Maggie Lindemann On Her New Single “Would I” & What’s Next: Interview
Maggie Lindemann is a name you need to be familiar with. The 20-year-old is on the fast-track to superstardom, and she has the assets to back that claim up. Although she has yet to drop an album, she voiced one of the best-selling singles of 2017 – the infectious “Pretty Girl.” A Cheat Codes-assisted remix of the anthem amassed more than 468 million streams on Spotify. And it was not a one-off. She followed it up with the barbed “Obsessed,” which has been streamed in excess of 40 million times. Last month, the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter dropped “Human.” The eerie track feels more personal than anything she has released before – a trend that continues with the unveiling of “Would I.”
Out today (November 16), Maggie’s latest is a stripped-back ballad that addresses her personal experiences with depression. “‘Would I’ is about the inner struggles you face when dealing with mental illness, mine being depression for this song,” she explained in a press release. What do those struggles entail? “Not feeling good enough, not feeling like you deserve love or happiness. Struggling with how to find yourself and trying to find happiness in substances. Going out every night to forget real life or even forget your name.” All of her inner feelings are laid bare as she gently coos over the somber production. The end result is hauntingly beautiful and carries an important message. “I want people to realize mental health IS very serious. People need to stop being so hard on each other and start loving on each other.”
Earlier this week I had an opportunity to speak with Maggie about the confessional release, which she revealed is her favorite song yet. She shared some insight into how the track fits into her discography and also opened up about what to expect next. With her debut EP tentatively set for release in early 2019, big things are on the horizon. And the “Things” siren has never felt more represented by her music. At the rate things are going, this is by far one of my most anticipated releases for the next year.
Press play on “Would I” before diving into our exclusive interview below!
By the time this interview goes up, “Would I” will be out! How do you feel now as you wait for Friday to come?
I’m really excited. I’ve been sitting on this song for like a year now. So, I’m just really excited for it to come out. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever done. I’m really, really looking forward to it. I’m really nervous, too.
I think this song is one of my favorite songs of yours, too. For a variety of reasons. One of those is that it feels so honest and personal to you.
Can you talk a bit about the inspiration behind it?
Well, I just get really bad seasonal depression. So last year I was going through it pretty bad. And I was just dealing a lot with like depression. And these were the feelings I was feeling. I basically just wrote them down. It’s literally straight from me. It’s straight from my brain. It’s straight from my feelings. It just means a lot to me.
Production wise, “Would I” feels more in line with “Things,” which is another favorite of mine. Is this stripped-back direction something you’re interested in exploring more moving forward?
No, I don’t think so. I think that I love doing stripped down stuff, and I’ll always do that. But I want to actually add more guitar and drums and have a real band. I like that sound. I love like rock music so I want to incorporate the guitar and all that kind of stuff into my music.
Should we maybe be ready for a live version that has more production on “Would I” in the future? Is that something you’d like to see?
Possibly. We’ve been working a lot with a band and it’s going to be really cool. Definitely come to a live show if you can.
I’d love to. You’ll have to come by Cleveland.
Oh yes, definitely.
Talking about “Human” and “Would I,” with both songs being so personal, what was it like working on them? Was there ever a moment where you were writing and wanted to hold back or did it feel good to just let go of everything?
It was pretty scary at first. I think when you’re first in a room with anyone and you’re doing anything, the initial telling your feelings and letting everyone know what’s going on with you is really scary. Because you don’t always know the people or it’s just like uncomfortable for anyone to just talk about their deepest and darkest feelings. I think it was like scary but once it got out and once the song was done it was so worth it. Because I’m just so obsessed with it. With both of them. It was really worth it at the end.
Do you have a video in the works for “Would I?”
Yes. I do. So we just recorded it. It’s amazing. I think this is just overall my favorite song I’ve done. Like song, video, all of it. It’s just so perfect. The director we worked with for the video is the same one from “Human.” And it came out really cool. These videos are both sick.
With “Human” there was a topical twist on it with Halloween. Should we expect something more along those lines or was that just because the timing was so perfect with the release date?
I think “Would I” has its moments. But, no. I think the “Human” video is definitely stuff you’re going to see from me more. Because it’s kind of the same as “Obsessed.” It’s kind of a dark vibe. I think that’s just me. So I think that’s always going to kind of be the vibe. But for “Would I” we kind of went a little bit of a different route and gave it like a little bit of an old school-ish look. It’s really cool. It’s really colorful though. It’s not super dark. It’s cool. It’s gonna be different.
Do you have a rough idea on the release date for that yet?
Yeah. It’s coming out at the end of the month. I’m not going to give an exact date yet. It’s coming out at the end of the month. Shortly after the song comes out. So keep an eye out.
You’re working on an EP right now, right?
Should we expect “Obsessed” or “Pretty Girl” to be on it, or will it be all the new material that you’ve been working on?
Possibly. It’s going to be a lot of the new material. But possibly I’ll throw in a little old one. Just for old times’ sake. It’s a lot of new stuff but possibly some old stuff.
There’s always time for nostalgia. How would you describe the rest of the music that you’ve been working on lately? You’ve mentioned more of a rock influence. Will that be more present?
Yeah. I think it is. It’s more “me” feeling. I feel like throughout my music time I’ve started to come into myself. So I think the new stuff is going to have a lot more Ska, rock influences. A lot more guitar, and a lot more of these sounds that you haven’t heard from me yet. It’s going to be different, but I think it’s going to be really cool. I’m super excited.
I was going to ask who has been inspiring you lately, but it sounds like you’re being really inspired by yourself in a sense.
Yeah. I am really inspired by myself. The things I go through is what inspires me and drives me and makes me want to be better. That’s always a hard question when people ask me who inspires me because I think like the experiences in life just really inspire me. But I mean there are artists too. Like Lana inspires me a lot and Jhené Aiko. And No Doubt. People like that. People that talk about real stuff but in a cool way.
Looking back, do you think this is the direction you saw yourself moving in? Or are you pleasantly surprised by the way things are going musically.
Not at all. I’m surprised, but in a good way. When I first started in the early beginning, I thought I was going to do things like “Things.” I thought “Things” was going to be my thing. I like the way things are going because I feel like I’m coming more into myself. “Would I” is not really done up. You know, it’s still airy and angelic. And I think I’ll always incorporate that but I think now it’s just… I’m myself now. So I’m doing things that are kind of crazier and feel more like me.
That’s awesome. I can’t wait to hear more of the album. Is there a song that you have that you’re most excited for people to hear moving forward?
I’m really excited for “Would I.” I’ve just been sitting on it for so long so I’m really, really excited. But there’s also another song coming out after “Would I” that I’m really, really excited about too.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year? Should we expect more new music before 2019?
Possibly. We’re working on the EP coming out in the beginning of next year. I don’t know if we’ll put out something else before the new year because we have a bigger project coming out after. But maybe. Possibly. I mean if we decide on that. Everything’s kind of sporadic so it might happen.
This year you shared a stage with Troye Sivan and Khalid. Who is someone else you would like to perform with in the near future?
I don’t know. I think I have such a wide variety of music tastes. I love people like Tyler, The Creator or like Billie Eilish and Lana and Jhené. Anyone like that would be sick. I don’t know – anyone. I would be so grateful to perform with anyone. I just love… Like going with Khalid and meeting Troye, it was so fun meeting other people who are doing the same thing as you and are so successful. It’s just like such a cool experience.
What would you say has been the highlight of your year?
Going on tour with The Vamps was so sick. Going to Japan with Khalid was so amazing. And it was on an air base so that was really an experience too.
What would you say your biggest goal would be musically?
I want to go on my own tour and do really well. And also I just want to make music that I really love that feels genuine to me. I never want to steer off that path of just genuine and being myself.
Do you think there could be a tour next year?
Yeah. Definitely that’s what I’m working on.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.
Yeah of course thank you.