Category Archives: Life

Maddy Rodriguez playing in Port Coquitlam

It’s been a good summer. I’ve been writing and playing as I work towards a move to Nashville

Maddy Rodriguez playing in Port Coquitlam

Playing in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

It's been a good summer.  

Playing in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

It’s been a good summer.  I played about 16 shows, from small ones for about 20 people, to impromptu busking sessions in downtown Toronto, to several private shows for the guests of the Via Rail train “The Canadian” (a trip that goes across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto - I was the ‘artist on board'), to a headliner spot for the City of Port Coquitlam’s Summer in The City festival, to a show at a summer camp for over 200 teens. That one was awesome! So many thanks to Centauri Arts Camp. I used to go there when I was little! You guys will always have a place in my heart! ...Besides performing, I shot material for a music video while I was on the amazing Via Rail train “The Canadian". Thanks to Via Rail and the crews. You guys rock! You made me feel so welcome and so appreciated. It was such a pleasure to play for you and all the guests whilst enjoying the beautiful Canadian views. I’ll never forget witnessing the Rocky Mountains pass by through those panoramic windows… I made many new fans and friends, and for that I am so grateful. And I must say, the food on board was DEEELICIOUS!

Maddy at Centauri 2014

Playing to 200+ kids at Centauri Arts Camp 2014

Playing to 200+ kids at Centauri Arts Camp 2014

Now, as the summer comes to an end, I am writing, writing, writing! Lots of new songs in the oven! I’ve also been working hard at my part-time job to save money to move to Nashville for 6 months (January - June 2015). It’s a long journey and there are many bumps in the road and the mountain at the end of the journey is really big (insert more metaphors here)! …Basically, this dream of mine is crazy. As a songwriter and artist, the odds are stacked against you! There’s just so much competition. But when it’s in your heart, it’s in your heart. I love what I do and I love the difficulty of it. There’s a certain excitement, a certain magical fire that fills you up when you try to achieve something that’s nearly impossible to achieve! …I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know if my dreams will pan out. But do any of us? Life is weird and unpredictable and all you can do is work hard, enjoy the Now and strive to make the most of what you’ve got! Well I haven’t GOT a lot of money - no big budgets for videos or million dollar recordings, no money for radio promotion (did you know it costs a ton of $$$ to get your song played on radio - even the big stars have to pay a 'radio promoter / tracker' whose job is to persuade the programmers to play the song). I haven’t got a major label deal or a #1 song on Country radio. But I’ve got passion, talent, and a love for songwriting. I’ve got little victories like my songwriting awards, and successful youtube videos like my cover of Some Nights. I’ve got many opportunities to travel and write with other writers, meet with people in the business, and play shows. Opportunities that many people would love to have, but don’t. And I’VE GOT YOU GUYS. My little fan-ily (get it? fans? family? = Fan-ily) …All of you who have listened to my music over the last few years and shown your support online or in person. I am thankful for the encouragement you’ve given me. Can’t thank you enough for enjoying my songs, for your likes and comments, for believing in me… Here’s to a great summer and here’s to what’s next! xoxoxxx

Maddy Rodriguez Via Rail 2014

A photo from my Via Rail train sessions 2014

 

 

 

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Eliza Doolittle and being somebody’s nobody

I've been listening to Eliza Doolittle a lot in the last couple days, have you heard of her? Usually I've got my country tunes playing in my room, but I love all kinds of music. Eliza Doolittle is such a fun artist. She's funky! And she's got this one song called "Nobody." The main line in the song is "What's wrong with being a nobody?" ...And yesterday, it really made me think. I mean, it made me think some reallyyy big thoughts. I started to question everything about the way we live in Western society - why is it so important to be the best? Why is it so important to be a somebody? Why is it so important to be called "important"? Everybody is a somebody, from the moment they're born. You are special just by being you. But we've convinced ourselves that just being who we are is not enough. Just living isn't enough. You have to be somebody!  And then we make ourselves feel bad for being nobodies.

In the end we're all going to get old, and spend our time sitting in rocking chairs, and reading the newspaper, and then we'll all leave this Earth. And what's the point of it all? Why were we here? We were here to live. To live. Living means trying sushi even if you're 99.9% sure you'll hate it, and going bowling with your friends, and getting through your job from 9am to 5pm so that you can have dinner with your family, and asking that guy / girl out even if you might get rejected, and standing up to the bully at work or school, and training for the marathon when they said you wouldn't be able to walk again, and falling for that boy / girl on your family cruise, and carving a pumpkin with your Mom even though you're too old for it, and dancing your legs off in the nose-bleed section of the concert, and singing songs with your best friends in the car, and getting your heart broken and getting back up from the fall, and writing a rap just because you can, and growing up to be able to tell your grandkids about all these beautiful experiences. Life is tough but it's still wonderful. What's wrong with being a "nobody" as long as you're somebody's nobody? Does that make sense? What I'm trying to say is that there are most likely people in your life or a person in your life who thinks you're special, who loves you. And that makes you just as important as anyone. We should stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to be somebodies. If you live, and you love, and are loved back, you already are important!

hugs and besos,

Maddy Rodriguez

 

 

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Successes and GO-ALS

So, in my New Year's blog post I gave y'all an idea: to write down all the memorable things you did or accomplished in 2011 (because it'd make you feel good about your lovely self)... Well, this week, I started participating in a blogfest/challenge with fellow songwriteres from the Songwriters Association of Canada and uber publicist Ariel Hyatt, and I learned a new thingie that also makes you feel good about yourself. Basically, you take 5 minutes at the end of the day to write down 5 successes you had that day.  If you're an extremely fast thinker & writer-downer you might just take 5 seconds. You do this every day for a whole entire year. It's great for artists because it trains you to focus on the positive things you achieve, whether it's a good performance or a genius lyric idea... instead of beating yourself up on what you did wrong, or worse, what you didn't do at all. But this is truly valuable for anybody. We could all use more positivity and recognizing your daily successes really helps.

 

Here's the list I wrote yesterday:

  • Finished a verse for anew song
  • Made dinner for myself - fried kale & mushrooms & couscous... A little dry, but overall quite delicious
  • Invented a quote: "Don't complain because the food is dry. Give thanks because the food is there." and then I tweeted it ;)
  • Perfected a guitar part for one of my songs
  • Wrote a nice blog post
 
You know what will be fun? Reading all of these lists on the last day of 2012. Hey!! Then you won't have to struggle to remember everything you did. See? this is wonderful, don't you think? I do. 
 
Another good thing is writing down your goals. Obvioulsy. Without goals, your chances of accomplishing your dreams, whether they're big or small, are not as good. That's why they're called GO-ALS, they help you GO and make things happen. I don't know about you but I couldn't live without my to-do lists. It does stress me out though, to come up with goals for an entire year, or my whole life. I guess you could say my bucket list is like a giant list of random goals, so at least I've got that. But in terms of concrete things I want to accomplish in 2012, I don't normally think past next week. So even though it was a little overwhelming, today I challenged myself to put goals into categories (thanks Ariel).
 
Here are some:
 
 
Music career goals for 2012:
 
  • Write at least 20 new songs
  • Release my debut album, "Don't Be a Stranger" in March and bug my best friends to tell all of their friends to tell all of their friends to tell all of their friends to buy it (let's get it on the charts!)
  • Get my first single "Don't Play With My Heart" into the top 10 in Canada
  • Become good at Photoshop so that I can design my own graphics
 
General goals for me & the fam this year:
 
  • Learn how to make Paella (a really complicated Spanish dish..but so yummy
  • Make my Dad quit smoking by March
  • Join a gym this month, in addition to the Tae Kwon Do gym...for strength training
  • Do something special for the Sick Kids Foundation like go there to play a set for the children (I used to be more involved with them when I was younger)
 
Lifetime Goals (taken from my bucket list:
 
  • Be an artist on The Ellen Degeneres show withing 2 years
  • Play at Madison Square Garden (because my name is actually Madison) by my 25th birthday
  • Write & record a seriously awesome rap
  • Write a cookbook by the time I'm 40
-
Your more-positive-and-more-organized-than-yesterday friend,
Maddy Rodriguez
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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

 

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Autumn air and Avril Lavigne

Fall colours in OntarioDue to my nasty cold that keeps lingering, I've been cooped up in my house recently and I haven't been going out very much. I also haven't been very busy because I finished recording a while ago and now we're in a waiting period (waiting to release the album, waiting to play more shows). And the combination of being sick plus not being very busy brings me down. Do you know what I mean? Do you ever feel low because your mind isn't occupied enough, and you're stuck in you house going over all the things that are wrong in your life?... Well that's how I was feeling yesterday, but then in the afternoon I went out of the house to go to work and noticed immediately that it was gorgeous outside! All of a sudden it was Fall! I loooove Fall! I love the colours (especially orange). I love the temperature. I love the wind. I love the leaves on the ground. So today I went to the park and took in some more Autumn air and walked around till my toes started to freeze (I didn't have warm enough socks - I should know better - always wear warm fuzzy socks!). Anyway, I started to think about the fact that you can go a long time without even noticing the bigger picture. You can be so caught up in your own sucky world, that you don't see that the real world around you is looking pretty beautiful. That's my inspirational thought of the day. If you're like me, maybe you needed it.

On a completely different note, I felt like telling you about my new favourite song. It's "Wish You Were Here" by Avril Lavigne. I've always had mixed feelings about Avril. You know those crazy fans she had when she started? - the 5th graders who wore ties on top of their T-shirts, and idolized the skater boy image?...that wan't me. I was super duper girly. Haha. So I was never a huge fan. But I always respected her talent! (And her song "Girlfriend" was my jam in like grade 7). This song, "Wish You Were Here,"  has made me a TRUE fan though! Her performance in the video is stellar - so heart wrenching...I think it's one of the realest songs/videos out there today. Love you Avril! Canadians represent!

Love your Autumn-loving friend,

Maddy

 

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