Country newcomer Madeline Edwards has been in Nashville little more than one year, and she's already played on some of the genre's biggest stages, shared the spotlight with country's boldest names and accumulated accolades that people work a decade to achieve. Now, she's back with a new song and even newer video.
Written by Edwards, Courtlan Clement and Josh Moore, "Port City" is an emotional, autobiographical ode to an artist's tumultuous trek as she's trying to build a career.
"There's a lot of courage behind moving into new seasons of life," Edwards explained. "Mine was moving away from home with my husband to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a recording/touring artist. The journey, however, is not always a glamorous one. It can be filled with let-downs and stagnant creativity, but also filled with so much hope."
Edwards believes the song's new video portrays "the lingering hope" that artists cling to as they struggle through the early stages of their careers.
Director Greyson Welch opted to shoot the last scene first and tried to wring every drop of emotion out of Edwards by asking her to remember her home in Houston, Texas, and her move to Nashville. But, it was memories of her mother that tipped her over the edge.
"He looked me in the eyes and told me to remember my mom and who I was doing this for," she said. "I couldn't even recall when the camera started rolling from that moment on. But the tears came like a waterfall, and I remembered my sweet mama back home as I sang the song into the sunset."
The singer said Welch reminded her that "amongst all the recognition and accomplishments, at the end of the day, I do this for my family and to one day be able to take care of them the way they were able to take care of me."
When she saw the video, she was blown away.
"I had been following the director for quite some time via his videos for my dear friends Oh Jeremiah, and I knew that he and his incredible team would be able to bring this song to life through the video," she said. "After a long couple days of shooting, you always wonder things like, 'Was that actually good' or, 'Did we get what we really needed?' These thoughts kind of lingered on until I saw the final product. I absolutely knew that this perfectly captured the story of the song. I'm so proud of this video and the team that helped me get it to this place."
Edwards, one of CMT's Next Women of Country, hopes fans find the same hope in the song and video that she found while she was creating them.
"I love being able to be transparent about the difficulties of pain in life and how we all have hope in the midst of it," she said. "Too often, we are fed the polar opposites of either picture-perfect lives on social media and the internet or devastating news of pain and suffering all the time. I like to try and portray a balance of reality yet progress through faith and hope, and I believe my listeners/viewers will be able to feel that through this song and video."