Thirsty Thursday Featuring Maddie Leigh
Thank you for chatting with us! For newer fans, how did your passion for music and career come about? I have always loved music. I was surrounded by it my whole life and I don’t remember there being a family gathering that did not have some sort of music playing. When I was younger, my grandpa was always singing and writing songs which he would always try to get my opinion on. I first started singing in choir at church when I was six years old. When I turned nine, I decided I wanted to sing at my school talent show so I began voice lessons and shortly after I started entering in singing competitions which led me to Nashville. The first time I got on stage in front of a group of people I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I’ve been doing it ever since.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs? I just hope that my music helps them through whatever they are going through at the time. I hope my songs help them feel understood when they feel like no-one else does, I hope it lifts them up when they are having a bad day, I hope it brings them even more joy on their best day. Music can change completely change the outlook on your day so my overall goal is to just help brighten every person who listens to my music’s day in whatever way they need it.
What’s your advice for young artists trying to establish a name for themselves? Especially young females that may see you as a role model. I know it sounds cheesy…but, never give up. Someone told me once that the only reason people do not make it in this industry is because they give up. Everyone’s timeline is different and if you just keep focused and continue believing in yourself and in your career, you will not fail. One of my professors in college put it perfectly, “no one else is watching the ‘you show,’ so you have to be”.
Who have been some of your biggest musical influences growing up and do the same artists currently continue to influence you now? Growing up, I was heavily influenced by George Strait, Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina, Brooks & Dunn, Carrie Underwood, and P!nk. I would most certainly say that all of these artists still influence me today, but that has grown to include artists such as Maddie & Tae, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Chris LeDoux.
Where do you draw inspiration from when writing?
I find inspiration through daily life. Sometimes on my walks around the neighborhood I find inspiration. I find it through the lives my friends and family, through strangers I see in passing or have brief interactions with. I find the inspiration within myself sometimes, as well as through my emotions and relationships. I just write about life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I tend to favor the good. J
What is an example of a menu you would prepare if I came over? So, for an appetizer we would have a charcuterie board and for our entrée, we would most likely be having either ribs or steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, some green beans, and a fruit salad. Then for dessert, we would have the options of Oreo balls (mashed up Oreos mixed with cream cheese and then dipped in melted chocolate. They are heavenly!) or New York style chocolate chip cookies.
If I was a bartender, what would you order? A lemon drop martini that barely tastes like alcohol. I’m a big fan of the “fru fru” drinks.
Most memorable meal while touring. Where were you and what did it involve? We were in Oregon on our way to our last stop of the tour when we pulled off to the side of the road next to a blackberry bush. Everyone got out of the bus and picked blackberries ‘till our hands were completely purple. The next day, before we opened for Jason Aldean at Oregon Jamboree, we made a blackberry cobbler together.
Was there ever music playing in the kitchen growing up? Always! It ranged from George Strait, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, and Brett Eldredge to Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, P!nk, and ACDC. It really just depended on who was in the kitchen at the time. But, no matter what was playing, we were always dancing and singing while my mom and dad were cooking dinner and my sisters and I were baking. We made our time in the kitchen feel like a party and it definitely made for some of the best memories.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? That’s a tough one. But, if I had to choose, I would say Jeni’s ice cream. I’m addicted to their darkest chocolate and there most definitely has been several occasions where I drove around to three different locations all across town just to get their ice cream.
Growing up in the small town of Temecula, CA, Maddie Leigh was raised with a strong foundation of family and faith. She and her two younger sisters grew up surrounded by horses, cats and dogs, cultivating her love for animals and the outdoors. Some of her fondest memories include catching fireflies, going camping and building bonfires.
Maddie Leigh discovered her love for music at a young age. As a child, Maddie loved to listen to country classics like George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill - all of which helped mold her into the musician she is today. She began singing in the church choir when she was just six years old. By the time she was nine, she was already taking voice lessons and competing in singing competitions. “The first time I got on stage in front of a group of people, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
Maddie’s large vocal range and unique sound set her apart from the crowd. Between 2016 and 2019, she released five original songs and two covers. She was named “Female Entertainer of the Year” in 2016 by NACMAI (North American Country Music Association International) and took second place for “Most Promising New Country Singer” and “Video of the Year (Wishing).” That same year, she was awarded “Female Entertainer of the Year,” “Most Promising New Country Vocalist,” “Future Star Entertainer,” and “Future Star Vocalist” by the West Coast Country Music Association.
Currently a senior at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, Maddie is studying songwriting and music business. She is a regular performer at Tootsies, Honky Tonk Central and Rippy’s Downtown. She has opened for national acts, including Jason Aldean and Tucker Beathard (25th Annual Oregon Jamboree), as well as Honey Country. She hopes to one day perform at both the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium, write a hit song for a major recording artist and record a duet with Brett Eldredge.
Adding a modern spin to traditional country music, Maddie takes inspiration from the likes of Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie and Tae, and Luke Combs – just to name a few. She plans to release new music in the Summer of 2022.
“I just hope that my music helps listeners with whatever they are going through at the moment,” Maddie explains. “I hope my songs help them feel understood. I hope it lifts them up when they are having a bad day and brings them even more joy on their best days. Music can completely change your outlook on things and my overall goal is to help brighten everyone’s day – in whatever way they need.”
In her spare time, you can find Maddie Leigh hiking, horseback riding, paddle boarding or boating on the lake.