Each week we tune into The Launch (Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) to see aspiring singers audition for the chance to record a new original song and make it to the live performance, where a group of mentors tell them if their version of the song is being launched. Getting launched = dreams made. On this week’s episode, launched artist Maddie Storvold already saw her dreams come true when her audition turned into a duet with Bryan Adams. That’s what we call in the music business a two-for-one.
Adams was this week’s guest mentor and producer, bringing with him decades of experience and the beautiful ballad “Don’t Say You Love Me.” Rounding out the mentor group was music mogul Scott Borchetta and pop superstar Marie-Mai. The trio had a front row seat to Maddie Storvold’s incredible audition, as well as performances by busker Ben Cottrill, French folk singer Jordane, rock band The Faceplants, and gifted songwriter Nate Daviau.
The mentors selected Maddie and Nate to perform the original new song “Don’t Say You Love Me,” with both artists delivering beautiful renditions of the soaring ballad, but it was Maddie’s stunning range and captivating stage presence that got her launched.
Bryan Adams established himself as a huge fan of Maddie’s from her first note and we can see why. Here are seven reasons we all fangirled for Maddie Storvold.
WHEN SHE USED HER PLATFORM FOR GOOD
Before we heard a single note from Maddie, we were already fans. The Edmonton resident used her time on a nationally televised show to talk about her depression, saying that music has been huge in helping her find a healthy mental state. By speaking openly and honestly about her struggles with depression, Maddie is helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
WHEN SHE GAVE US SOME TEARDROPS ON MY GUITAR FLASHBACKS
We know that Scott Borchetta would have been a huge fan of Maddie regardless of how she looked, but we have a feeling he was getting some flashbacks to the early days of Taylor Swift’s career…and we know how well that worked out. “I saw something in her that is a spark,” said Scott. A spark and a whole lotta curls.
WHEN SHE WENT WITH A FOLK CLASSIC
Maddie paid homage to a folk classic by performing John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery,” a song choice that was applauded by the mentors. “I love it when the first sentence gets me super emotional and it’s not just the words, it’s her voice,” said Marie-Mai.
WHEN SHE SHARED THE MIC WITH BRYAN ADAMS
Maddie, who revealed that seeing Bryan Adams in Dubai was her first concert, got something much better than a ticket stub. Her audition prompted Adams to propose a duet, with the pair giving an impromptu performance of Adam’s 1998 hit with Mel C, “When You’re Gone.” Twenty years later and it’s still a jam. The pair went note for note, guitar string for guitar string. “She’s awesome. You’ve got something going on, girl,” said Bryan following the collaboration.
This is the face of someone who just found out they get to perform with their idol.
WHEN SHE MADE “DON’T SAY YOU LOVE ME” A MADDIE STORVOLD SONG
Taking a Bryan Adams song and making it your own is no easy feat. The Canadian icon has a trademark phrasing that has made his songs recognizable around the world, but Maddie was able to take Bryan’s comments and honour his vision while still making the song her own.
“I didn’t expect to grow so much as a vocalist,” said Maddie following her long and intense recording session. “He (Bryan) is really pushing me to go outside of my comfort zone as a vocalist. It’s really at the top of my range but I’m not feeling the struggle because it’s so much fun.” The end product was one that Adams was excited about. “From what I’ve seen from the covers she’s done, I believed it. She could make my song her song,” said Bryan.
WHEN SHE TOOK OFF HER GUITAR
We had some serious second-hand stress over Maddie’s decision to take off her guitar mid-performance, with mentor Marie-Mai pointing out that this move could throw off the performance. Thankfully, Maddie made the transition look seamless, earning her rockstar cred in the moment.
WHEN SHE FOUND HER POCKET
Backed by a full band and a string section (there are not nearly enough string sections in rock music), Maddie’s performance of “Don’t Say You Love Me” stunned the live audience and the mentors. “You wouldn’t know that this was the first time she ever performed your song,” said Scott “She found her pocket and she got into the moment.” Bryan, who entrusted his personal ballad to Maddie, agreed. “She made it her own song. Seeing her sing it tonight, it’s as if it’s her song.”
And how did Maddie feel? “I have literally never been more excited for anything in my entire life.”
So yeah, pretty awesome.
Make “Don’t Say You Love Me” your own song; put in on repeat:
New episodes of The Launch are available on Crave immediately following their broadcast debut every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.