Dream comes true for teen
Music: Young country singer Maddison Krebs releases first album
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 10:28 am
An Okotoks teen is getting national recognition as a country singer-songwriter, a major accomplishment for someone who just turned 16.
Two days shy of her 16th birthday, Maddison Krebs sat in Calgary radio station Up! 97.7 recording two hit songs from her debut album “Your True Love,” released in December, which are now being played in vehicles and households across the region. Krebs wrote four of the five songs on the EP.
“I’ve always known that I was very different from other people,” said Krebs. “The majority of kids wanted to be a vet and stuff like that but I wanted to pursue music. I’ve known that since I was four.”
Krebs’ mom Cindy said it all began when her daughter was a toddler and they couldn’t understand what she was saying so they told her to sing it instead.
It quickly became apparent the youngster had a knack for singing and as the years progressed her natural talent blossomed.
“She loved singing to Barney,” said Cindy. “Any kids program that I could find on video that had singing in it she would stand there and sing those songs for hours.”
The family has video footage of a six-year-old Krebs playing her guitar and telling the audience about her dream to be a professional singer.
“She had this passion for music and telling stories,” she said. “I never pushed her, it was always self-driven.”
One might think Krebs’ talent was derived from genetics, but that was not the case.
Cindy said her daughter is the only one with musical talent in the family. Her three sons are high-level hockey players.
Krebs not only excelled at singing, she also showed natural talent on the guitar and piano. Just one year of piano lessons advanced Krebs to Grade 8 and before she reached her teen years she was recording her songs in her guitar teacher’s studio.
Krebs also became a regular performer at family events and weddings.
Even her teachers couldn’t ignore her natural talent. In fact, they put it to good use.
Shortly after the family moved to Okotoks Krebs’ Grade 5 teacher asked her to perform a solo during the Christmas concert. She was asked again during her Grade 6 moving up ceremony.
Four years later Krebs recorded her first album.
“It’s a pretty significant accomplishment to write those songs at 14 and record an album at 15,” she said.
Music is what Krebs has known all her life.
“I’m always writing,” Krebs said. “Even in my notebooks at school I’m writing little phrases down and putting it into my cell phone. Everyday I’m coming up with new ideas and writing it down. I even pick up my guitar and find new melodies.”
Krebs’ talent also sparked interest in the community. The teen performed at local events including the Winter Solstice Festival and with the Calgary Stampede’s The Young Canadians including a solo at the grandstand show singing a Patsy Klein song.
“At the grandstand there was 30,000 people a night,” she said. “That was such an honour to be a part of that.”
The Young Canadians performance helped Krebs identify her style as a country musician.
“I was trying to find out what kind of country I was,” she said. " I found after I did that solo people said I sounded like Patsy Klein.”
Despite her love for music, Krebs tries to balance her passion by spending time with her friends and participating in school activities. The Grade 10 student is a member of the Falcons cheer team and takes dance lessons.
“Staying involved with school activities and hanging out with friends is really good for me because I tend to just put myself in a room and play the guitar all the time and just write,” she said. “I need to stop myself sometimes and go socialize to stay sane.”
As for her future, Krebs said she’s just going along for the ride.
“I’m a person who really goes with the flow and the road has been really good so far,” she said. “I just kind of go wherever life takes me. There are a lot of new opportunities that will be coming and I’m going to make the best out of them and enjoy it.”
Among those opportunities is performing at Canadian Music Week in Toronto next month where Krebs will rub elbows with more than 1,000 artists, including Rihanna. There she will attend seminars on writing and the music industry.
Krebs said she couldn’t have made it as far or quickly as she has without the support of friends and family.
“People are very supportive about this whole thing and you just need that, especially at this age,” she said. “When something that awesome is happening you need those people to ground you and keep yourself intact.”