Kristen Merlin is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from the small town of Hanson, Massachusetts. For as long as anyone can remember, this girl has been front and center, always singing her heart out. Dating back to her grade school days and her first solo, singing a Peter Pan song, Kristen remembers “ wearing an awful blue and white striped sailor shirt, hands in the pockets of my 'skorts' and rocking back and forth from heel to toe while squeaking out some of the high notes.”
From there, her love for music continued to blossom. In her junior year of High School, Kristen’s mother came home with an acoustic guitar for her. She placed it in front of her and Kristen scratched her head and thought to herself, “Well, I guess I need to teach myself how to play this thing!” Within a few short months, she was a self-taught guitarist, and had begun to write songs of her own.
In 2003, Kristen attended the University of New Haven in Connecticut. While in her studies for her B.A. in Music and Sound Recording, Kristen connected with several other musicians and continued to write her original tunes. In class, she was supposed to be on the recording/mixing side of things. However, she often found herself on the other side of the glass pouring her heart and soul out through the microphone.
When she wasn’t busy with her studies, she often participating in UNH’s open mic "Bean House" nights. It was there that Kristen let loose and performed her original music. Each time she took the stage, she captivated her audience. It was then that she realized how badly she wanted to make this her career.
After graduating in 2007, Kristen moved back to MA and enjoyed her nights off with friends at Karaoke bars everywhere. An old friend from a church youth choir group, Kristin Pimental, invited Kristen to come play at an open mic night at J.P. Ryan’s Tavern in Abington, MA. After Kristen’s 3-song performance, the owner of the venue approached her and asked if she would want to rock her own night there. Kristen was a bit taken back by this question, but wanted to jump on board as soon as possible. She soon became part of a duo with Kristin Pimental and they went by the name of Circling Straight.
After a year or so of performing as a Duo, Kristen broke away and began her career as a solo artist. In 2009, Boston Nightlife Awards named Kristen the South Shore’s Best Acoustic Solo Act. She then became the lead singer for the cover band, Arctic Playground. From there, she continued to rock the South Shore’s music scene and moved on to join forces with the power-house cover band Six Foot Sunday.
Kristen is back as the lead singer of her self-titled band and they are taking over the New England music scene! Kristen is an enthusiastic performer unlike any other in the Boston area. Not only does she have the vocal ability that can grab the attention of everyone in the room, but her stage presence is a force to be reckoned with. She is not one to be kept stationary. In fact, she is well-known for her bar-top performances. She loves to get her audience involved in her shows as much as possible. Her playful, dancy, Tigger-like bouncing performances will make anyone want to get up and join in the fun!
Kristen has several accomplishments of which she is proud…
• 2008 – Placed 2nd in Boston’s Pride Idol singing competition
• 2011 – Sang the National Anthem for Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park
• 2012 – Sang with multi-platinum Country band – Sugarland at the Mandalay Bay Casino – Las Vegas, NV
• 2014 – Placed Top 5 in Season 6 of NBC's Emmy Award Winning show The Voice
• 2014 – Toured 31 US cities with 8 other former Voice contestants
• 2014 – Sang the National Anthem for Reebok's World Championship Spartan Race
Kristen is currently recording her first album, working closely with producers/engineers Taylor Barefoot at Barefoot Productions in Brighton, MA and Sean McLaughlin at 37’ Productions in Rockland, MA. The album will consist of all original music with a full band experience that will blow your mind!
Kristen has the hunger and desire to make her dream of becoming a well-known artist into a reality and will stop at nothing to get there!