Recent winner of Songland, Madeline Merlo became the first artist from the series to have their song hit radio following her win. The Canadian-born singer was chosen by country music trio, Lady Antebellum after presenting her song "I'll Drink To That" turned "Champagne Night." Merlo spoke exclusively with PopCulture.com about what it was like working with Lady A, as well as how they all went about shooting the song's music video following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
"They were unbelievable. They were so, so sweet, and all of them were songwriters as well, so presenting the song — immediately you see all three of them start to get to work and there's a moment where the three of them just bust out in perfect harmony singing and I'm about to cry," she said of Lady A, adding that the experience was "so insane." When the three decided to take "Champagne Night" to radio, Merlo recalls how the band included her in that exciting news by adding her to their Zoom call, which allowed her to be part of that special experience.
Since the pandemic has caused everyone in the United States to isolate themselves by quarantining inside of their homes, it's been hard to keep things moving on the business side of things. But that didn't stop the group from making a super fun music video to go along with their new song. "The director called me and was like, 'Hey, do you want to be in a Lady Antebellum video?' And I was like, 'Oh my gosh, yes! I would miss my own funeral for this,'" Merlo joked. "And then literally six minutes later he called me back, he's like, 'Okay, so the video is canceled.'"
However, he then relayed to the 26-year-old that they were going to figure out a way to still record a video — and so they did. Each person featured, shot a home video from their phone, sent it in and the editors got to work. Merlo recalls a "shining moment" when she shot her piece.
"We all sent in personal videos, and there's the part of me doing the walking down the stairs moment, which I'm very proud of my shining moment in the video," she said before adding that the video has a "personal" feel to it given the circumstance because it adds a sense of relatability. "I think what Lady A expressed when they said they wanted to take the song to radio now was, people need like, a little bit of light and need that positivity. And so that video kind of reminds you: We're all doing the same stuff in our homes together, [and] we're all in it together, and I think it's got a great message."
Just a few weeks after Merlo's Songland win, she also released three new songs for fans: "Kiss Kiss," "If You Never Broke My Heart" and "It Didn't." All three songs bring meaning to each other as she describes it as "a bit of a heartbreak kind of circle story" because it sheds light on the breakup process. "I'm so excited. I haven't released music in a minute and it's so wild. I think God's timing is so crazy because we were going to release at this time anyways before Songland was even a thing, and just the way that it all lined up ... I'm so grateful."
For more on Madeline Merlo, click here to visit her website, and keep it locked into PopCulture.com for more on country music, the latest news in entertainment, TV and movies. Follow @PopCulture.com on Twitter as well.