FYIG recently had the chance to chat with Canadian recording artist Maggie Szabo about her featuring her song Only Human in the Netflix original Sierra Burgess is a Loser, the inspiration of her latest single Don’t Give Up, and much more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Maggie Szabo and I am a Canadian recording artist and songwriter based in Los Angeles!
How would you describe your musical style?
I would describe my musical style as soulful pop.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a musician? Was it something that was always present in you or did it develop over time?
Music was always a part of who I was as a kid and it definitely was always present. I truly don’t remember a time when I didn’t know that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up.
You moved to Nashville after high school. Was it scary to move away from home and try and make this dream a reality?
It was definitely scary, but so exciting at the same time. I was 18 years old and I packed up my car and drove on my own to Nashville from my small town of Dundas, Ontario. I never lived away from home, and there is such a big contrast between the two places that it was very intimidating, but I absolutely fell in love with it. Being constantly surrounded by music was so inspiring.
Your performance of LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem with Walk Off The Earth went viral in 2011 and you became a YouTube sensation. Did you ever think that the video platform would be one of your tickets to success?
At the time I knew YouTube was a great launching pad for artists, but I didn’t really expect that video to go viral like it did! I was very thankful for that opportunity.
What was it like to be recognized as Bell Media’s Emerging Artist after releasing your single Lovesick?
That was my first commercially released song so it was a huge honour for a song of mine to be featured on the radio. I still remember the first time hearing it! Moments like that are unforgettable!
Your accolades didn’t end with that award as you also were chosen as Perez Hilton’s Can YOU sing? contest winner. How did that contest help your career?
I am a huge fan of Perez Hilton, and he is such a tastemaker when it comes to pop culture. He definitely helped spread the word about my music and I think it’s so rad that he shared one of my videos!
How have you evolved since your debut album from 2012 Now Hear Me Out?
I have spent a lot of time in Amsterdam which is the EDM capital and I have had a lot of great collaborations with DJs around the world which has been really eye-opening for me as far as discovering new genres of music since my debut album. There are definitely some more electronic influences in my own music now that I love to mix with pop/soul.
Tell us about the inspiration for your most recent single Don’t Give Up and the powerful video behind it.
I was inspired by the lyric idea ‘don’t give up on love,’ and that’s where the song started. It’s a feeling we’ve all felt before, and the lyrics and melody came very naturally. I wanted the lyrics to be really honest, which is where the first line of the verse came from; “everyone knows this world isn’t perfect”. Once I finished recording the song, I knew that the video had to stand for something, and I wanted it to stand for something I truly felt for. I decided I wanted to make a video that shed light on transgender issues particularly trans kids. So many trans kids are being discarded by their family, and are forced to live on the streets. I wanted the spirit of the video to genuinely portray the story of a teenager struggling with their gender identity.
What can audiences expect from your upcoming EP Worthy?
I wanted to make an EP that is fun, upbeat, empowering, yet still emotional and that’s definitely something audiences can expect from my upcoming EP.
Your song Only Human was recently featured on the Netflix original movie Sierra Burgess is a Loser. How did that deal come about and what can you tell us about the song and how it relates to the movie?
I was asked by one of the producers to write a song for the film, so of course, I got myself into a studio as soon as I could and started creating. ‘Only Human’ relates to the movie because there is a common message about love in both my song and the film, and that is we are always searching for it; from others and from ourselves.
Do you have any plans to tour? What can audiences expect from a Maggie Szabo live show?
Yes! I plan to tour early 2019. I would love to do both a US and European tour! This tour I plan to be a very stripped down, acoustic tour which is probably my favourite way of performing.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Work hard, stay true to yourself, and do it for one reason only: because you LOVE it!
What’s next for your career? Do you have any musicians that you’d really like to collaborate with?
I have some really exciting collaborations being released in the upcoming months. There are so many musicians I would love to collaborate with, and right now Calvin Harris is on the top of my list. I would love to do a feature with him!
What types of things do you like to do when you’re not recording music?
Health and fitness are a huge part of my life. Taking care of my body definitely makes a huge difference for my music because it’s important for my mental health as well as my vocal chords! I workout every single morning and that’s my favourite way to start that day!