Catching Up with Madeline Merlo: Live in Toronto

If you’re looking for a great way to introduce yourself to the country music fans in Canada, there’s not much better way than winning a major award on the biggest night of the year.

And while it might not be what Madeline Merlo had planned, that’s what happened at the 2015 CCMAs when her named was announced as the winner of the Rising Star Award.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix-0031We sat down with Madeline before she hit the stage at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto with Jess Moskaluke, The Lovelocks, Jesse Labelle, Eric Ethridge, Dani Strong, and Sykamore for a little pre-holiday country extravaganza to talk about her big year, honey flavoured whiskey, what’s coming up in 2016, and what she wants for Christmas this year.

The first thing we asked about was Madeline’s recent addition to the Spotify Canada Spotlight on 2016 list… she told us that she was (and still is) super excited to be on the list, and to be the only country artist included is just a little bit sweeter and rewarding. It’s a cap on what Ms. Merlo calls “the greatest year of my life”, and also one of the busiest.

Next we backtracked to Sunday, September 13 when Madeline sat in the audience at the CCMA Awards in Halifax and heard her name read along with the other nominees in the Rising Star Award category. She tells us that she didn’t expect to win. Didn’t have anything prepared, and really was just enjoying taking in her first CCMA experience. And then it happened… her name was read, she stood up, made her way to the stage, and did her very best to get through her speech.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix-9999We asked what it felt like, and in one word she described the moment as a blur.

We also asked how long it took to sink in, and with little surprise Madeline told us that it was a few days before she really had a grasp on it all. She would wake up and kind of ask herself if it had really happened… and she got to tell herself yes every time.

The last question we asked about 2015 centred on her time on tour with Paul Brandt and Dean Brody. Here are the highlights as described by Madeline…

▸ Watching Paul and Dean up on stage killing it every night. Just seeing them do what they do, connecting with the crowd and putting on a great show.
▸ Experiencing such a professional and fun tour as her first big one. Extra bonus: The Candy Table!
▸ Puppies! Yup, the SPCA brought itty bitty puppies to every venue and before every show Madeline and everyone else got to snuggle up to some adorable little balls of fur for some love.
▸ Performing for new fans. Coming from BC to play Ontario dates on the tour meant new faces in the crowd every night. And it also meant new country music fans to win over. By all accounts, she did.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix alternate crop-0039After all of our looking back at 2015, we started asking about what’s coming in 2016. There’s a bunch!

Coming up in April 2016, Madeline will release her first full length album. It’s a record 2 years in the making, which has her very excited. But she’s not done tinkering just yet. Songs are ready, but before she’s done, Madeline will be heading to Nashville to write and record a couple more in hopes of capturing the moment she’s living in right now. Together with the songs that got her to where she is now, it should be a great ride of a record, covering her experience and growth.

Also coming up in the spring (tentatively) is the release of Country Crush, a movie Madeline acted in along side Jana Kramer and Sophie Simmons. It was a great experience she tells us. Not necessarily something she planned, but something she’s very glad she did. PLUS, it’s a country musical, so we’re excited to see it and sing along too.

The last 2016 question we threw was about other people’s music, asking if there are any artists she’s looking forward to hearing from. Her top two answers: Miranda Lambert (she can’t wait to hear what she has to say after everything that’s gone on in her life. Neither can we) and Chris Stapleton who wowed the world at the CMA Awards in November.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix-6663Just before we let Madeline escape to eat some dinner and get ready for the stage we asked three more questions, just for fun.

1) If you could pick any Canadian country artist to duet with, who would you choose.
This always seems to be a hard question for artists to answer (because they can’t choose), but Madeline did give us two names at the top of her list… Dean Brody (who she shares a producer with, and loves as an artist with a great sound) and Dallas Smith, who has been named more often than any other artist when we ask this question.

2) What are you most excited to get for Christmas this year?
There’s nothing big on the list this year, but when we started talking about the essentials that her mom wraps up under the tree there was a smile on her face. Sometimes it really is the little things 🙂

3) Do you have an open bottle of Honey Jack at home?
The answer, yes! In fact, with the success of her Honey Jack single, Madeline has received bottles of Honey Jack Daniels from family and friends to celebrate. She’s not complaining, but we do agree with her that it can seem to go down a little to smooth.

Thanks to Madeline for sitting down. We can’t wait to do it again – and check out the full show review from the Bright Lights, Big Country show for more info from the night and photos!

Be awesome!

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

Catching Up with Madeline Merlo: Live in Toronto

If you’re looking for a great way to introduce yourself to the country music fans in Canada, there’s not much better way than winning a major award on the biggest night of the year.

And while it might not be what Madeline Merlo had planned, that’s what happened at the 2015 CCMAs when her named was announced as the winner of the Rising Star Award.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix-0031We sat down with Madeline before she hit the stage at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto with Jess Moskaluke, The Lovelocks, Jesse Labelle, Eric Ethridge, Dani Strong, and Sykamore for a little pre-holiday country extravaganza to talk about her big year, honey flavoured whiskey, what’s coming up in 2016, and what she wants for Christmas this year.

The first thing we asked about was Madeline’s recent addition to the Spotify Canada Spotlight on 2016 list… she told us that she was (and still is) super excited to be on the list, and to be the only country artist included is just a little bit sweeter and rewarding. It’s a cap on what Ms. Merlo calls “the greatest year of my life”, and also one of the busiest.

Next we backtracked to Sunday, September 13 when Madeline sat in the audience at the CCMA Awards in Halifax and heard her name read along with the other nominees in the Rising Star Award category. She tells us that she didn’t expect to win. Didn’t have anything prepared, and really was just enjoying taking in her first CCMA experience. And then it happened… her name was read, she stood up, made her way to the stage, and did her very best to get through her speech.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix-9999We asked what it felt like, and in one word she described the moment as a blur.

We also asked how long it took to sink in, and with little surprise Madeline told us that it was a few days before she really had a grasp on it all. She would wake up and kind of ask herself if it had really happened… and she got to tell herself yes every time.

The last question we asked about 2015 centred on her time on tour with Paul Brandt and Dean Brody. Here are the highlights as described by Madeline…

▸ Watching Paul and Dean up on stage killing it every night. Just seeing them do what they do, connecting with the crowd and putting on a great show.
▸ Experiencing such a professional and fun tour as her first big one. Extra bonus: The Candy Table!
▸ Puppies! Yup, the SPCA brought itty bitty puppies to every venue and before every show Madeline and everyone else got to snuggle up to some adorable little balls of fur for some love.
▸ Performing for new fans. Coming from BC to play Ontario dates on the tour meant new faces in the crowd every night. And it also meant new country music fans to win over. By all accounts, she did.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix alternate crop-0039After all of our looking back at 2015, we started asking about what’s coming in 2016. There’s a bunch!

Coming up in April 2016, Madeline will release her first full length album. It’s a record 2 years in the making, which has her very excited. But she’s not done tinkering just yet. Songs are ready, but before she’s done, Madeline will be heading to Nashville to write and record a couple more in hopes of capturing the moment she’s living in right now. Together with the songs that got her to where she is now, it should be a great ride of a record, covering her experience and growth.

Also coming up in the spring (tentatively) is the release of Country Crush, a movie Madeline acted in along side Jana Kramer and Sophie Simmons. It was a great experience she tells us. Not necessarily something she planned, but something she’s very glad she did. PLUS, it’s a country musical, so we’re excited to see it and sing along too.

The last 2016 question we threw was about other people’s music, asking if there are any artists she’s looking forward to hearing from. Her top two answers: Miranda Lambert (she can’t wait to hear what she has to say after everything that’s gone on in her life. Neither can we) and Chris Stapleton who wowed the world at the CMA Awards in November.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix-6663Just before we let Madeline escape to eat some dinner and get ready for the stage we asked three more questions, just for fun.

1) If you could pick any Canadian country artist to duet with, who would you choose.
This always seems to be a hard question for artists to answer (because they can’t choose), but Madeline did give us two names at the top of her list… Dean Brody (who she shares a producer with, and loves as an artist with a great sound) and Dallas Smith, who has been named more often than any other artist when we ask this question.

2) What are you most excited to get for Christmas this year?
There’s nothing big on the list this year, but when we started talking about the essentials that her mom wraps up under the tree there was a smile on her face. Sometimes it really is the little things 🙂

3) Do you have an open bottle of Honey Jack at home?
The answer, yes! In fact, with the success of her Honey Jack single, Madeline has received bottles of Honey Jack Daniels from family and friends to celebrate. She’s not complaining, but we do agree with her that it can seem to go down a little to smooth.

Thanks to Madeline for sitting down. We can’t wait to do it again – and check out the full show review from the Bright Lights, Big Country show for more info from the night and photos!

Be awesome!

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