Singer-songwriter Madeline Merlo has just released her debut album, Free Soul. Her country single “Whatcha Wanna Do About It” recently hit CMT’s Top 20 Country Music Chart. Madeline won some major awards in 2015 (CCMA Rising Star and BCCMA Female Vocalist of the Year) and Spotify just selected her as one of 16 New Artists To Watch for their “Spotlight on 16” program. Madeline just moved to Toronto. We caught up with her this week.

SDTC: What spaces in Toronto do you love?

MM: Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Beaches and the Distillery District!

What aisle do you spend the most time in at the grocery store?

The fruit and produce aisle!

What would you do with a million bucks?

Take my whole family on vacation, buy a big truck and donate to the Fort Mac wildfire relief!

The receipts in your wallet would indicate what?

I like to drink a lot of coffee.

What was your high school yearbook pet peeve?

Overhead lighting.

What would you do with your time if you didn’t work in music?

I would probably be doing something radical like working with Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd trying to preserve our wildlife!

What makes you happy?

My pooch.

What makes you cringe?

Wobbly tables.

What, in your opinion, is overrated?

Tim Horton’s coffee (except Iced Capps, those are the best).

Person you’d most like to meet?

Stevie Wonder or Dolly Parton.

What is the best thing you did all week?

Visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller!

Describe your perfect Saturday.

A hike, good company and a Caesar.

Describe the funniest thing you’ve ever witnessed.

Every day spent with my sister.

What word or phrase should we all use more?

“Here, I’ve got this.”