When you wish upon a Rockstar

Maddy Mastrine pursues her ambitious dreams

Once upon a time, there was a little girl with dreams bigger than her love for The Little Mermaid. In her backyard, she scrambled up a rock, climbing higher and higher until she reached the top. She was on top of the world.
She started to sing, “Wanderin’ free, wish I could be, part of that world,” from her favorite song ever, sung by none other than Ariel, her favorite Disney princess and idol.
Dressed in a green and purple mermaid costume, the little girl’s imagination drifted into a world where she became Ariel. She could hear the waves crashing below her. She could feel the ocean mist spraying her face. She could sense the movement of music in her soul.
“It felt like I was almost flying,” Maddy Mastrine ‘23 said.
Maddy felt her fantasy become a reality through the magic of her voice. As a child, music made her dreams come true, and it would continue to do so throughout her life.
“That was the moment I realized I was going to sing,” she said.
While she had no idea how high she would climb, Maddy’s parents immediately recognized her natural talent and saw a spark within their daughter’s voice.
“She had this great pitch and a beautiful, natural vibrato,” Maddy’s dad Brad Mastrine said.
A vibrato only happens when a singer has a near-perfect singing technique. It’s an advanced skill, which is normally developed well into a singer’s lifetime and is nearly impossible for a three-year-old.
“She has a really dynamic voice with a nice range and an incredible ear,” Brad said. “Probably even perfect pitch.”
Knowing the music industry is competitive, Brad believes his daughter will make it.
“If she gets the right break, I think she could be a star,” he said.
Maddy’s musical spark reminded Brad of his own talents which led the father-daughter duo to share their love of music with others through social media and push his star-in-the-making to be the best musician she can.
“A few years ago, I was just messing around on my guitar and playing a Led Zeppelin song and Maddy started to sing it,” Brad said. “Then we made an Instagram account for our music.”
Maddy and her dad share a lot of similar music tastes. Their common love for bands like Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin comes from the way Maddy views her dad: as her role model.
“I feel like she looks up to me a lot when it comes to music,” Brad said. “It’s this unique bond not a lot of other parents can share with their kids.”
For Maddy, her dad has always been her greatest influence, both in music and in life.
“He’d always sing me to sleep and play the guitar when I was growing up, and it inspired me to want to make music, too, even if it’s not for a big crowd,” she said.
However, playing for big crowds is Maddy’s real dream. Her dedication to music lifted her from the little rock in her backyard all the way to one of the biggest rocks in all of music: Red Rocks Amphitheater.
“I looked out and could see thousands of people,” Maddy said. “I could see the different colored lights that were shining on me. The stage turned red and green and blue. It was the best feeling ever.”
More than 10,000 people filled the rows of the amphitheater. Maddy’s heart was pumping and her breathing slowed as she looked up at the people staring back at her.
“It’s something you really can’t feel anywhere else,” she said. “When you’re passionate about something, there’s this amazing feeling you can only have in the moment.”
Maddy’s passion for singing has become stronger than her passion for anything else. The looming sensation of stage fright doesn’t even cross her mind when she starts to sing.
“There used to be a moment of ‘oh my god’ where I’d get super nervous when I was backstage,” Maddy said. “But then when I get on stage, I know it’s where I belong.”
Stage fright was no match for Maddy’s courage to sing in front of a crowd as big as the one she faced.
After finishing her band’s set, Maddy stepped off the stage and was completely overcome with excitement. Adrenaline rushed through her veins and millions of thoughts ran through her head.
“Everybody was saying congratulations to me,” Maddy said. “People in the crowd and even security guards were telling me how well I did. I immediately wanted to hug my bandmates when I got off the stage.”
The Red Rocks stage grew familiar to Maddy when she got to play on it a second time in 2021 with her band, Blind Taxi. At 16, she’s lived thousands of people’s dreams of playing on the famous stage, not once, but twice.
“Every single time I perform is a completely new experience, and I love it,” Maddy said.
Performing live for a crowd is one of Maddy’s biggest desires, but her future in music holds just a bit more excitement.
“My band won Boulder High’s Battle of the Bands a few months ago,” Maddy said. “The grand prize was a date with eTown, which is a really big recording studio in Boulder.”
Maddy and her band plan to record some of their original songs at eTown to get their music out into the world. Recording original songs and posting them on public platforms is exactly what Maddy needs to get her foot in the door of the music industry.
Making it in the competitive music industry takes a lot of hard work, and dreams don’t always come true. But for Maddy, music means more than just fame.
“As long as I’m doing music, I’m doing what makes me happy,” she said.