How does one go from performing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at a school talent show to writing a hit song for Lady A?
Growing up with a funk musician for a father, 26-year old Madeline Merlo’s Canadian home was always filled with music. (If only we could all be this lucky!) She decided she wanted to be a singer at a young age, and after attending a Shania Twain concert, she knew country music was her calling.
At age 17, Merlo recorded music with BC-based writer and producer Dan Swinimer and was signed to his production company “Manicdown Productions”. The talent was obvious, and in 2012 Swinimer connected the teen with Ron Kitchener from RGK Entertainment.
A short year later, Merlo made it official by signing with RGK Entertainment and Open Road Recordings. Her debut single “Sinking Like a Stone” was released in February 2014, hitting radio and charting for twenty-two weeks on the Billboard Canada Country chart.
Merlo’s success escalated as she took home the CCMA Rising Star Award, alongside the BCCMA for Female Artist of the Year in 2015. Already on a high, she strategically released three thriving singles, landing a spot in the Top 10 at Canadian Country Radio.
In 2016, she finally released her debut album “Free Soul”. To say this album flourished is an understatement. In its first week, “War Paint”, a personal track off the album, became the No. 1 most added country song in Canada.
After experiencing success after success, Merlo made a massive leap in her career by pitching her song “I’ll Drink to That” to the elite judges on NBC’s hit reality show ‘Songland’. Lady A, formally known as Lady Antebellum, was looking for their next hit in the Season 2 premiere episode. After her performance, the judges shared their thoughts on the song, with Lady A saying, “This might be a hit, seriously.”
Merlo ultimately won the episode as Lady A chose to record her song as their own, the final single titled “Champagne Night”. She quickly became the first ‘Songland’ artist to have a song hit radio after Lady A released the track. In an interview with Pop Culture, Merlo described the experience as “one of the happiest experiences of my life”.
She refused to let the momentum die down as Merlo recently released a trio of storytelling singles, “Kiss Kiss”, “If You’ve Never Broken My Heart”, and “It Didn’t”. Described as a “heartbreak kind of circle story”, connecting with fans comes easy to the country singer/songwriter.
After sharing the stage with country legends Keith Urban and Willie Nelson, we can’t wait for Merlo to headline a tour of her own. In the meantime, check out Madeline Merlo’s SCENES Live Session below!
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Madeline Merlo on SCENES Live Sessions
Madeline Merlo is so talented, you’ll have to save this session to listen to in the future! Interested in supporting Artists featured here on SCENES? Download her full performance to your computer or smartphone today. A portion of each sale goes directly to the artist. Video length: 14 minutes and 31 seconds.
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