Carolyn Kruse

Weekdays 9:00am - 2:00pm

Meet Kristen Merlin from Hanson, MA

Many of us already feel like we already know this voice, this artist. Kristen was a top 5 finalist on Season 6 of The Voice, on Team Shakira, in 2014. But, there’s so much more to this New Englander turned Nashvillian than we could see on tv. There’s a brave, bold songwriter behind the exquisite vocals. There’s a thoughtful champion behind the cheery exterior. And there’s a badass woman who’s chosen to kick some doors open, on her way to success.

“I know I’m not what you’re used to
But I am no different than you
It’s a shame that you just can’t see
I’m more than who I hold hands with”

Those lyrics from Merlin’s new single, “Shame,” boldly go where few country artists have gone before.  And, yeah, it’s a shame, it’s taken this long. Kristen admonishes those who hastily judge, calling on them to listen and try to appreciate that we are all the same; all human beings.

“What’s it to you who I love
What’s it got to do with who I am
How does it change what I’m made of
What’s it gonna take to make you understand”

For Kristen, music has been a constant in her life. She grew up in a musical family. Her mom and sisters sing, and she said, “everyday life always had music playing in some form or fashion. I was always one to get involved in anything that had to do with music – chorus class, drama, church choir, a Capella groups, open mic nights, karaoke and of course the bar gigs.”

When you hear the passion behind her performance, those stunning vocals, and the perceptive prose put to her music, you know Kristen Merlin is exactly where she is supposed to be.


Listen to Kristen


More on Merlin

  • From: Boston, MA
  • Grew up in: Hanson, MA
  • Now lives in: Nashville, TN
  • Current single: “Shame”
  • What lead you to music: I’ve grown up around music in all forms and it wasn’t until I started singing, that I truly found what having a passion for felt like. Anytime I get to sing, write or perform, I feel complete.
  • How old when you started: My first solo goes all the way back to a Peter Pan song in a school play in the first grade.
  • First country song you learned: I believe the first country song I learned to sing was  Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus.
  • Instruments played: over the years I’ve learned to play the violin, saxophone and acoustic guitar.
  • How would you describe your sound: My sound would be a bit of a mix of Pop-Country with a hint of Rock.
  • Who inspires you: It’s hard to narrow it down to any one person who inspires me. It comes from all different places – artists that are beyond where I’m at, writers who can out-write me any day, friends/family/fans.  Surrounding myself with incredible humans surely keeps me inspired. It makes me want to learn more and grow every chance I get.
  • Dream duet partner: I’d LOVE to duet with the artist who truly got me into Country music – Reba!
  • All- time favorite country song: (or songs if you can’t name just one): One of my all time favorite country songs would be Tin Man – Miranda Lambert.
  • First country concert: Reba McEntire
  • What songs do you like now on Country 102.5:  One of Them Girls – Lee Brice, What If’s – Kane Brown, The Bones – Maren Morris
  • If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing: I would explore the world of being a motivational speaker. I love making a difference whenever/wherever/however possible.
  • Most proud moment: My most proud moment to date – aside from coming in as a semi-finalist on NBC’s The Voice – I would have to say was the day I packed my car and moved to Nashville to continue chasing my dream of “making it big.”
  • Crazy thing that happened in your music career: Craziest thing that’s happened so far would have to be when my microphone cut out during the first Live show on The Voice – 22secs of my 90sec song were left unheard and I wanted to run off the stage a cry – however I managed to hold it together.
  • Other things you like to do: I enjoy doing anything that involves being outdoors and active!
  • 3 Fun facts:
  1. Favorite number is 13
  2. I love pickles
  3. My first song I ever wrote (with my mom) was about a mouse.
  • Mantra:  Trade expectation for appreciation




Catch up with Kristen




Every week, Kruser’s Local Catch highlights New England’s homegrown country music talent, and tells you where to catch them locally and in Nashville. Click here to view previous catches.

*Singer/songwriters with original music: Please submit for consideration on The Local Catch by emailing:







Carolyn Kruse Country 102.5 midday personality 9am-2pm Boston