Members: Sisters Maddie (vocals) and Emma Salute (vocals, mandolin), Dawson Anderson (vocals, guitar)
Home: Temecula, Calif.
Single: “What If I Kissed You”
The teen trio of sisters Maddie, 16, and Emma Salute, 17, and Dawson Anderson, also 17, honed their harmonies in the relatively small Southern California town of Temecula. And already, their road is being paved with some golden opportunities. Radio Disney named Temecula Road its latest Next Big Thing featured artist, a select list that also boasts Kelsea Ballerini and Shawn Mendes among its accomplished alumni. This past year, Temecula Road signed with Buena Vista Records, part of the large-scale Disney Music Group. With their Disney affiliation, the trio will receive big-time boosts from the Disney Channel and Radio Disney and the company’s myriad social platforms. Their current single/video “What If I Kissed You” is racking up some impressive numbers, with more than 500,000 Spotify streams and around 250,000 total views for the video. Temecula Road has opened for Martina McBride, Josh Turner and other acts and is set to play CMA Music Festival in Nashville this summer.
MEET ME IN TEMECULA
Emma: “We are all from Temecula, California. The way we got together was that Maddie and I are sisters so we started singing at a very young age. We met Dawson about four years ago through a vocal coach.. There weren’t many guys in Temecula who sang, so, we’re like, maybe we should sing with him. We started writing together and here we are. We named the group after the town. Actually, there’s not a shortage of guys in Temecula (laughs). Just ones who sing.”
Dawson: “I was actually born in North Carolina and moved to Temecula when I was about nine. We all met in Temecula.”
LOVING THEIR COUNTRY
Dawson: “For me, being from North Carolina, country music is kind of in your blood. For all of us, country is our favorite genre.”
Emma: “We grew up watching and listening to CMT. We watched it all the time. Our parents were always playing CMT for us. So, Maddie and I grew up singing country music.”
“KISS” ON THEIR LIST
Dawson: “We did not write ‘What If I Kissed You,’ [but] we were in love with it the minute they played it for us. We were thinking that this is definitely going to be the one. Every song we get, we look at it closely. Do we see ourselves singing it?”
Emma: “When we heard the song, we thought, ‘Wow, that is totally relatable to us.’ We wanted to relay that message to our fans.”
THE GLAM WORLD OF MUSIC VIDEO
Dawson: “We have a music video for ‘What If I Kissed You,’ which was filmed in Lancaster, California. It’s kind of this desert town in Southern California. It’s usually warm there, but on that day, it was freezing cold.”
Maddie: “You wouldn’t think so from looking at the video. Everybody thinks it was a nice, warm day when we shot it.”
Dawson: “Yeah, it looks very summertime and fun, but it was about 30 degrees. Very cold. And we are definitely not used to that.”
Maddie: “There was actually a little snow on the ground when we got there. And of course, they put me in shorts (laughs). But then, it warmed up a little bit. The sun even came out. We had fun with it.
Dawson: “When [Disney Music Group] offered us a deal, we were just ecstatic. It was just one of those surreal moments. They have such a far-reaching company and so many outlets. The great thing about them is that they are not trying to change us. They are just making us a better version of ourselves. That is so awesome!”
Emma: “We still live in Temecula, but we come to Nashville to write and co-write with other people. You learn a lot from working with these co-writers. I think what I’ve learned mostly is just to let your guard down. You have to open up. I know sometimes people will think of something [in a writing session] but they won’t say it because they think it’s not good enough. But any idea can turn into something. It can make a writer think of something completely different. That’s the thing I’ve learned.”
Dawson: “We do write with each other, but we’ve also been fortunate to write with some amazing co-writers. It’s really fun to do that. We have our perspective but then they have a whole different level they can bring to us. They are usually really experienced and it’s awesome to learn from them. Just be a sponge and take in everything that they do.”
HEY, AREN’T YOU . . .?
Dawson: “It has all been kind of a whirlwind with everything that’s happened lately. We definitely have those moments where we’re going, ‘Is this actually happening?’ When ‘What If I Kissed You’ passed 500,000 streams on Spotify, it was unbelievable. Four years ago, I would have never imagined that being possible. It’s just crazy to see how far we’ve come.”
Maddie: “We can be in a town now and somebody will say, ‘Wait, she’s from Temecula Road. Can we get a picture?’ And I think, ‘Oh, maybe I should put the makeup on.’ We are definitely getting recognized. Our fans are so dedicated and that is so great.”
Dawson: “We are recording some new music. We’re not sure if that will be for an EP or a full album. And we’re probably releasing a new single sometime this summer.”
Photo by Shayla Eddins / Monarch Publicity