At 15 Maddy Rodriguez was “discovered” at Toronto’s “SongStudio” songwriting workshop by songwriter and teacher Blair Packham, who subsequently introduced her to a few music industry veterans. At 16 she got a publishing administration deal with Nettwerk Music. At 17, with the support of Canada’s FACTOR, she recorded her debut album “Don’t Be a Stranger,” which she released in 2012. At 18 she was the youngest ever songwriter to win the Overall Grand Prize at the International Acoustic Music Awards with her song “All The Wasted Time.” She has also won the UK Songwriting contest (Country category) with the same song and she has also been a semi-finalist and finalist in the ISC and the John Lennon Songwriting competitions. Most recently she received an honorary mention from the USA Songwriting Competition for her song “Falling Up,” co-written with Andrea Wasse (EMI), Greig Nori (Nettwerk), and Josh Ramsay. “All The Wasted Time,” her most awarded song, has been playing on radio since April 2012.
When Maddy Rodriguez defines herself, she does so without hesitation, saying simply: “I write songs.” For the 19 year old Toronto-based singer/songwriter and recording artist, music means everything. “It’s life,” she adds.
On her debut independent record, Don’t Be A Stranger, Maddy shares her musical and personal life with a 12-song set of acoustic guitar based, country/pop that dwells on meeting every challenge and transition in life – large or small – head on and without regret. In fact, the title track, the final song written for the record, is about a major transition Rodriguez was making during the recording process, graduating from high school and saying goodbye to some of her closest friends. “For the title track to be a song dedicated to my friends was perfect. It sums up the record and where I was at that time in my life.”
The album reads like a scrapbook, each song a snapshot of the various challenges and triumphs she and her friends have experienced while growing up – from heartbreaks to mean girls to crushes to absent fathers. She may be very young, but Maddy’s take on love and loss is truly universal; a candid examination of situations we’ve all found ourselves in and of emotions felt just as deeply by young and old alike. While she doesn’t expect her songs to change the world, Maddy’s hopeful they’ll change one small part of it for those who hear them, if just for a moment, which is both the driving force behind Don’t be a Stranger, and the reason she began singing and writing in the first place.
Currently, Maddy continues to write and develop her sound. “My music is evolving,” she says. ”I wrote the songs on my record, during high-school, and I graduated in 2011. My newest songs are getting edgier and more grown up.”