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20 Questions with singer-songwriter Madeline Salter of St. John's

Madeline Salter, whose stage name is simply Madeline, is a 15-year-old pop singer from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Her first self-titled EP was released on July 30 and can be streamed online via SoundCloud. – Andrew Waterman/The Telegram
Madeline Salter, whose stage name is simply Madeline, is a 15-year-old pop singer from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Her first self-titled EP was released on July 30 and can be streamed online via SoundCloud. – Andrew Waterman/The Telegram

We have more queries than there are years in the life of this talented 15-year-old

She doesn’t know what, how or where, but it’s no question for Madeline Salter will work in the music industry after she finishes high school.

“I know that’s something I need to do,” she said. “Then again, I don’t know exactly where that’s going to take me yet.”

The fifteen-year-old, St. John’s-based pop singer, who goes simply by Madeline, released her first self-titled EP July 30. Her voice and performance are filled with the kind of determination and confidence rarely seen in someone who just graduated from junior high.

The seven songs that make up the EP were co-written and produced by former Canadian Idol judge and vocal coach, Zack Werner.

While they were written mostly on acoustic guitar, once the duo entered the studio, synthesizers, piano, electric drums, effected guitars and background vocals were layered over Madeline’s voice.


‪Listen to the full album on @SoundCloud ‬ ‪https://soundcloud.com/madeline-album #music #pop #singer #songwriter #PutYourHeartIn‬

Posted by Madeline on Thursday, July 30, 2020

Her love of singers like Avril Lavigne — a singer whose first commercial hit, Complicated, was released three years before Salter was born — is obvious in a song like “Put Your Heart In”. In the intro, a washy and slightly distorted guitar, sounding as if it is amplified but behind a closed door, is joined only by voice and a simple drumbeat. As the second verse cuts in, the door swings open, the guitar regains its full lustre and synthesized bass is thrown into this mix.

Salter’s mother, Lynn Hammond, said putting out an album during a pandemic isn’t ideal for her daughter, but they’re excited regardless.

“I’m very impressed with her efforts throughout it all,” she said. “I never had to push her to practise. It’s absolutely self-driven.”

@AndrewLWaterman


20 Questions

1. What is your full name?

Madeline Bridget Salter

2. Where and when were you born?

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, in 2005.

3. Where do you live today?

Still in St. John’s.

4. What’s your favourite place in the world?

I love going up to Northwest River in Labrador. A lot of my family is from up there and I think that it’s a really fun place to be. I like going up there for vacation, I just feel really free up there. It’s smaller than St. John’s (and) so I like going out by myself instead of having to be with (people) all the time.

5. Who do you follow on social media?

Mostly artists and influencers. I follow Selena Gomez because I love her. Pretty much anyone that inspires me to be myself or music-wise, anyone that is cool and interesting.

6. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I experienced a lot of bullying growing up. Many people don’t think that because of how confident I seem. But going through the later grades in elementary and also the beginning of junior high\were both really hard.

7. What’s been your favourite year and why?

Last year was a really great year for me. It was great, music-wise. I feel like I grew a lot that year and I experienced a lot of new things, especially with recording. Also, with performing as well… I performed a lot last year. Honestly, the majority of 2019 I spent in the studio, so I’d have to say that was really fun and I’d love to do it again.

8. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Going into school during the time I was bullied was really hard, especially Grades 7 and 8. I switched schools during that time. I actually moved across the city, so it was a lot of change with friends and all that type of stuff. Having to get up and go to school every day, because of the bullying and because of the changes, was all really hard.

9. Can you describe one experience that changed your life?

This album, honestly, has been one of the biggest changes in my life. I don’t think I fully understood what I was getting into when this all started. I knew that I wanted to come out with songs, I knew that I wanted to have my music. But really, putting myself out there like that, I guess I didn’t really think about it the same. I don’t regret it at all, it’s something that I’m really proud of. But it was a big change for me. And in the past few years, I’ve changed a lot as a person and also as an artist.

10. What’s your greatest indulgence?

Starbucks. I love Starbucks. They come out with new drinks all the time and the fruity ones are my favourite. I like the coffee drinks, too.

11. What is your favourite movie or book?

My favourite movies have always been Grown Ups and Mean Girls. But I also love Legally Blonde. I think that’s a really funny one and it’s also has a really good message. I haven’t read them in a while, but The Heroes of Olympus books (by Rick Riordan). The ones that are about goddesses and gods and stuff, I like those kinds of ideas.

12. How do you like to relax?

After a hard day, I’ll come home and play music and paint. I really like painting. It’s something that I picked up more recently. I’ve always been painting, but I kind of took a break from it for a few years and now I’m doing it again.

13. What are you reading or watching right now?

Right now, I’m watching That ‘70s Show on Netflix. A lot of my generation haven’t watched it as much, but my parents said it was a good show. My dad wanted me to watch it, so I started watching it.

14. What is your greatest fear?

Not experiencing life to the fullest. I’d say that my biggest fear is missing out and not doing everything that I want to do. Not seeing the world the way that I want to see it, or experiencing new (and) interesting things.

15. How would you describe your personal fashion statement?

It depends on the day. More edgy, brighter vibes when I’m singing or performing. But the average day I really wear leggings and hoodies a lot. It kind of depends on the day.

16. What music are listening to right now?

I listen to loads of music every day. When I’m getting ready I’m listening to music, when I’m about to leave the house I’m listening to music, when I’m in the car I’m listening to music. It depends on the mood. I have been listening to a bit more country recently, which is kind of odd, considering I don’t sing any country music. But I also listen to Alanis Morissette on the daily and Avril Lavigne almost every day.

17. What physical or personality trait are you most grateful to a parent for?

My mom is very hardworking and determined. So, I’d say I get my work ethic from her. That’s something that I’m really grateful for. Without that work ethic, I probably wouldn’t have the same amount of success or be able to come out with this album now, considering I’m 15. I’m not very old. Her work ethic is something that I really admire and I’m really grateful for.

18. What three people would join you for your dream dinner party?

I’d love to have a conversation with Avril Lavigne, Billie Eilish and Alanis Morissette. Even though they’re all very different artists, they’re all very talented and I think they have great ideas. Honestly, if they were to write a song, or we were to write a song together, I think that would be so awesome and so cool. I feel like it wouldn’t be like something anyone else has heard before. They all have this edgy, cool vibe, but they’re all very different.

19. What is your best quality, and what is your worst quality?

My best quality is my determination. I never take no for an answer, literally ever. But with that comes stubbornness. So, sometimes if I have my mind set on something, it’s hard to change what I think.

20. What’s your biggest regret?

I don’t really regret anything. I’ve made some mistakes because I’m so young and I’m obviously going to make mistakes. But everything I’ve done has led me to where I am today, so I am grateful for that.


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