Canadian country music singer Madeline Merlo dishes on her career aspirations, her sweet vices and what success means to her.
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I’m a Canadian country music artist from Vancouver, but based out of Toronto now. My music has country, pop and soul influences to it. I’m also a songwriter, and I put on an acting hat this past year and got the lead in a film coming out in March.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
I always knew I wanted to be a musician, even when I was a small child. My father was a soul/funk musician growing up, and my mother was an avid lover of country music. I performed for the first time at age six and haven’t stopped since.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Gosh, I’ve had some really memorable moments and they just keep beating each other. I can think of two exceptionally special ones, though: 1) Releasing my current single War Paint and receiving an outpouring of people affected by the song; 2) Visiting Kuwait and performing for our troops. Having a family member currently deployed over seas with the US military, it was a huge honour. It’s something I hold dear to my heart.
Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
I just hope to be still making, writing and performing music. I think as artists all we can ask is for longevity in our careers. I have big dreams and hope to see some of them achieved.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
My advice to young professionals is stick to your guns! Be passionate about what you love and don’t be afraid to have a voice. I think people can get really lost in this industry, with so many people telling them what to do and how to act. I’d also encourage them to keep only positive, supportive people around.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Yes! Philanthropy is a huge part of my hear,t and I think using the platform that you’re given to do good in this world is a privilege. I love Wounded Warriors, the Bell Let’s Talk campaign and Sea Shepherd.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I’ve definitely overcome many challenges in my journey so far. The industry itself is male-dominated, and it’s always a fight for us girls to get the same opportunities as the boys. I really do think that every obstacle is so crucial to shaping your artistry. You have to look at it as a part of your story.
What does the word notable mean to you?
Notable is a word that carries some weight. I think it just means you’re someone that people should pay attention to, because big things are coming. It’s a really big compliment and an inspiring sentiment .
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
There are so many great spots in Toronto and because I am still so new to the city, I know I haven’t even scratched the surface! I have a really great Italian restaurant by my place on the lake called Rocco’s. Oh, and Soho House!
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Email or Netflix for sure. And I’m replaying the new Miranda Lambert tune called “Vice”. I can’t wait for her new album to come out!
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Me. 😉 Just kidding. Actually one of my favourite follows is the store Free People! I always check it out for outfit ideas!
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I went to Italy last year and it changed my life. It changed the way I cook, eat and appreciate food. Next on my list is Hawaii!
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
When my friends back in Vancouver are all hanging out without me!
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate almonds, penny candy and Justin Bieber.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I spend way too much money on food. I’m always way too down to get brunch. I think I need to spend more money on my makeup! My kit could use a reboot.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success to me is being happy. I think that you could have as much money and glory as possible and could still be terribly unhappy. I think that happiness starts with self love and accepting the place you are. I hope to have a life filled with music and love. That would be true success to me.