INTRODUCTION | FROM MEGAN
I have been a fan of Maggie Rose even before I met her on the 2014 FGL Cruise to the Bahamas. Dare I reference her energy like a total California hipster, but it was “AAA”(approachable, admirable & addictive). AAA is one of my ways to generalize my first impression of anyone I come across and something that I attribute to how I will invest time into them.
Maggie, as an artist being so kind the first time (and the second) made me want to be her friend but beyond that description she also has “wide-eyed” talent (I am not talking about her facial expressions… I am talking about mine).
Majority of the time people describe incredible performances by the fact it gave them chills. This unpredictable body reaction typically creates an irreplaceable memory; however when people have a “wide-eyed” reaction to a performance it solidifies an undeniable loyalty to the artist.
Maggie Rose is an artist that every country fan should have loyalty to.
I know I have from the moment I heard her sing in the middle of the ocean and then again in a small bar in Sacramento. Her soulful voice, sincere lyrics and charismatic personality on stage, social media and behind the scenes make her a super women. A super women that I could be inspired by but also grab a slice of pizza with (not to mention one that can make me cry when singing a heartfelt song).
It was such an honor to interview her for our Back Pocket Talk last week and we both were able to gain a deeper understanding of the empowerment she embodies as a female artist but also how incredibly relatable she is in her off-stage life.
Thank you again Maggie for your time and we hope the BBC following enjoys!
Scroll down to see what questions we asked!
BACK POCKET TALK WITH MAGGIE ROSE
- BBC S: Sarah
- BBC M: Megan
- MR: Maggie Rose
BBC S: Country music is now going abroad! Tell us some highlights of your most recent trip to Switzerland!
It is more about the culture surrounding it. The storytelling aspect is important to them but it’s not the influencing factor because they don’t speak english. They just really enjoy the music and the environment that comes with country music.
I found the first night to be jarring because they wanted us to do two sets and it was pretty regimented. I feel as though in the states when I play shows especially if I am headlining I will play longer than expected but will do an encore. Where as they were all you do two sets and a three song encore after your second set is done. So this was something that was expected and the spontenanity of it was not the same experience in the states.
Sometimes you will have people drinking and carrying on conversations and you as an artist aren’t going to go “stop talking during the show” but they are those that are there to hear your every word and then they applaud and then they all fall silent together. Which I was like Damn I feel pretty exposed right now that I was being studied but it is just the nature with how they experience music.
BBC M: Just a little bit of a culture shock!?
MR: Yes, it was awesome and it was nice to see how much of contrast there was. The politeness in how they watch music and become really shy. Every region even in the states has a way that they enjoy music but this was … even with my 10 years of living in Nashville strange to be completely surprised by certain things. It keeps it refreshing and exciting and it keeps me growing as an artists.
BBC M: Leading perfectly into our next question, talking about a culture that you are incredibly familiar with, what is one of the biggest changes you have seen around Nashville?
MR: A lot of what you guys are talking about with this movement for not just women but also how artists that are diminished in the political sense when they are independent and not backed by a major label and having to jump through all of the loopholes to be covered by radio.
People are calling on that and there is innovation and sub genre immersion that are inspiring and are making the city fresh and exciting. It is good to see a tide shift as dramatic to what we have experiencing recently.
The city has 100 people moving there everyday so from the aspect of it being a wonderful place to live.. the food is getting better.
I am about to sign a publishing deal with a pop publishing company and teaming up with another company that does country which that probably would have never happened for me 10 years ago. Different music is materializing and the culture is becoming more diverted and the good ol boys club is beginning to become diminished. Which is a good thing to see.
We still have a long way to go especially being a southern city but country music changes at a different compared to other genres but I think some vinegar isn’t a bad thing for the creative evolution that is happening in Nashville. We think we have just been pushed enough to be resilient and inspired and I am going to do things my way. Which has been my M.O. the last five years.
Its nice to have people offering their platform to those who deserve it and don’t get it as often.
BBC S: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to pursue a singing career?
MR: I was very young when I started singing. The singing part probably came before the speaking. I always sang, it was a part of my identity so I was not a conscious decision to that one day that I was going to become a singer, because I have always associated that with who I am from the beginning.
I was enrolled at Clemson University studying vocal performance and I was already going to leverage that into a performing career and then I was in different bands and I was in church choirs. I was publicly open about performing. Then my opportunity came when I was a sophomore and I got signed to Universal and Tommy Mottola was a liaison to what I was doing my first few years in Nashville. Then I told myself I had to expedite the process and go “okay got to move to Nashville” because I was realizing that if I was going to learn anything I was not going to learn it at the rate I wanted to if I was not there…so ten years ago.
Reflecting on it as an older person now, it was kinda like that naive saying that you just had to take action, but now I realize it was pretty crazy.
BBC S: What gave you the confidence as a songwriter to put your songs out there?
I think it was just another one of those jump in feet first kind of things.
The first song I really loved I probably wrote about a year into my move to Nashville. Many came before it and they were worth it because they were a part of the process but I didn’t catch the bug until I had that one song I loved.
After that it became more prolific and I caught the bug. The positive reinforcement from practicing and trying at new things again and again and trying to not get discouraged. For every twenty songs that is one out of the 20 that you want to sing for the rest of your life. It will help challenge you everyday. I have songs that I probably wouldn’t want anyone ever to hear!
BBC M: I have been curating playlists for my friends for years. One of my most well known ones is called “recovery” which is what I send to girl friends after a break up Most people have a rage or revenge but I have chosen to put together something that is more empowering for those hurting. Love Me More has continuously been a stand out song and one of our personal favorite. Tell us more about that story of that song and what it means to you?
MR: Thank you for sharing it and letting it be a soundtrack during those times. That is certainly what I wanted for people when they heard it. In the last five years I have really been trying to follow my gut and do things in the only way I know I can, not trying to recreate things. That was turning point for me when I wrote that song.
I just had my label fall a part and I had broken up with my boyfriend of 3.5 years and it felt like it was a huge turning point in my life and all things leading to that moment not working out. Of course some of it was my fault but there was a pattern that I had omitted too and making compromises of myself. From putting myself first and instead of feeling guilty about it and I knew I just need to do what my soul was telling me what to do.
I realized I needed to cherish that and could become the best version of myself for that right person and I can be the best version of myself for my fans who want authenticity and its hard to see those things when you are not valuing your worth the way you need to.
BBC M: Did you meet Austin after writing that song… finding your worth and coming to terms with what you need? Making this even more of an epic love story and song?
MR: Yes right after that. We wrote it in March and then he and I met in May. Kinda like you talk about the Recovery playlist I had made it through the woods of anger and sadness.
BBC M: That song inspired that entire playlist, all females and males go through emotional battles and I always try to share that one with friends. I basically tell them I am not always the best with words but I got this playlist that might help you out. You just need to blast it!
MR: The message is more of a reflective one rather than fueling the fire. Thats all more instant gratification. But I wrote is with Lindsey Lee and Stephanie Smith. They are both incredible writers and I find it super interesting that it was written by three female writers because as sad as it is, it is rare.
They rallied around what I was doing, and it was like a therapy session and it all just fell out. I felt like we were in the room for several hours but we didn’t want to give up on it, no breaks and were just in it to complete it. It was a very special day. It become a huge turning point in my life.
BBC M: Okay so I am a bit of a movie buff… and Sarah is weird and has never seen Happy Gilmore; but his “happy place” with his girl, grandma gambling, beer, the tricycle; What is your Happy Place?
MR: So I love this question and it was really nice to indulge in thinking about it.
I sat there thinking, let me go to my happy place. It was nice 5 minute mental journey haha
My happy place is of course with my band and my family. My husband. They all have to be there and after a great show. The best show ever and they all got to watch it.
The after glow of the show, drinks together, italian food everywhere and we are listening to music. I am trying to think of where we are… The Gorge Amp in Washington state, we would want to be there. Oh and dogs everywhere! Tons of dogs. Dogs and babies and nieces and nephews and music and food and the gorge.
** Don’t mind really expert graphic indesign skills AHEM its meant to be bad**
BBC S: Speaking of after show glows, what has been your most memorable moment while singing at the Ryman?
MR: I love the Ryman. The acoustics are so incredibly that you could stand on stage without a microphone. I always enjoy playing the Opry there.
I think the most memorable time was when I sang with Big Boi. If you told me ten years ago that that happened I would have said “that’s so weird and awesome” but he is such a cool guy. My husband has been behind the Georgia Music Foundation for a while now and it was just surreal. Let’s go do this Big Boi, go sing at the Ryman. Mannie Fresh was there and of course Dallas Davidson because of the Laid Back song but over all that was pretty wild.
Luke Bryan was also back stage and it was a party. That back stage is so small which makes everyone hang out and my parents were there too. It was pretty incredible and I don’t see that happening again unless Big Boi wants to do another song!
BBC M: It sounds like your secondary Happy Place!
BBC S: You have incredible style; where are you finding these epic statement pieces of clothing?
MR: So one of my best friends is my stylist. Which is so fun because every day we get to talk about ideas and it’s not like oh hey there is an event coming up, it is more of a constant creativity that she and get to share. She is with the theme of throwback approach with it being live and all at once so she tries to find unique vintage pieces so she searches Nashville every week.
We just recorded our last session for this record and she had this amazing Beatles jacket that she bedazzled with stars. She has to customize everything and because of our friendship it allows things to be that much more out there and daring. She knows exactly who I am and I know who she is . It’s a safe place to collaborate.
BBC M: Who is someone you look to for inspiration within the industry?
There is so many incredible artists.
For one, Brandy Clark, I am staring at the marquee right now. I love her and her writing is so unique. She is so her very own person. I love that.
Kacey Musgraves has that same attitude. Maren Morris, Margo Price. Jillian Jacqueline is definitely one. Same with Kelsea Ballerini I love being around those women in the industry and they don’t bend.
I love Jason Isbell and he is certainly someone who goes to the beat of his own drum. Sturgull Simpson…even Chris Stapleton; he had stayed the course for so long as a writer. When I first moved to town people were pitching me songs that he had written. That was ten years ago and Luke Bryan was cutting all of his songs. Everyone was trying to recreate the sound only he has created. Now the whole world has been tuned into Nashville’s best kept secret. So I admire people like that who are bringing out the real artistry that Nashville has to offer.
BBC M: Writers Round: Four Artists including you. Who would you want there?
McCartney for sure. Jason Isabell… he freaks me out with how smart he is and Brandy Clark.
Lori McKenna if I was removed from the round. She is so good and it’s always story time when she is around.
BBC S: Can you give a hint to as to when your new album is coming out? We know you’re done and are very excited.
MR: That is the beauty of the way we have done this record; the way we recorded it is that there is not a whole lot we can do as far as post production goes.
We wanted it to be raw and live which you kinda heard on the first digital 45 that we put out. We are planning to release another digital 45 in the next coming months and that should happen pretty soon. I approved the cover for it today, so that should give you an idea of when its coming… but I’m hoping early summer for the album. I also think the life of this next single will dictate a few things.
BBC M: Pull You Through was included in our Top Twenty Songs of 2017 and is perfect showcase of your talent and growth as an artist. Those that don’t pay as much attention to the strategy behind releases might not even know EP stands for Extended Play vs a full length album. Because you released Pull you Through as a Digital 45, could explain what that is, the strategy behind doing so and why you released it that way?
MR: So it goes back to doing a throwback vibe; back in the 70’s they would release a record with an A side and a B side. I wanted to show two songs from the forthcoming record to ease people in. I also didn’t feel like just releasing one song because I wanted people to hear the lyrics of Just Getting By with the more country approach and then the vocals and the arrangement of Pull You Through has that soul and Gospel feel.
I wanted people to have a sense of both of them. I also wanted to give a nod to how they recorded records back in the day and how they distributed them. So a 45 is how they used to record and then they would send the vinyls to all the radio stations. That is actually how Bohemian Rhapsody become such a big hit. It was actually the B Side of a 45. DJs are like I like this song instead and that’s how it blows up.
It gives listeners freedom to choose, instead of having to just pick the single.
We are going to do the same thing with two more songs and then the album to follow.
BBC S: So we have another scenario. We know you go to a lot of tropical places… say there is a massive tidal wave and everything but your hotel room is wiped out *DISCLAIMER* no one died. There is only one record player and one album. Which album do you wish it to be?
MR: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club because it is one of the most dynamic records. Every time I hear it, I find something that I didn’t catch before and luckily this scenario is not the case and I have many records but that one I can have for every mood. So I can have that to keep stimulated for a long time… Nah no need to rescue me when I have the Beatles.
Ahem Beatles Folks * I guessed that one*
BBC S: What is your guilty pleasure music choice? Mine is Nickelback… *NO SHAME*
MR: Sure, that’s why they call it a guilty pleasure. By the way when did everyone decide that Nickelback sucks? His voice is odd but whatever. Guilty Pleasure music… I don’t have anything I would be embarrassed by.
Oh Phish – We are total phish heads! We are pretty open about it! We went to Madison Square Garden just to catch a Phish show. When I was Crash My Playa, the stage crew told us that we were playing on the same stage Phish plays on every year which we got excited about! Its kinda weird but they are a good escape.
BBC S: You have done a lot of girls nights out in Nashville; we are doing a Bandana Babe trip in April, what is your top recommendation of what we should do?
MR: You will have to go downtown. I really only ever go downtown when I have people from out-of-town visiting but it is so fun!
Roberts Western World; after I play the Ryman I go into Robert’s in the alley and get a drink and their band is always incredible.
Printers Alley is really cool. It is near Broadway but there is restaurant called Skulls Rainbow Room and I always tell people to go there to have dinner. They have a burlesque show and they have great food compared to the other places. They also have a ton of history in that area because it was a speakeasy and there was a murder. Johnny Cash played even played there.
But I live in East Nashville and it is the best neighborhood in Nashville. Of course I am biased and there is a lot of indie artists who agree. But the area is blossoming with creative venues. Basement East is awesome.
BBC M: This being Back Pocket Talk, do you have any back pocket advice for young female singers that are fresh to Nashville?
MR: Yes, I sorta have a mantra. Just try to be the target and don’t hit someone else’s. If you are trying to recreate something, then you will always be a step behind. Embrace your individuality in your voice because its going to be so much more compelling than trying to recreate something that was well done by someone else.
BLUE BANDANA COUNTRY | SONG SELECTION
This was so difficult for me because I also really love Same Sky and I Won’t too. As you have read above I have so much loyalty to Maggie that once she releases ANYTHING I immerse myself in each of her songs. So it is pretty evident at this point, since I love all three of these song that I tend to enjoy songs that have a message that we are resilient and can overcome anything… like heart-break.
However, I had to select Love Me More because it has made such an impact on people I care about. Each time I share my recovery playlist, my friends are eager to hear more from Maggie and tell me they blast that particular song so loud and on repeat. It also doesn’t hurt that I have always loved ballads that are showcased with a piano. Its the Billy Joel nerd in me. So Maggie someday… I wanna hear this song completely raw with some keys. DEAL?!
Picking just one of Maggie’s songs as my favorite was seriously difficult.
I mean it’s really hard to narrow down such an amazing collection of art but when I really sat down and thought about it and played her songs on repeat (I do this pretty often anyways) Just Getting By rose to the top for me (pun intended).
I really love this song, it’s raw and honest and so beautiful. I appreciate a love song that isn’t all about everything being perfect – it’s genuinely relatable and I think that’s the power of this song. Life isn’t stagnant and it isn’t always ideal and this song showcases that but it also highlights that as long as you have each other you’ll figure it out, and to me that’s what love is all about.
Body On Fire is up beat and makes me wanna get up and dance around in yet it also so sexual. When I hear it, I literally have this picture playing in my head of how I want to use it in real life to surprise Brandon for a romantic night *wink*.
The vulnerability behind the lyrics make it easy to connect and it is an incredible showcase of Maggie’s vocal range and intimacy with lyrics.
TO MAGGIE FROM BBC
Maggie – It means the world to us that you agreed so early on to be a part of the launch of Blue Bandana Country’s Back Pocket Talk. This session was one that we will both always remember and it has further my love for the songs that I already felt passionate about. We look forward to seeing you out in California soon and we absolutely cannot wait for the next Digital 45 and the ALBUM!!!!
TO BBC FOLLOWING
As I mentioned before, Maggie is an artist you must have loyalty too. We can’t be friends if you aren’t. I am not even kidding about this… she is such an incredibly talented singer that once you hear her live… you will be “wide-eyed” like us.
So, in typical “Bandana Babe curating playlist fashion” we included the following below for you to dive into Maggie but also some of the artists mentioned throughout this interview! Enjoy!!!
Apple Music – Back Pocket Talk with Maggie Rose
Don’t forget to follow Maggie on social media and to check out her music!