Madeline Merlo

Raised in Maple Ridge, British Columbia near Vancouver, Madeline Merlo spent her childhood riding horses with a natural playground of the ocean, woods, mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers as a backdrop. The setting contributed to her musical influences of Motown, Soul, Rhythm & Blues as well as Country music’s strong female voices, listening to artists like Etta James and Aretha Franklin as well as Shania Twain, Dolly, Martina McBride and Faith Hill. 

A lyric-driven artist, Merlo zeroed in on building her own immediately recognizable sound. Blending fresh and cool melodies with catchy, relatable lyrics balanced out with traditional instruments like the steel, dobro, and banjo, her sound pays homage to where she grew up, while delicately layering iridescent beats with her classic roots. 

After being discovered on YouTube and signing her first record deal at the age of 18, radio success, tour dates and awards quickly followed, being honored with the Canadian Country Music Association’s Rising Star Award in 2015.

In 2020, Merlo won the season two premiere episode of the NBC songwriting reality series Songland, penning the upbeat and infectious “Champagne Night” for Lady A. The song was a three-week No. 1 that opened doors in Nashville, led to a record deal with BBR Music Group and won Merlo (along with her “Champagne Night” co-writers) the 2021 Canadian Country Music Association Award for Songwriter of the Year. 

“Growing up, I never won any competitions,” the award-winning singer/songwriter recalls smiling. “I was always cast in the chorus, so when I won Songland, I was floored! But I think that has a lot to do with my work ethic. It wasn’t all on a platter for me. I’ve always had that spirit of something to prove. Even when things are going great, I still have that fire – I always have.” 

Following her monumental win, Merlo released her vibrant four-track EP Slide on September 23, 2022 via BBR Music Group/Wheelhouse Records. Wanting to be a source of light in a dark world, Merlo’s upcoming music doesn’t come without a deeper message. “I’m really passionate about the female characters in my songs,” Merlo explained. “I want her to be strong, brave, and honest. More importantly, I want her to be powerful.” 

Produced by Zach Crowell, who has written and produced numerous hits for Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt and Dustin Lynch as well as Keith Urban, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, the EP captivates with songs that pluck emotional chords with traditional instruments layered over beguiling arrangements. “Zach and I hit it off and bonded over the music that we both loved and wanted to make,” Merlo enthused. “I want to make music that is joyful and brings happiness and fun. I feel like it is my purpose to make music that makes people feel good. That’s what I want to do.” 

The EP kicks off with the title track, “Slide,” which started out as a song for Sam Hunt. “Zach called me and said, ‘Me and Sam are writing this song, but it feels more feminine. Give it a listen and see if you want to jump on the track,’” recalled Merlo. “Of course, I said yes. I’d miss my funeral for that.” 

Merlo attended her first concert at age 10, seeing fellow Canadian Shania Twain and in 2018, Merlo got the chance to pay tribute to the superstar at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. Twain’s influence on her music is evident, especially on the spirited track “YOUNG-ish.” Merlo explained the concept, “Half my friends are out on Broadway living it up and the other half are having children and settling down, and I’m in the middle. This is about being in the middle but enjoying the moment.” 

“Girl Where He Grew Up” became a TikTok moment off the strength of Merlo’s demo of the song. “It’s about being the girl who teaches the guy how to love his next girlfriend,” Merlo said. “I didn’t get the flowers, but you will.”

Finally, “I Need A Drink” wraps the project, capturing the magnetic connection of wanting to be wherever your significant other is. With success in Canada, Merlo was on a mission to make it in Nashville. With her feet firmly planted in Music City since 2018, prolifically writing songs and readying her energetic live show, Madeline Merlo is just getting started. 

 “It’s an amazing town where you just kind of feel like you get in line, put your head down, and you work,” Merlo shared. “And if you are kind to people, and do good work, and you’re talented, like your music, you will start to rise. Nashville is just one of those great cities that honors songwriters and honors hardworking people. I put all my focus into Nashville, and it’s paid off.”

More recently, following the release of her debut 4-track EP Slide, Merlo released the resonant track “Same Car,” via BBR Music Group/Wheelhouse Records accompanied by an official music video. Produced by Zach Crowell and infused with melodious chords, the song — entirely co-written by Merlo with powerhouse No. 1 hit songwriters — delivers the all-too-familiar story of a steamy, budding romance that ends in intense heartbreak. Slide became the perfect segue into her release of “Same Car,” with the singer building her narrative and brand sharing stories from the female perspective. 

Following “Same Car,” the award-winning songwriter Madeline Merlo delivers her latest emotive track “Tim + Faith.” Infused with the warm feeling of everlasting love, the melodious ode pays homage to 90s Country music and the devoted marriage between country music icons, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.