Maddisun is a happy camper. In every sense of the term. The up-and-coming small-town B.C. singer-songwriter loves being outdoors, claims she never gets angry, and only writes positive songs. Of course, you would already know some of that if you listened to her upbeat, self-assured and tellingly titled sophomore album Home Is Where The Music Is, which premiered right HERE last week. If you haven’t already checked it out, get on that. But not before you read her answers to my dumb questions. If they don’t burst her bubble of happiness, nothing will:
Introduce yourself: Name, age (feel free to lie), home base and any other details you’d care to share — height / weight / identifying marks / astrology sign / your choice.
Hi! I’m Maddisun. A musician/singer-songwriter from small-town Cranbrook, B.C. I write music that is true to my heart and soul. I wear my heart on my sleeve (I mean, I am a Pisces). I am so excited to have just released my new album Home Is Where The Music Is.
What is your musical origin story?
Music definitely runs through my veins. I come from a very musical family on both sides. My great-grandpa — who came to Canada from Italy — was a clarinet and piano performer/teacher. My dad and grandpa have both played in bands, and my grandpa was a fantastic songwriter. Both of my aunts are incredible country music singers. I basically grew up in this really wholesome surrounding of music. My dad, grandpa, and aunts would have countless nights of singing and playing around the campfire. I grew up doing this and have very fond memories of just connecting with music for the first time. It was quite special. It was undeniable, this thriving and yearning to pursue music. From the age of five, I was curious about guitar and piano and was put in lessons. Then school came, and I was in every single possible music-related course and activity. I’ve literally wanted to do music professionally since I was five and was first asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
What’s your latest project?
My new album Home Is Where The Music Is was released on Friday, Aug. 26. I travelled to Ireland to a songwriting retreat to get inspired to finish this album. In that time, I was invited out to Los Angeles to record with production team PSYSound (Chloe Chaidez & Nick Noto). The album is really mature for me sonically, and with the songwriting, I feel I have really grown. However, I am still staying true to my roots with this album. There are a lot of elements of my early days connecting to music, especially with the first song… it really connects to home, and you’ll have to listen to hear why!
What truly sets you apart from other artists?
I basically only write happy and positive songs. I don’t think I’ve ever truly been angry. I mean, life is hard and messed-up sometimes, not saying it’s easy, but I am incredibly optimistic and rarely ever get negative about music or the way things are going. I just power through with positivity. It tends to set me apart from other artists and makes me desirable to work with in the studio and with other creators.
How will my life improve by listening to your music?
Well, it’s going to make you really happy, very positive about your life, and inspired to charge forward and take a chance on yourself.
Tell us about the first song you wrote and / or the first gig you played.
I think I was 15. It was called Hopeful and it was the first time I started breaking the songs down into actual formulas (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) So it was a full and complete song. I worked on it for years, then recorded it and entered it in a competition to win a scholarship, and I won! You can still hear the song out there if you look hard enough.
What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you have given?
The most memorable performance to date was definitely the show I played at The Royal in Nelson. It was the first time I played with a full band. The energy in there was amazing and I was on fire with the band. I really got to let loose! It started this momentum for people in the community, knowing I played with a full band, and it opened up a lot of doors for me.
What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you’ve seen?
The best performance I’ve seen is James Taylor and Jackson Browne. I went this year, and was incredibly moved by the concert. Both artists were incredible, and it felt like I really saw a glimpse into what’s it like to be a performer and songwriting for basically your entire life. I cried when Jackson played Doctor My Eyes and my mom was with me. I cover this song all the time, so I really connected with that.
What living or dead artists would you like to collaborate with?
I really want to collaborate with Dolly Parton! She is so incredible and I’m very inspired by her. She writes in a very positive way, and if you watch interviews from her younger days, she never let anything get in her way, and always powered through as the strong female songwriter she is. I think we could write some amazing songs together. I even sent her some fan mail and my first album a couple years ago in hopes we could get in touch. Who knows!
What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
Heavy electronic music! I love dancing to deep house and drum & bass! I am from a small town in B.C., and something to do as teens/young adults was to go out to forest raves. Think hippies, big speakers, campfires, and dancing all night in the woods.
What words do you hope people use when they describe you?
Happy, inspiring, positive, uplifting, loyal, dedicated, unstoppable.
What useful (or useless) skills do you have outside of music?
I’m a pretty good house cleaner. I keep my house really clean. I consider this useful. I also am really good in the woods. I have been camping since I was like three weeks old (yes there are photos of me camping in the bush as a literal infant). I think it made me a lot less scared of life. I love it.
Who can you do an impression of?
I have a killer Shakira impression.
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a guitarist without a girlfriend? A bassist.
What do you collect?
Rings! Vintage jewelry.
If money was no object, where would you live?
Here in B.C., in a cabin on Kootenay Lake (with a huge studio and music space).
What are your pet peeves?
Unsolicited advice. People that take a really long time to text back.
What are you afraid of?
I’m really afraid of dying before I’m old and have done everything I want to do in life. It’s so irrational but anytime I get sick or hurt, I fear it’s the end of the world. I could be a hypochondriac, not confirmed though.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
Maddisun: Home Is Where The Music Is
What’s your motto?
“I am a star.” (In all serious non-seriousness)
What’s always in your refrigerator?
Frank’s RedHot Sauce.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
People-pleasing qualities that make it hard for me to say what I truly feel sometimes.
What’s the silliest thing you believed as a child?
I used to ask my Mom all day, “Where is Dad?” She would reply, “the moon.” I genuinely believed it and thought that was what he did for work.
What was your favourite class in school and why?
Well, music, of course! Band, choir, music composition, anything music-related. I also loved drama and theatre.
What’s the best and / or worst advice you were ever given?
The best advice I was ever given was to not chase, but to attract. This goes for so many things in life … success, money, love.