For Maddie Leigh, music has always been a way of life. A fan of country music from a young age, her early singing lessons involved perfecting some of her favorite songs while at the same time learning to integrate the traditional country-western yodel into her vocal register. Today, Leigh’s versatile singing abilities and songwriting capabilities make her a rising star-to-watch in Nashville’s country music scene, and the latest addition to the Rhythm & Boots NYC #FridayFind clubhouse.
Growing up in Temecula, a Southern California town wedged between Los Angeles and San Diego, Leigh describes her childhood in the small military community as a place with kind-hearted people where her love for horses, fishing, and American pride flourished. A self-identified lover of both dogs and George Strait, Leigh recently moved to Nashville to continue pursuing her dream of being a professional country music singer-songwriter and following in the footsteps of some of her biggest heroes, none more so than Carrie Underwood.
“I absolutely love Carrie Underwood. She has been an artist that I have looked up to for as long as I can remember. She just seems like such a genuine person and of course her voice is incredible.”
With a pair of boots on her feet (either cowboy, knee-high, or ankle boots, she assures us!) and a guitar in hand, Leigh spends her time playing shows and jotting down lyrics and rhythms, both by herself and with friends and fellow songwriters. For her, the music she makes is always evolving, and moving to Nashville has made her fall in love with music even more. “[Nashville] challenges me and inspires me; I love that”, she says about her experience in Music City up until now.
Maddie Leigh’s “Wishing” music video from 2016.
As for her originals, her musical style is reminiscent of the current country landscape’s biggest names, flavored with the unique hint of her liberated yodeling. From light, poignant verses that float over acoustic tracks à la Underwood or Taylor Swift all the way to buoyant, driving choruses showcasing her unique ability to yodel, Leigh revives a past era of country music and positions herself apart from the rest.
Her latest single, “Boys Aren’t Like That Anymore”, is a confidently upbeat observation of modern relationships and the lyrics look fondly on chivalry of the past while carrying a tune fit for any region’s country radio. Her other release of 2018, “I’ll Fly Away”, is a cover version of the classic country tune and broadcasts her ability to effortlessly deliver her vocal range in comforting harmonies.
“I have a lot of great guy friends who are gentlemen and [“Boys Aren’t Like That Anymore”] is a good reminder that lots of girls appreciate the simple things a guy does. […As for songwriting,] sometimes I will come up with a chorus or a couple lines and bring that into a writing session with a group of writers and sometimes it’s nice to be able to write one by myself. It really just depends on the song.”
Looking both at the past and towards the future, Leigh admits to being thankful for the opportunities she has been given; she is extremely appreciative of both her family and especially her fans, who she describes as genuine, caring, and the best in the world. She adds: “The support I get from them when I release new music is truly incredible. When it comes down to putting together an EP, I think about some of my own experiences my fans might be able to relate to and get something out of as those are also some of my favorite songs to write.” Dedication and loyalty run strong throughout Leigh’s country fanbase, and those positive characteristics are reflected in Leigh herself as well.
“No matter where country music fans are across the United States, they are really proud of where they live and have an extreme love for their families. I feel like that is what makes the country music community feel so much like a family.”
Coming up for 2019, Maddie Leigh is working on writing and releasing her latest work. Proud to be collaborating with really amazing writers in Nashville, she is looking forward to continuing to deliver music to her fans while pursuing her blooming career as a country musician.
As she says, “Every circumstance, leads to an opportunity or to something new.” For Leigh, the circumstances are special, and she’s making the most of every opportunity that she is given.
Maddie Leigh’s rhythm & boots: I really love playing guitar and being a country girl at heart I always have a pair of boots whether it be cowboy boots, knee high boots, or ankle boots. I love them!