Madeline Merlo: I feel more inspired than ever. I felt a great deal of pressure with the first record and now I am really loving taking my time figuring out exactly what my sound is. These past couple years have been such roller coasters and constantly changing, I can only expect the same from 2017.
Two years after “Sinking Like A Stone,” you finally released your debut record! What were the emotions that came along with finally having a full length album out?
It took some time to get the music right so there was a great deal of relief involved. I felt like it was never good enough or completed for so long. Eventually you just have to set a date and wrap up that season of your life. I am so proud of my journey and every song on my record represents that.
“War Paint” is such an important song, as it tells people that they don’t have to be strong all of the time. This idea is told in such an interesting way. How did the specific idea of ‘war paint’ in regards to this topic make its way into the writing room?
"War Paint" was a concept that I had that came from a “what I wish I would’ve said / done” moment. I had a friend suffer with her mental health in silence and ended up taking her life when I was 17. "War Paint" is about letting someone know that you are there and willing to fight for them. To me, it's the most important piece of music I’ve got and the song my fans are most connected too.
Do you have a favorite song on Free Soul?
"War Paint" or "Sinking Like A Stone"
Which song of yours is the most fun to perform live?
Currently I am loving performing my new single "Motel Flamingo"; it's so much fun to sing!
“Motel Flamingo” is so fun! Why did you select this song to be the first single after your debut album?
"Motel" was a song that just stood out to me. I love the picture that it paints lyrically and the vintage 70s vibe it has sonically. I have been really inspired by that decade and I think this song just fits where I am creatively in this moment.
How is the new music you’ve been working on different from Free Soul, and how is it similar?
I think with a debut album it has to be more introductory and set the tone for you as an artist. With the following projects I think you can be a bit more specific creatively and experiment a little more. I am excited for that journey all while keeping to the vibe that Free Soul set. I am a vocalist first and for most so my music will always be vocal heavy.
What are your upcoming plans regarding music, touring, and any other endeavors?
Looking forward to a busy summer filled with shows! Planning on planting some roots in Nashville in the fall and hopefully jump on another tour sometime soon!
Finally, what impact do you hope to have on country music throughout your career?
I feel like I would love to impact country music in an emotional way. I’d love for my legacy to be about having music that was authentic and performances filled with passion.
Catch Madeline Merlo at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 8.