It's hard to believe that Maddy Rodriguez is only 18. Her vocal and songwriting maturity are such that she was named the youngest winner ever in the US-based International Acoustic Music Awards Competition. Learn more about the Ontario, Canada-based singer-songwriter, what gets her out of bed in the morning and what breaks her heart (hint: one of these items starts with "b").
Why do you write?
Because I have to. Everybody has their own way of expressing what's inside of them. For me, it's writing.
Who/what are your musical inspirations?
Life, love, pain, people. And great artists like James Taylor, Elton John, Zac Brown, Taylor Swift and Shania Twain.
What gives you hope about the world?
What causes do you support – in your heart and/or with your actions?
The Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto (since I was a kid - I used to make crafts and sell them to raise funds for them) Ability Online - it's a wonderful organization. They created something like a Facebook social network for kids and young people with disabilities and some health conditions.
Free The Children - I went to a presentation by the Kielburger brothers and they do awesome work. I recently performed at an event for my university's Free The Children chapter.
What fills you with great joy?
Christmas. When I finish a song. Even more when I record it. And family & friends.
What breaks your heart?
Boys. Hahah! And sometimes the music business. It can be a brutal pursuit. But mostly, seeing children suffer.
Do you write and sing from joy and hope - or from fear/ anxiety/ need?
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The idea that "today" is full of possibilities.
What was your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
In my eyes, I didn't do very well at my very first important performance. I was 15 and I wasn't ready. I felt I let myself and everyone who believed in me down. But I realized I had 2 choices: work harder or give up. I chose to keep going and work hard, and here I am. I still struggle with nerves but I am much more confident than I used to be... It gets better everyday.
Do you meditate?
Not really. But I pray sometimes at night. I hope that one day I'll be more in touch with my spiritual side. For now, I'm to restless to sit and be still. Lol.
What word or phrase do you overuse in your lyrics?
Nothing comes to mind, really. I always obsess about my lyrics and make sure that I use a wide variety of words & phrases - sometimes it takes me days to get a verse right.
What are you most proud of about yourself?
Besides my songwriting talent, which I'm very proud of, I'd have to say I'm most proud of my strength and my ability to laugh at the disappointments in life.
What’s your favorite food?
This is the toughest question. Cheese. or mushrooms. or mashed potatos. or chocolate. KETTLE CORN.... I can't decide, haha.