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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

arts music

Touring folk artists Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz continue education at IU


Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, co-lead singers from Indianapolis, toured in western Europe and the United States as a folk duo. They made the decision to continue their education this semester at IU after eight years of touring. 

The folk pop duo, Lily & Madeleine, and their bandmate, Shannon Hayden, are currently self-producing their fifth album and hoping to release it either late this year or early next year, Madeleine said.

Madeleine said her and Lily got their musical start when Paul Mahern, local producer and IU professor, was their producer and introduced the girls to musician John Mellencamp. Lily and Madeleine worked with Mellencamp on a soundtrack to the musical “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” when Lily was a sophomore and Madeleine was a senior in high school.

Madeleine said the last eight years of touring were chaotic, but not in a negative way. Never living in one place for more than a year was fun, but now she said she feels like she’s behind her peers in her personal life, career and other aspects of life. 

“I've had an incredible ride and an amazing adventure and it's not over yet,” Madeleine said.  “If anything, I would say that I just feel a little behind. Yet I've experienced things that other people haven't.” 

Lily dropped out of high school to pursue her musical career. She said making that decision was hard, but she ended up getting her GED diploma. During a break in the duo’s schedule, Lily attended IU as a freshman in 2015. Madeleine attended IU after graduating high school, again in 2015, and online in 2020 before resuming her fourth semester in 2022. 

While both girls said they always planned to make music, Madeleine came back to IU to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Lily returned as a non-degree student in her second semester. 

Madeleine said she made the decision to move back to Bloomington while talking on the phone with her mom. She said she was struggling with working for a company she didn’t care for just to live in Los Angeles. Her mom suggested she come home and resume her education.

Madeleine said she feels like her world is growing by attending IU and journalism has always been in her core. After being the interviewee for so long, she said she would like to be the one conducting the interviews.

Lily said she felt like she was missing out on the fun college experience while on tour. Attending IU felt like the right decision, she said.

“I think it's a wonderful way to spend my time and grow myself as an individual before things change and I get to work again,” Lily said.

Lily & Madeleine have toured in Paris, London, Germany, Sweden, Norway and in other areas, but Madeleine said she would love to perform in Asia or Australia. Lily said she wants to perform in Japan.

Lily said touring was a whirlwind and she had no control over her time. She said couldn’t control where she ate or when she slept and only had 5 minutes of personal time. Nevertheless, she said she misses touring and wants to be able to do music videos, promo and a tour after their fifth album comes out. 

Shannon Hayden, their bandmate, said she got involved with Lily & Madeleine when she was doing a live session for the local radio station in Bloomington at Paul Mahern’s studio. Mahern, Lily and Madeleine’s producer, asked Shannon to contribute a cello piece for a track on Lily and Madeleine’s first album 15 minutes before her live show.

Shannon said she has been on 90% of the Lily & Madeleine tours. Shannon plays the cello, mandolin, guitar, drums and violin.

Madeleine, Lily and Shannon all agreed their favorite venue is Paradiso in Amsterdam. There’s a dance club, small theater and ballroom theater at the venue, Madeleine said. 

Shannon said she is proud of Lily and Madeleine for what they’re accomplishing. 

“It's not official yet, but I think they’re gearing up, from what I hear, for a lovely 2023,” Shannon said.

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