Q & A: Maddie Corinne Invites us to Find the Humour in a Breakup With her Debut Single, “Salt”

Hailing from Pickering, ON and now calling Toronto home is Canadian singer/songwriter, Maddie Corinne.

Delving into the world of music at the age of 13, music has had a prominent place in her life from very early on. Now many years later, Corinne has released her debut single, “Salt”. Written by Corinne herself and produced by CMAO-nominated producer Shawn Moore, the tongue-in-cheek country song invites listeners to find the humour in a breakup.

Recently, I spoke with Corinne about her path to pursuing music, her debut single release and her involvement in Cuttable Music.

Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to pursue a career as an artist?

Maddie Corinne: I have always loved singing, and definitely always knew it was something I would enjoy long-term. I never really had an intention of making music a career, until I discovered that songwriting and lyricism are ALSO a full-time job. I was 13 when I heard “Teardrops On My Guitar” by Taylor Swift for the first time. That’s when I first considered the idea of writing my own songs. She is just such a damn good writer, even at such a young age…I really saw songs in a whole new light. I wrote my first song that same year (it was probably horrible. I don’t really remember it to be honest). Around that same time, I took guitar lessons and kept singing throughout my teen years. I’m also a huge music fan. Both of my parents worked in different areas of the industry, so I was always surrounded by different genres and amazing artists. It really gave me an appreciation for every single corner music explores and I try to bring that to the table in my own music.

I have always seen myself as a songwriter first. I love writing with other artists and watching them bring our songs to life. Of course, there are always songs that you keep to yourself with the possibility of releasing them one day. I was never really sure when that one day would be. When Shawn and I met, we dove headfirst into this project and now I can’t imagine doing it any other way! 

Kyla Pearson: To kick off 2022, you are releasing your latest single, “Salt”. The song speaks to how much more fun it is when you realize the person you broke up with wasn’t the right one for you. Can you tell us a bit more about the songwriting and recording process?

Maddie Corinne: I wrote this song by myself, in my room. Fairly quickly actually! Definitely, the most productive and rewarding solo write I had that year! It all happened so fast! I think it’s because it was a story I was very excited to tell. I am very passionate about having songs that resonate with people and I like my upbeat songs to have a comedic edge to them. I want people to hear me sing the lyrics and have a laugh! Whether that is through tongue-in-cheek lyricism, or finding a way to tell my more self-deprecating stories in a funnier “let’s all laugh together” sort of way.  My producer Shawn and I were in the process of picking songs for the project, so I finished the song that night and emailed him right away, basically saying…we HAVE to put this on. Thankfully he liked it just as much as I did, and the recording process to bring the song to life was so special. I am really thankful to have such an amazingly talented team of people who not only see my songs as something special but want to work hard to make them the best they can be. The process was productive but most importantly it was fun! At the heart of this song is the realization that you have come out on the other side of something, and I knew that if we brought that positivity to the surface throughout the recording process, the listeners would feel it too! 

Kyla Pearson: The song also has a clever play on words, especially when referring to the character’s ex as being “all salt and no margarita”. How did you come up with such a catchy, tongue-in-cheek line?

Maddie Corinne: I actually came up with the concept when I was at work – my day job is at a farm, and it was a really hot day in the summer and I kept saying that I was so excited to go home and have a margarita. I immediately thought of the hook “you’re all salt, no margarita” and thought it might be something funny to expand on, so I wrote it down in my notes. Because the salt is always the garnish, it isn’t REALLY necessary to enjoy the tequila inside. It makes it look pretty, it’s tasty, but it’s not the tequila.  At the same time, I was going through the discovery of realizing my last relationship was NOT the relationship for me. Although I was very sad about the break-up, I was coming out on the other side thinking “This person was not for me, and if we had stayed together I would not have been happy. Why was I so sad about it if I couldn’t picture us together long term?” That’s when the hook became a larger story I was so excited to tell. I don’t think it’s a point of view that is often considered, but I think it’s a point of view that many people have discovered on their own.  Everyone gets sad about a break-up, even if they know deep down that person wasn’t “THE ONE”. So by the time I was home from work I already had the full chorus in my head. I was so excited to finish the song, it was exactly what I was looking for in a fun, upbeat single. It had the perfect mix of confidence and comedy that I wanted to showcase to my listeners, and I think it is an excellent example of who I am as an artist and what you can expect from me! 

Kyla Pearson: Your melodic approach to country music blends comedy with 90s country, honkytonk grooves and a hint of pop– which can be compared to Midland’s Drinkin’ Problem & Mr. Lonely.  How would you say this sound helps you stand out as a contemporary artist in the genre?

Maddie Corinne: I am so happy you said this because I am a huge 90s country fan and I am so happy to see so many upcoming artists alongside myself who are bringing it back! I was very set on having just the right amount of camp found within the sound of “Salt” — I’m pretty sure I said to Shawn “not TOO MUCH hokey pokey, but just the RIGHT amount of hokey pokey” many, many times throughout the recording process. At the heart of the song is comedy and the blissful feeling of coming out on the other side of heartbreak, and I really wanted the melody to reflect that. I am so thankful to have such an incredible team who helped make this happen! I spent 3 days sitting on a couch doing LITERALLY nothing while Stu Weinberg created the most insane guitar pieces, and it really felt like they were pulled right from my head. Junior Riggan played bass on the track, and it feels like it carries the song with such awesome honky-tonk energy, I couldn’t be more thrilled with how the song came together that way. Of course, everyone who works with Shawn Moore is lucky because we get an amazing drummer lumped in with an amazing producer! Chris Hurst on the piano really brought the song to a new level that I didn’t expect — I think lots of country artists are nervous about travelling to that campier, fun-loving side, and throughout this process, I’ve always said “when it’s just the right amount, it’s magic, it makes people happy!” I think not being afraid of words like “camp”, “hokey”, and “honkytonk” are what helped me solidify my sound as an artist, and I think that will make me stand out as well. At least I hope so!

Featured: Official cover art for Maddie Corinne’s latest single,
Featured: Official cover art for Maddie Corinne’s latest single, “Salt”.
Kyla Pearson: According to you, what is the ideal setting to listen to the song, in order to fully experience it?

Maddie Corinne: I am such a nerd when it comes to finding the perfect atmosphere to listen to new music, so I love this question. It’s definitely not a song that you need to like, be alone in your bedroom with the lights off and a candle-lit type situation. I definitely recommend the car on a nice day, it’s very much a “dance with the windows down but also make sure you’re practicing road safety” type of vibe. When you’re going to get an iced coffee and go shopping, or something like that? Whenever you’re in a good mood. Or with your friends! Dancing and singing with people that make you happy is a great way to do it. 

Kyla Pearson: You’re also an active member of Cuttable, a platform that connects country songwriters and artists in order to promote collaboration and increase song cuts. How has being part of the Cuttable community impacted your growth and development as an artist?

Maddie Corinne: I owe…basically everything to Rich and Eli for creating such an amazing platform & welcoming me into it with open arms. Around the time they started Cuttable, I was going through a huge identity crisis over who I wanted to be as an artist. As I said, I was a songwriter first and foremost, with the idea of possibly working on my own project. That was basically all I had figured out when I joined Cuttable – I had no idea how much farther I wanted to go, or how much farther I could go until I was put in a zoom with so many inspiring people. That’s how I met Shawn Moore, my producer — we connected right away after my first meeting, Before I knew it, we were on cloud 9 about to start my first project! My project would not even be CLOSE to what it is now without Shawn, and I really owe it to Cuttable for making it happen so organically. It’s also how I met so many amazing artists who are now close friends and co-writers. It really is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and get those contacts – because that is a hard thing to do. It’s a really hard thing to say “hey, I make music sometimes and I think it’s pretty cool, let’s talk about it. Or let’s work together.” Rich and Eli have created an incredible community to do that — I don’t say it to them often, because it would be weird to just constantly be messaging them to say thank you, but I hope they know how much it has helped me, and so many other upcoming independent artists.

Kyla Pearson: Moving forward in 2022, what is one goal you hope to achieve by the end of the year?

Maddie Corinne: More than anything, I just want people to enjoy what I have to say through the songs I write. I want to offer them a perspective they might not have considered otherwise, but a perspective they can relate to. I want them to know it’s ok to find humour and happiness in your sad moments because doing so has helped me so much. If people listen to me overshare about getting dumped or making mistakes and think “wow, that’s a really cool way to write about it”, I’ve done my job. I mean, business and career-wise I would love to get some radio play for “Salt” because that song-child is so important to me. I would also love to have a cut as a songwriter, and I think that might be happening in the summer of 2022, but…I can’t say any more on that. Just know if it does happen, I achieved my goal! 

Kyla Pearson: Lastly, do you have any upcoming shows that fans can catch and hear you play “Salt” live?

Maddie Corinne: I am so, SO excited to be joining the lineup for Harmoniafest– hosted by the incredibly talented and hardworking Nicole Rayy. It is such an amazing, supportive and FUN festival she has created! So I am honoured that I get the chance to join a lineup full of talented women! That is on August 20th at Brooks Farms in Uxbridge, Ontario — I definitely recommend anyone who lives nearby to check it out! 

Listen to “Salt” now:

Stay up to Date With Maddie Corinne:

IG:@maddiecorinnemusic

FB: Maddie Corinne

Twitter: @maddiecorinne13

Spotify: Maddie Corinne

Apple Music: Maddie Corinne

Amazon Music: Maddie Corinne

Website: https://www.maddiecorinnemusic.com/

Works Cited:

Corinne, Maddie. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Mar 6 2022.

Unknown. “Featured: Canadian country singer/songwriter Maddie Corinne”. Photo courtesy of Maddie Corinne. Accessed Mar 22 2022.

Unknown. “Official cover art for Maddie Corinne’s latest single, ‘Salt’ ”. Photo courtesy of Maddie Corinne. Accessed Mar 6 2022.

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