Maggie Lindemann doesn’t want to be a normal pop star.
But, we knew that already. ‘Pretty Girl,’ her breakthrough single released last year, was a self-deprecating and intricately personal ballad about self-worth and learning not to read a book by its cover that was turned by Cheat Codes and Cade into a shimmering, shattering gloom-wobble pop anthem.
Maggie’s new single, ‘Obsessed,’ carries a different sonic sound to ‘Pretty Girl’ – with its bubbling synths and cutting vocal delivery it could easily be a single choice for Dua Lipa or Selena Gomez – but is still, we feel, cut from the same personal cloth. It’s like Maggie’s taken you out for a few Mai-Tei’s and is just letting rip about her latest fuckboy.
“I definitely think of someone when I sing it,” Maggie says of the new single. “I see a lot of fans guessing who it’s about and I love it, it keeps them guessing. It originally wasn’t about one specific person, it was actually about a few different people. But now when I sing it, it’s definitely at this one person.”
The video is a treat, too. Taking inspiration from ‘New Rules,’ the clip sees Maggie and her girl gang pouting and flouncing through an opulent mansion, which is definitely a metaphor for the subject of the song, where he looks beautiful, but leaves Maggie feeling empty anyway. Right?
“The concept was very specific,” Maggie tells us. “It’s supposed to be me and my girlfriends, making this home-like video for my ex, whose obsessed with themselves. That was the original concept, but we took some parts out of the video to make it a bit more playful. I absolutely love it, it turned out perfect.”
By far our favourite part of the single is its very last line; an unexpected plot twist where Maggie reveals: “I’m obsessed with myself…too.” It’s playful, ear-catching a little coquettish, but it also draws an interesting conclusion into our own behaviours and obsessions, especially when it comes to self-image and social media. Is it fair to say that Maggie is accurately calling us all out for being a little self-obsessed?
“Yes, 100%,” she says (cheers, Maggie). “I’ve always had a hard time accepting who I am and the skin I’m in. But sometimes I can really be feeling myself, you know? Everyone has that day where they look in the mirror and are like ‘damnnnn, you look good!’ So that part was super necessary.”
‘Obsessed’ seems like the perfect follow-up single for Maggie, especially since the message of ‘Pretty Girl’ was so potent. When something connects to that many people, you have to come out swinging with a banger to equal the playing field. For Maggie, though, seeing ‘Pretty Girl,’ a song with such a personal message, blow up in the UK was something special.
“I was really nervous at first [releasing the single],” Maggie says. “Because it was so personal. I wasn’t sure people would get the message or they wouldn’t take me seriously. So for it to blow up like it did and for people to really love it and connect with it was such an amazing feeling.”
Maggie herself, though, imbues her pop-star persona with so much of her own personality, it’s sometimes hard to see where the person ends and the star begins. It’s a telling sign of where we are right now in pop music, where we crave stars with authenticity and a personal story to tell over the cookie-cutter, label-created starlets of the past, and Maggie agrees when we ask if she brings a different vibe to being a pop star, saying she draws inspiration from figures such as BANKS and our Lord Lana Del Rey.
“That’s sort of the plan,” she confirms. “Ever since the very beginning I’ve wanted the ‘anti-popstar’ vibe…I don’t wanna make music people think I’d make. I wanna talk about real things, and real life struggles, not just about how my heart is broken. More of the real life hurt people feel.”
So, ‘Pretty GIrl,’ was the big breakout moment and ‘Obsessed’ is the home-run, what’s Maggie doing for the rest of the year? The life of a budding star never stops (she’s going on tour with the Vamps for one thing, which should be nice).
“So much is happening,” she says. “A lot is going on in my bubble.”
And now for the question everyone from Rita Ora to Charli XCX is sick and tired of hearing; where’s the album?
“I have soooo many new songs recorded,” Maggie reveals. “I can’t wait to release them. Not saying that there gonna be an album buuuut….also maybe even some collabs?!”
That is, we’re sure you’ll agree, potentially very exciting. We end with one last question for Maggie; mainly, what’s the one thing she wants people to take away when listening to her songs?
“I always want people to think my music is personal because it is very personal. I’ll never release something that I can’t relate to. Everything I do is meaningful to me. I want people to take away that I’m genuine, and I want people to be able to relate to me.”
You can’t say it any better than that can you?
‘Obsessed’ is out now via 300 Entertainment and is a right old banger.
Maggie’s set to support the Vamps on their tour, with UK dates throughout the end of April and May.
Watch the video for ‘Obsessed’ below:
Photo credit: George Evan
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Words by George Griffiths