Q+A with Pritchard Park Songwriter Series artist Maddie Shuler

Maddie Shuler, photo by John Shuler

Contributed by the Asheville Downtown Association:

It’s been nearly four years since singer and guitar player Maddie Shuler moved to Asheville from Boston. “I was attending Berklee College of Music and needed a break,” they recall. “I was only intending to be here for three months, but Asheville sucked me in! I love it here.”

After a year-long break from regular live performances, Shuler is getting back into music mode by collaborating with new musicians and “revamping my own music and the way I write and perform. … One project that I’m really excited about is a trio that I formed with two dear friends called Kismet.”

Shuler will perform as a soloist, as part of the Pritchard Park Songwriter Series, on Thursday, July 12, from 5-7 p.m.

Asheville Downtown Association: What topics have been appearing in your recent lyrics and why?

Maddie Shuler: This past summer, I broke my foot and tore the mid-foot ligament. Long story short, I couldn’t walk for six months. But what seemed like my life falling apart was actually a rebirth. I’m so, so thankful for it. The past couple songs I’ve written have had allusions to not being able to walk and what that meant in my life.

As Asheville grows and changes, how do you see yourself fitting into its future? What are your hopes for the local music scene’s development?

I identify as non-binary/genderfluid, and I use they/them pronouns. I am recently open about it. I want to make an active effort to create visibility for trans and nonbinary musicians in the scene. There is a lack of visibility, and I hope to create a space where people feel inspired and safe to be open about their identity as well.

What are some musical goals you are working toward? How do you prioritize these goals in your daily life?

I’m working towards being able to do music full-time. I work towards it every day by practicing, writing and collaborating. I was complacent for so long — up until this past year — and now I am so motivated.

What purpose does songwriting serve in your life?

Songwriting serves as an outlet for me. I know, I know, a lot of people say that, but it truly does. It’s helped me through some of the toughest points in my life. It’s also been an incredible source of connection. I’ve met some of my best friends through music. I feel so grateful to be able to be a part of such an amazing community.

WHO: Maddie Shuler
WHERE: Pritchard Park, 67 Patton Ave., ashevilledowntown.org
WHEN: Thursday, July 12, 5-7 p.m.

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