Kristen Merlin

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About Kristen Merlin

A powerhouse singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Hanson, Massachusetts, Kristen Merlin first came to the general public's attention when she was a contestant on the sixth season of The Voice, drawing fans for her passionate singing and open stance on being gay. Always drawn to music and the stage, first studying the violin, then the saxophone, Merlin was given her first guitar when she was a junior in high school by her mother, and within a few months, Merlin was a self-taught guitarist writing songs. While attending the University of New Haven in Connecticut on her way to earning a B.A. in music and sound recording, Merlin began to connect with other musicians, playing regularly at open-mike nights, and she continued to write songs. She moved back to Massachusetts after graduating in 2007, hitting the local karaoke nights and getting in front of a microphone whenever she could. She formed the duo Circling Straight with old friend Kristin Pimental, but left after a year to start a career as a solo artist, although she was soon the lead singer for local cover band Arctic Playground, then left to sing for yet another local cover band, Six Foot Sunday. Eventually she formed the Kristen Merlin Band, and the group quickly became a favorite on the New England music scene. She began recording a debut album with producers and engineers Taylor Barefoot at Barefoot Productions in Brighton, Massachusetts and Sean McLaughlin at 37' Productions in Rockland, Massachusetts. Her big break came when she was chosen to compete on the sixth season of The Voice, and while she wasn't the eventual winner, she made it to the Top Five and earned thousands of fans from the exposure. She returned to working on her album, which she described as having "a hip-hop country kinda feel." ~ Steve Leggett

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