With two Top 15 Canadian Country singles and a CCMA Rising Star award to her credit, Madeline Merlo is quickly establishing herself as one of our brightest new female country music stars.
The Maple Ridge, B.C. native’s latest single from her debut album Free Soul, “Over And Over,” has just been released to coincide with dates on Dean Brody’s Beautiful Freakshow tour that will cover most of western Canada in May. In addition, Merlo has taken the leap into acting with a role in the musical Country Crush, recently released on DVD through Shout Factory.
Although she plays an aspiring country singer in the film—and sings on the majority of the soundtrack—the ease with which she made the transition says a lot about Merlo’s magnetism on screen, an extension of the irresistible charm that shines through in her music.
Upon signing with RGK Entertainment and Open Road Recordings at 18, Merlo became a familiar face in Nashville, a presence she aims to continue building. At the same time, she has been utilizing her growing profile to entertain Canadian Forces overseas, and support causes such as Wear Your Label, a homegrown clothing line aimed at furthering the conversation about mental illness.
Go to madelinemerlo.com to see her full upcoming schedule, which also includes a Canadian Music Week showcase in Toronto on April 22 at The Great Hall alongside High Valley.
Congratulations on starring in Country Crush. What was the experience like being in your first movie?
Thank you! It was a pretty crazy experience and something completely out of my comfort zone, but I really did love it. I found that acting and singing had many obvious differences but both came from places of emotion and authenticity. Luckily I had help from an amazing co-star [Munro Chambers] and a fantastic director [Andrew Cymek].
You're set to go on tour with Dean Brody as well. What are you most looking forward to about that?
I am most excited to just be on tour again and to get the experience of playing every night alongside such an amazing talent. Dean is an incredible writer and performer and I am excited to learn as much as I can from him.
Tell me about your new single "Over And Over." What appealed to you about it, and what made it right to release as a single?
It was a song that I just had a feeling people would relate to because it’s something I’ve dealt with—that on-and-off-again relationship, which is so common and so frustrating. I felt like people would find this song could apply to their own lives.
What are your fondest musical memories as you were growing up?
My father was a funk musician, so music was always a huge thing in my family home. I remember dancing to Stevie Wonder in my living room. The first time I performed in public was at my school’s talent show when I was six years old. I sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and I remember walking off the stage feeling so euphoric. I knew right then it was what I wanted to do with my life.
What are your major goals for 2017?
There have been so many changes in my life the last couple of years. I moved across the country, fell in love, made my best music yet, got to perform on the CCMAs and checked numerous things off my bucket list. My major goals for 2017 would be to plant roots in Nashville and keep making my live shows more incredible. I also really want to travel to Southeast Asia!