Maple Ridge native Madeline Merlo released three new songs on April 24. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge country music star wins big on NBC

Madeline Merlo pitched original song to Grammy-winning band Lady Antebellum

Award winning country music artist Madeline Merlo has won big on the NBC hit television show Songland.

The Maple Ridge native appeared on the season two premiere episode that aired April 13 on Citytv where up-and-coming songwriters, pitch an original number to chart-topping artists in the hopes that it will be chosen to be recorded by that guest artist.

Merlo was only told by the casting director that she made it onto the show at the very last minute.

The show reached out to her last year for season one. She submitted songs but didn’t hear anything back.

Then when season two rolled around they asked her if she had written any new country songs. She submitted a song she had only written three days prior, but still didn’t hear anything back.

READ MORE: Madeline Merlo raises $10,000 for Food Banks Canada

Finally she received a call in January saying congratulations, you made it on the show, your flight is tomorrow at 6 a.m.

In the episode Merlo pitched a song she originally titled I’ll Drink To That to the Grammy award winning country pop band Lady Antebellum.

“It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” said Merlo from her home in Nashville where she has been living for more than two years.

Then she re-wrote the song with songwriter Shane McAnally, one of the producers of the show, to fit Lady Antebellum’s style and re-pitched the song.

The new version she called Champagne Night has since been released by Lady Antebellum and has topped American music charts.

READ MORE: Country music star Madeline Merlo shares her ‘experience’ with Nashville tornado

Merlo has also just released three new songs: Kiss Kiss; If You Never Broke My Heart and It Didn’t.

The lead single Kiss Kiss was released to Canadian country radio.

“All three songs serve a different purpose,” said Merlo, noting that all three songs tell a different story about heartbreak and healing.

Kiss Kiss is essentially about two broken-hearted people comforting each other”, a song that Merlo hopes fans will be able to “jam out to in the summer”.

If You Never Broke My Heart is like a page out of her diary, said the artist.

“It’s really a story-teller. It’s about closure. It’s about perspective. It’s about kind of being in the middle of a heartbreak and looking at what you’ve learned and how it’s kind of set the bar,” she explained.

However, Merlo is most excited about her new single called It Didn’t.

She says the song is about resilience.

“It was what it was; now it isn’t; I thought it would kill me; but it didn’t”, said Merlo reciting lyrics to the song.

“It feels like a celebration. It feels like a party,” she said, adding that the song is “honest” as it talks about a “really hard breakup” after which Merlo, “went through a really dark time and got out the other side of it”.

“I’m really proud of all three songs,” said the country music artist.

Merlo attributes her move to Nashville for her recent successes.

“My decision to move to Nashville was to be the best songwriter that I could be,” said Merlo.

“The best writers in country music live in Nashville. So I had to move here,” she added.

Now, the country music artist feels that the bar for what I thinks is like what a good line is or a good melody is much higher than before.

Kiss Kiss, If You Never Broke My Heart and It Didn’t are available across all digital platforms.

Songland airs on Citytv in Canada where the episode featuring Merlo can be viewed, season two, episode 1.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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