I wish somebody would have told me that my self worth is not determined by the success of my career. Still learning that lesson.
As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Country music artist Madeline Merlo.
Madeline won an episode on this season of NBC’s Songland and her song “Chamagne Night” was recorded and released by GRAMMY Award Winning group Lady Antebellum. Additionally she just released new music of her own!
Thank you so much for doing this with us Madeline! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a farm town outside of Vancouver, Canada called Maple Ridge. I had a very musical upbringing and always knew that music was always something that I loved and saw myself pursuing from a really young age. Raised on mo-town, pop and country, you can hear all those influences in my music today.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I performed somewhere over the rainbow for my first time at my kindergarten talent show. I knew then that music and singing was something that made me feel something special and then when I was 10 I saw my first concert, Shania Twain, and it was such a powerful moment for me.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I have been blessed with some really great moments in my career thus far. Playing for the military overseas, performing with Shania Twain at the Canadian Country Music Awards and now winning Songland are definitely high on my list!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’ve had a few cringe worthy moments in my journey, forgetting lyrics or almost falling off stages, but my first gig ever I hit my mouth on the mic and ended up cutting my lip. Blood was trickling down my face while I was trying to perform, I was mortified!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am just currently working on writing music that I love and fit my artistry as well as writing for other artists too!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in music? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I think diversity is important in every single situation but in the entertainment industry because of its big media platforms and ability to reach so many people. I think it’s absolutely crucial. It can inspire and evoke big dreams for young people watching when they can see themselves in somebody on tv/music/movies.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- I wish somebody had told me to trust my gut when it came to picking songs to release because as soon as I started making those decisions was when I started to feel like I was creating a group of fans. Nobody knows your project or what your fans want better than you!
- I wish somebody had told me earlier to hire a consistent band. It’s tough financially at first to travel across country with the same people but once you get your road family set the music and stage chemistry starts to get really magical and shines through.
- I wish somebody would have told me that my self worth is not determined by the success of my career. Still learning that lesson.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Listen to new music, stay inspired, don’t hangout with jaded people, mediate, be gentle with yourself.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Something I am really passionate about is mental health. As someone who struggles, it’s a really big goal of mine to one day build a mental health facility in the area where I grew up and ultimately work to end the stigma around mental health. The most dangerous thing is suffering alone but often people don’t feel like they can ask for help, and if they do, it’s not always available to them. This needs to change.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are a few key people along the way who mentored and took a shot on me. Dan Swinimer is one who is extremely significant because he heard me singing through a wall at age 16 and asked me to sing some demos for him. We created an amazing working relationship and started to create music together that ultimately landed me a record deal.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My mom always used to tell me to “keep the faith” anytime I was discouraged about my goals. I think believing that you are capable of anything is so incredibly powerful. She was such a huge pillar in my decision to pursue music full time and still is.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.
I would love to have breakfast with Dolly Parton. She is so incredible in every way. She is a philanthropist, business woman, performer and songwriter. She has done so much for the world both in and outside of music. I would be absolutely floored if I ever got to meet her one day.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
All of my social media accounts are under Madeline Merlo