Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-11-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Counterfeit Madison not faking it
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Singer Sharon Udoh, also known as Counterfeit Madison, is possibly the most interesting person you will ever meet. Raised in Cincinnati by two Nigerian, extremely religious parents, Udoh wasn't allowed to listen to secular music. She began taking piano lessons at 7 and then started playing hymns in the church.

Madison, an out lesbian, learned about art at The University of Cincinnati and, by her third year, discovered Prince, Radiohead, Weezer, Fleetwood Mac and Michael Jackson. At one point, she became involved with 14 different bands and moved to Columbus, Ohio, to start a new life.

Under the name Counterfeit Madison, she eventually released her first album, Opened and Shut, in 2013. Udoh followed that with Opposable Thumbs in 2017, and her live Nina Simone cover album can be found on Bandcamp, along with those first two records. She is currently dropping singles from an upcoming third album, Knucklehead.

She talked about music and her private life after a recent performance at Beat Kitchen.

Windy City Times: Where did the Counterfeit Madison name come from?

Sharon Udoh: In high school, I ran cross country and we ran on a street named Madison Avenue. I was slower and heavier than everyone else. I would stop halfway and hang out in a park with homeless people. I would join them again when they would run back and they never knew I couldn't complete it. I finally confessed to them and one of the runners gave me a jersey that said, "Counterfeit Madison."

It represents coming clean about something. It's a come to Jesus moment!

WCT: You were raised by very religious parents?

SU: I grew up Pentecostal and was repressed for so long. My mom and I don't speak. It has been a year since we have talked. She didn't call on my birthday this year.

I didn't listen to secular music until I was in college and I am still catching up. I have cultural problems too, since my parents didn't grow up here. There are holes in American pop culture for me, and then add religion to it. I was sheltered. I'm really surprised that I am functioning!

WCT: Did you always dream of being in music?

SU: I was scared to go to music school, but I played piano in the church since I was 7 years old. I was always taking lessons and a very musical person.

WCT: Were you a Nina Simone fan?

SU: I didn't know who she was until I was 29 years old. I was working in a bakery and I heard a voice on the radio and it sounded like me. I started listening to her and at the time we looked almost exactly the same. I had the cropped short cut and wore long dresses.

I did a tribute show of her in 2016 after a lot of research.

WCT: Where does your makeup style come from?

SU: It has changed over the years. I used to wear lipstick a lot. Now that I have this nose piercing, I don't wear much makeup. I like looking like a little gay boy.

WCT: How do you identify?

SU: I'm an androgynous female. I don't feel as attacked anymore when someone says, "Excuse me, sir." I continue to figure out what I am. I thought for a while I was trans, but I don't feel any dysphoria in my body. I just feel like an odd girl.

Get this: I'm a lesbian married to a homosexual man and I have a female partner.

WCT: You have all the bases covered.

SU: It's really new for me. The more I try to fit into a box, the less it works.

WCT: Let's talk about music.

SU: We are shopping things around. I don't want to self release my album and would like a record company to help me release it. The songs are written and it's ready to go. We have been releasing singles with another coming in October. I want to keep things relevant.

WCT: Your "Frank" video looked fun, with all of the dressing up.

SU: That video is actually about dating. When people go out on a date they want to look their best. That video is about me presenting my best self in absurd ways. I've been on so many bad dates.

WCT: "I Hope It's Alright" has Inspector Gadget in it?

SU: Yes. I shot that video here in Chicago with Women of The Now. I try to come to Chicago at least twice a year.

WCT: What other songs do you have coming out?

SU: We have a video for a song called "So Much to Give." It's about a risqué relationship that I was in with someone much younger than me. There was a lot unspoken. We both had girlfriends at the time.

Our relationships were both dumpster fires. We were trying to run out from our relationships by hanging out all the time. It was not good.

WCT: Is there a song of yours that deals with your family history?

SU: It has only been recently that I feel I can talk about my family life. I didn't want to talk about it because I thought I would break and talk to my mother, but I haven't.

WCT: What else are you doing the rest of the year?

SU: I am going to Iowa City to do a worksop on Nina Simone. I am doing a small tour in October. I work at a school, so I can't do too much.

I am an actor in experimental theater and the crew is all going to Australia in January.

WCT: What do you want people to know about you as an artist?

SU: I am going to put a spin on that question. When they look at me, I want people to know they can be themselves. They can challenge their egos and admit they are wrong. They can open themselves up and really change. That's sometimes hard for people to do!

See "Counterfeit Madison" on Facebook.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Megan Rapinoe, 'High School Musical,' Roxane Gay, 'Paris Is Burning' 2019-11-18 - Soccer star Megan Rapinoe accepted Glamour's Woman of the Year award—another addition to her hardware collection that includes the Golden Ball award as ...

Gay News

Brewery has Nov. 22 event with Chicago House 2019-11-17 - Revolution Brewing is again teaming with Chicago House and Social Service Agency to raise funds for HIV/AIDS-affected, disenfranchised individuals as well as the ...

Gay News

Currie, Darling in Chicago on Nov. 25 2019-11-16 - Los Angeles-based female rock icons Cherie Currie and Brie Darling are embarking on their first-ever tour together in support of their recently released ...

Gay News

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chorus present Merry, Merry Chicago! concerts 2019-11-14 - CHICAGO—Symphony Center celebrates the 2019 holiday season with programming that offers a wide range of musical experiences perfect for audiences of all ages ...

Gay News

The Joffrey Ballet's reimagined classic The Nutcracker begins Nov. 30 2019-11-14 - CHICAGO ( NOVEMBER 12, 2019 )— The Joffrey Ballet's critically-acclaimed reimagined classic, The Nutcracker, by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, returns to open ...

Gay News

Artemis Singers part of LGBTQIA+ improv show 2019-11-14 - In a return engagement, members of Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will perform as part of the Friday, Dec. 6, Dreamboat LGBTQIA+ ...

Gay News

Caucus launches The Prosperity Project 2019-11-13 - Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus has launched The Prosperity Project—a three-year campaign to eliminate HIV among Black gay, bisexual and same-gender-loving men in ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Out singer, 'Hamilton,' 'Sense8,' Dolly Parton, Shangela 2019-11-12 - LGBT singer Michael Longoria released a music video for "Kiss Me ( Like They Do In The Movies )," an original song written ...

Gay News

Singer Greyson Chance in Chicago Nov. 29 2019-11-08 - Out musician Greyson Chance will be performing at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., on Friday, Nov. 29. Doors will open at ...

Gay News

Val's halla Records to close by Nov. 30 2019-11-06 - Iconic Oak Park store Val's Halla Records will close by Nov. 30, The Chicago Tribune reported. The business has been open for 47 ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.