Long-time P.E.I. bed and breakfast owner recalls life-long fighting ...
Peers Alliance set to host annual poetry slam and have some wacky fun ...
UPEI student to share her experiences as an out, queer woman in China
Making East Coast workplaces more inclusive for LGBTQ2+ community
Have you heard about the SaltWire News app?
Visit SaltWire.com for more of the stories you want.
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
What you need to know about COVID-19: July 31
Get the latest summer forecast and weather knowledge from Cindy Day
She’s not yet in high school, but 15-year-old Madeline Salter of St. John’s has already released her first studio-produced, self-titled EP.
Featuring seven songs co-written by former "Canadian Idol" judge and vocal coach Zack Werner, the EP is the result of a couple years of searching for her sound.
“Singing other people’s songs is fun but there’s something more personal about having my own,” said Salter, whose stage name is simply Madeline.
She’s been singing since she was five years old, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she hasn’t had too many opportunities to perform her new songs. The few times she has, there was an added pressure.
“I’ve never really been afraid of the judgment of other people, but for some reason, going up and performing my own songs was just more nerve-wracking,” she said.
“I’ve worked so much on these songs and they’ve been a part of my life for almost three years now.” — Madeline Salter
However, the confidence on display in the video for her song "Vain," released on July 17, tells a different story.
In it, she sits across from a mannequin and sometimes stares straight into the camera at the viewer, as she shrugs off a selfie culture with a look that’s both composed and slightly annoyed.
“There is something more useful than asking what the mirror thinks,” she sings over a synthesized bass which slithers around a familiar progression in a car-shaking low register. The whole song is carried by a four-on-the-floor disco beat. Synthesized strings enter but are cut short just before the chorus, where everything stops but for voice and piano chords like high-tuned bells. All of these sounds and a harmonized "‘sha-la-la-la" backing vocal come back in for the chorus.
“I’ve worked so much on these songs and they’ve been a part of my life for almost three years now,” Salter said.
Werner was a vocal coach to Salter for several years when he took on the role of co-writer and record producer.
“I’m very cautious … when people want to record unless I really feel like this is the time to take that step forward in your life from being someone who performs at youth open-mikes … to showing who they are as an artist,” Werner said. “But there was little question that Madeline had a real commitment to what she wanted to accomplish.”
It was important for Salter to get involved in the process, not just as a singer, but purely as an artist, and Werner wanted to be able to open those doors for her.
“(She wanted) to be seen as somebody to be respected as an artist of quality who had a unique voice and unique vision,” he said. “Those things are what I look for and I had to respect her integrity and commitment.”
For Salter, putting her own music out into the world and letting her thoughts and emotions be known by the listener was surprisingly gratifying.
“The support from other people, it’s just crazy,” she said. “I love to see the comments and how many people relate to the music.”
Madeline’s self-titled EP was released online on July 30 and can be streamed for free on SoundCloud.