Since crashing onto the music scene in 2015 with the billion-streamed, platinum hit ‘Pretty Girl’, Maggie Lindemann has been rather hard to miss. Breaking boundaries of genre and societal expectations, the now 22-year-old has evolved into the singer-songwriter she always wanted to be. Born and raised in a small town near Dallas, Maggie headed off to Los Angeles at just 16 after being discovered on YouTube by a Sony exec.
“Growing up in Texas, I was such a different person”, she explains over Zoom, “I feel like when I moved out to LA and ended up on social media it developed me into this different person I didn’t ever think I would be… Just because everything is so accessible. I feel like I’m way more open minded now than I used to be.” It is a truth universally acknowledged that moving to LA can do that to you, along with following the right kind of people online: “It forces you to grow up and learn things that maybe you wouldn’t otherwise know.”
“I always say I wish that I didn’t grow up with social media: it’s definitely affected my mental health, the way I view myself”, she goes on, “But I wouldn’t be in this amazing position I’m in right now without it. Where I can help people through social media, I can share my music or just interact with people. I definitely have a love-hate relationship with it.”
And don’t we all… In the age of infinite scrolling, image and information overload is at an all time high, so sometimes we need to pause and find ways to reflect in the now. For Maggie Lindemann, that’s what music is for: “I feel like music is just the thing that helps me the most mentally”. Creating is a therapeutic process, Maggie explains, one which grants her a sense of clarity as both an artist and a human, “it’s about getting my words out there in a way that can turn these negative feelings into something that’s really beautiful.” “I feel like there’s so much freedom now to say what we like and be what we want to be. There’s always gonna be people judging you or telling you you shouldn’t do that but they’re not empowering one another.”
During quarantine, though, all over the world people’s lives were turned upside down and, along with them, was the music industry. Inspiration became harder to find in the confines of our homes, gigs were cancelled, opportunities lost, creativity and positivity dwindled. Maggie Lindemann’s universe was no exception, “my creativity has definitely been coming and going”, she sighs, “it’s been hard but I’m pushing through”. One way in which Maggie adapted was by starting off a podcast, swixxzaudio, to combat the loneliness of it all: “I started my podcast because I was bored in quarantine and I felt like I was talking to myself”, she tells tmrw, “it’s been cool just like getting all my thoughts out onto that and know that people want to listen. I want people to just feel like they’re talking to a friend, for the podcast to be a conversation with or like they’re just listening to a friend on the phone. I want it to feel very personal.”
Bar swixxzaudio, Maggie has found refuge and inspiration in music: “I literally put my Spotify on shuffle, a song will come on and I’ll hear like the bass or the drums and that inspires me. I get inspired by different elements of songs… Movies inspire me a lot too, I mean ‘Scissorhands’ is of course inspired by Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands.” Moving from her pop beginnings into a more rock-oriented realm, you can hear those darker influences seeping in, citing alt bands “Paramore, Sleeping with Sirens, Bring Me the Horizon” as her current muses.
“My sounds evolved a lot”, Maggie explains, “I started making music when I was really young and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I always knew I wanted to make music but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I wanted to make alternative music but at the time I was just so young and everything was about pop so I kind of got steered into that. At the time I didn’t mind it, I thought it was cool, but it just didn’t feel like me. Over time I’ve just been developing and I’ve been inspired by stuff I hear every day. I love rock music, I love live drums, I have a guitar and so it’s cool to finally be able to do that, to incorporate that in my music. I’m just so happy with where I’m at now, it’s my music and I feel I’ve finally found my sound.”
“I feel like I've really pushed myself this past year, these past two years, as an artist and as a person.”
And Maggie Lindemann’s search to find her sound has led her to a new EP, Paranoia, which is, in three of her own words: “Pop, rock and crazy.” Maggie has been working on this EP for “what feels like forever”, and is buzzing with excitement, as well as nerves, to release it into the world. “I wanted to try new things, get experimental and get a little bit out of my comfort zone, which I feel like I did. The stuff I’m writing about is personal, it’s what I’m actually going through and actually feeling. There’s some songs that I felt a little uncomfortable to even release but I know they’re good so I’m gonna do it. I feel like I’ve really pushed myself this past year, these past two years, as an artist and as a person.”
But more than anything, Maggie can’t wait for her fans to hear Paranoia; when I ask her what she hopes it will bring to her listeners, she explains: “I hope they feel heard, that they know someone relates to what they’re going through. To know that they will get through it: happy or sad, they’re obviously written at different points in my life so it’s good to show the sad times won’t last forever.”
‘Paranoia’ by Maggie Lindemann is out 22nd January 2021.