Category Archives: Holidays

So Long 2011and Hey There 2012!

My gosh. Can you believe it's2012? I can't. I'm still having trouble getting used to saying "twenty-eleven" or "twenty-twelve" or "twenty" anything. Before it was just "two thousand and eight" you know? Anyway my point is: time is passing by so quickly! At least it is for me. 2011 was an intense ride. I was signed to a music publishing company, Nettwerk One Publishing or NW1 (technically we signed at the end of 2010, but started working really in 2011). I also went to Nashville and wrote with some incredible songwriters (Anthony Smith, Alissa Moreno, Mark Selby and The Stellas). I recorded my debut album Don't Be a Stranger, I opened for one of my favourite Canadian duos: One More Girl, I endured grade 12 Calculus, I graduated from high school and said goodbye to a few of my best friends who went to university. I also started my first part time job and I worked with MuchMusic to create a documentary (called "Signed") about my experience with all of those things! Oh, and to end the year, I went on Holidays with my extended family - a rare thing - it was the best vacation ever!

It's funny...I didn't realize how much actually happened this year until I typed it out just now! You should write down everything you did in 2011 too. It'll probably surprise you. You'll be like: "Hey, I experienced some pretty cool things and achieved a lot more than I thought. Good for me!" ...or you'll be like "Man...I guess I didn't do that much. I feel crappy." Hopefully it's the first one. I truly don't mean to bum you out if it's the second one. But I'm sure it's not. You'd have to have sat on a couch the entire year to feel bad on New Year's. Even sitting on a couch could be something to be proud of if you had made a resolution the year before to sit on couches more often. I'm really digressing. I read Ellen Degeneres' book Seriously I'm Kidding over the Holidays, and her rambling is rubbing off on me.

Even though I had an amazing year, it was not easy by any means. The things I got to experience came with many challenges. For one thing, I had to manage school with all my music work, which, when you take calculus, is pretty difficult. I spent many days at the Coalition Music studios trying to fit in homework during breaks...Another huge challenge was money. The sad truth is that the music business is extremely competitive, and if you don't have a lot of money, you're at a disadvantage. Many people think that just because I'm a singer and I'm signed to a music publisher, that I'm rich somehow. I'm not. And there's so much to pay for! Hiring musicians costs money, studio time costs money, videos cost money, travelling costs money, instruments cost money, and even though I received a grant from FACTOR (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), for which I am so very grateful, making the album still cost us a load of money... the list goes on. It was tough dealing with this part of making music and it will continue to be hard - hopefully not forever. But despite the challenges, I'm very thankfull that I even have the chance to pursue music as a career. Some people, for whatever reason, don't have that chance at all. I am blessed to be able to work with talented writers, producers and musicians like Ryan Stewart, Greig Nori, Johnny Simmen, Josh Ramsay, Marc Ganetakos, Jeremy Kleynhans, Ryan Boisselle, Alan Kulka, Matt Brann, Chad Davis, Alex St. Kitts, Mike Cohen and Annabelle Chvostek. It's truly a blessing to have created such a wonderful album with these people - an album I am extremely proud of.

I am very happy to be starting a new year. It is most likely (at least hopefully) going to be even busier than 2011! That's because my album Don't Be a Stranger is coming out in March...the first single will be released this month of January! We're going to have a great CD release party / show which I hope you will attend (details coming soon). It would be magnificent with a capital M if I got to meet you in person.  The official release, I hope, will be early in March, the same month Canadian Music Week and Canadian Music Fest take place. I will be showcasing at CMW for the third year in a row! And of course, we'll be very busy promoting the album. I am so excited for the next 12 months. But I am most excited for you to listen to this album that I've had in my pocket for some time now (well, not actually in my pocket, but you know what I mean).

So it is with fondness that I say So Long to 2011, and with excitement that I say HEY THERE 2012! To you, my lovely friend, fan, listener: I wish that all your dreams come true in the New Year. I wish that you be blessed with adventure, love, friendship and the joy of music! Twenty - twelve, here we come!

Hugs and besos,

Maddy Rodriguez



Working at the gym and our Royal Caribbean cruise.

Besides working on my music, I've also been working a lot at the gym. It's am Taekwon Do gym actually (a dojang). Some people don't know this about me, but I'm a second degree black belt. I've never been one to go around telling people that, but my part time job is teaching at the gym. So I feel like I'm talking about it more recently. Hence, this blog post haha. Anyway, I feel really lucky to get to come here each day & work with people I've known since I was an 8 year old white belt. And now I'm teaching 8 year old white belts! It's really cool. Another great thing is all the instructors know my situation with music, so the hours are pretty flexible. Oh! And I get to work out for free. That is a very good thing considering I'm going on a cruise soon. Gotta look nice in my bikini :)

We're going on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship for the Holidays this year! I've never been away on Christmas (actually once we went to Mexico, when I was little) - I like being at home with the tree, and the snow outside and James Taylor's Holiday album on the stereo. That's why it wasn't my idea to go away (not too mention that starting a music career involves a lot of investment so it's not that we have lots of moolah). It was my Aunt's idea...she's turning 50 on Boxing Day! The big 5-0! My family never gets to see one another because my aunt & cousins live in Vancouver (my Grandma too). So my aunt decided to have her birthday celebration with the whole family on a cruise. It'll be weird, but I have to say: I'm very excited! I lobe water and sunshine! And most of all I can't wait to spend time with my extended family, which I never get to do!