Hot Country Duo Maddie & Tae Talk Girl Power: 'We Came Out of the Gates with a Bold Message'

"We believe that with our music, we should be saying exactly what we think," Maddie Marlow tells PEOPLE

Photo: Mat Hayward/Getty

With their current single “Fly” – which offers up lyrics like, “So keep on climbing though the ground might shake” – heating up the charts, Maddie & Tae are keeping their message consistent: Girl power set to a traditional country sound.

The duo, Maddie Marlow, 20, and Tae Dye, 20, first introduced themselves to the male-dominated world of country music with their feminist anthem, “Girl In a Country Song,” which pokes fun at the sexism served up in some of country music’s biggest hits.

“We came out of the gates with a bold message, and the fans have been with us since day one,” Tae tells PEOPLE of their debut single, which also earned them their first No. 1 hit. “It’s been amazing!”

“We’re pretty bold individuals,” adds Maddie. “We believe that with our music, we should be saying exactly what we think. We want to speak up for people who don’t have a voice. That’s what our music does. Being bold and standing our ground is important and making sure you don’t allow people to run all over you.”

Maddie & Tae recently released their debut album, Start Here.

For more from the duo, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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