Who Is Madeline Merlo? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music
Who is Madeline Merlo? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Madeline Merlo
Birthday – February 9th
Hometown – Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Music Influences – Rascal Flatts, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Kieth Urban
Label – BBR Music Group
Current project- Slide EP (*as of date of article: 10/31/22)
There is something exciting about watching Canadian country stars make the move to Nashville to grow and evolve their fanbase. Today, we are highlighting Canadian artist Madeline Merlo and her impressive journey so far.
Growing up in a small town in British Columbia, it was clear from a young age that Merlo was born to be a singer-songwriter. “I grew up in a pretty musical household with all types of genres,” she began. “I listened to a lot of Motown growing up and my mom loved country music, so a lot of Shaina Twain, Dolly, and the older stuff as well as Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, and more.”
At just six years old, Merlo recalls performing on stage for the first time. “I loved singing from a really young age. I performed for the first time at six years old at my kindergarten talent show. I sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz and I remember just feeling this visceral reaction of loving being on stage and wanting to do it more,” she shared.
From that point on, her mom helped her through musical theatre auditions, commercials, singing competitions, and restaurant gigs – wherever she could perform, she did. After attending her first concert at ten years old, Shania Twain, Merlo was even more convinced that country music was her calling. “I am really grateful for that, for having that kind of direction. It wasn’t like a decision sometimes, I think, it was always clear that this is what I was meant to do.”
The Turning Point:
When Merlo turned fifteen, her life started to transform. “I met a songwriter and producer near my hometown, and I started singing demos for him, where I was like ‘what does it look like to write a real song’,” shared the singer. Adding that she finally started writing real songs in high school.
During high school, one of her classmates sent one of her songs, unbeknownst to her, to the local radio station. “It’s a story of a lot of hardworking and tenacity, but certainly luck as well too. There were a lot of God moments sprinkled into my story, especially in the beginning,” began Merlo. “It was within weeks of meeting the radio programmer that I ended up signing a record deal. It was really crazy. I worked with this label called Open Road out of Canada and started putting out music.”
Despite garnering major success in Canada, including Canadian Country awards, playing at every major festival, and charting songs, Merlo had Nashville on her mind. “My heart was really called to be in Nashville, so in 2017, I packed up U-Haul and drove down to Nashville.”
While cutting her teeth in Nashville, Merlo received a message from a casting director, who had reached out to her years prior for a show that was never made. The casting director ended up casting her on Songland. “My manager sent them one song, and they were like ‘Cool, your flight’s tomorrow.’”
She went on to not only win her episode, but Lady A made her song “Champagne Night” their radio single, which eventually spent multiple weeks at number one on the charts. “It blew open so many doors and got me in the room with so many songwriters, and ultimately landed me my record deal with Broken Bow.”
With a record deal and a supportive team behind her, Merlo has officially begun her rise to country music stardom in the United States. The songstress made her major label debut in September with her EP, Slide. The project features four incredibly well-crafted songs, all co-written by the singer-songwriter.
Each of the four songs shares a different side of Merlo’s one-of-a-kind talent and personality. “For this debut project on this new label and the states, I wanted it to feel diverse and very, very on brand for me and a little tease of what the album looks like,” shared the songstress. The singer admitted that it took a while to truly get the music she wanted, adding that working with Zach Crowell helped her create music that was just right for her project.
When asked about her favorite song, Merlo, understandably, had a hard time choosing. “I love ‘youngish’ so much. I love “Girl Where He Grew Up”, but I think “Slide.” It was the catalyst, it was the first song that Zach and I did together […] When I wrote “Slide” it felt like the first step forward in that direction of where I wanted the project to go.”
Fans can rejoice because Merlo is certainly not done delivering more new music! “We have music locked and loaded ready to go that we’re planning to put out in the New Year.”
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Madeline Merlo’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.