could really enjoy.
YEM: Who are your favorite musicians today?
Madison: I love so many. My top musician is Bruno Mars because we are very similar singers and performers. He is electric on stage and a great performer. I sing a lot of his songs. My other favorites are Aretha Franklin, Freddy Mercury, Bill Withers, Etta James, The Jackson 5, Beyoncé and Meghan Trainor.
YEM: Finally, you’re almost 10! How are you planning to celebrate your 10th birthday?
Madison: I’m going have a big party with all my family and friends at a bowling alley. I love the glow in the dark bowling parties with all the food, cake, ice cream and music!