Name: Maggie Rose
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., grew up in Potomac, MD
Current Residence: Maggie Rose
Music Style: American Rock and Soul
Website/Social Media Links: @iammaggierose on all socials. maggierosemusic.com
Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence?
I made the move to Nashville as a teenager and had some amazing opportunities in country music early on in my career, but the evolution my music into a more soulful, funky and Americana space has allowed me to play on stages that range from The Grand Ole Opry to ACL to Bonnaroo and it’s been so cool to have the chance to reach all these different types of audiences.
Tell us about your newest project. What is the inspiration behind it?
My last album Have A Seat is filled with themes of compassion, empathy, inclusivity, longing and celebration of individuality. It was my way of dealing with a period of intense polarization and frustration. There is a big emphasis on the kindness of listening and importance of making room for everyone which is why the 60-date tour that followed the release of the album was so cathartic. I also launched a podcast during the pandemic called Salute The Songbird where I speak to my powerful and inspiring women in the industry in an artist to artist—or producer or executive—format. We’re about to launch season 3 and I have absolutely fallen in love with the work because of the camaraderie and connection it provides me and my listeners!
Saw you perform on the Opry recently and was impressed. It’s actually where I was introduced to your music. What does it mean to you to step into that circle?
Every time I show up at the Grand Ole Opry I am greeted with so much warmth, and I feel a sense of belonging there. It’s pretty remarkable to feel like I am a very small piece of such an historical institution, and I appreciate the fact that the Opry is showcasing so much more than what one might hear on country radio. There are acts of all ages and backgrounds welcomed into the circle and they are always looking to expand that circle which is why I think the Opry will continue to stand the test of time.
What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?
It’s the most beautiful way to communicate with an audience and when words fail, music can color in the grey spaces. I love watching an audience bond during a show and seeing a band with incredible chemistry at work. I also love the fact that you can always dig deeper into music. There is always another song to discover or create and that is beyond exciting to me.
Who are your biggest influences outside of music (teacher/family/etc.)?
My family without a doubt. They have always been unwavering in their support of me which allowed me to believe in myself enough to pursue music in the first place. My dad is incredibly outgoing and gregarious which helps me with my showmanship. My mom is deeply thoughtful and strategic which has served me in my songwriting and work ethic. My sisters and I are different from each other yet so similar and there is a kinship between us that makes me feel accepted and understood. My husband knows so much about music and we work together so it’s really cool to have my partner in life be equally as passionate about the music I’m making because we share in it. They will all call me out when I need it, but I’m lucky to have such constants in my life considering how temperamental this industry can be.
Describe your creative process.
Oh man. That is a hard one to succinctly answer because every song has a different origin. I love collaboration. I love getting a band together and working up a song in real time and I also enjoy working with great producers on a specific idea. I think you need to glean a little but from many different approaches to land somewhere that is all your own.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I think it IS possible to change the industry, but it will take the audience, artists and industry executives working together to make the playing field more level and to restore the value we all place in music. More diversity. Stop disposing of or discounting great artists because of fickle analytics. Compensate artists and songwriters properly and we’re bound to see great talents sticking with the process. The list goes on, but I think my goal is to create sustainable art for a loyal fan base so I keep my head down and try not to get distracted by the trends in an ever changing industry.
What strengths do you have that make you a great musician/any weakness that you are working on to get there?
My love for music on any given day helps me power through most physical or mental shortcomings on a given day, but I do think the pandemic showed me that imposter syndrome is a real thing and artists can be their own worst enemies. I’m a people pleaser and sometimes that attribute undermines my own desires. I’m trying to always remember that this is the greatest job on earth and I’m here to entertain and connect. That’s all.
When was that first moment when you realized that music was going to pay off for you?
I think I still have to prove that to myself every day but I believe I realized that the moment I decided to commit myself to music. It might sound trite but there is no room for a Plan B when it comes to pursuing a career in music and if there is, maybe that’s your plan A.
How do you feel that the pandemic has changed your career for the good and bad?
It forced me to be self-sufficient and adaptable. However, I think any artist would benefit from having those qualities. There was a lot of anxiety when it came to putting a tour together and I think we will be recovering from the implications of the pandemic for a long time, but the value of live music has never been higher since we were all deprived of it during the pandemic.
Apart from the essentials name five things you can’t leave home without.
Air pods. Sunscreen, Avene or supergoop. I always have my Hydro flask on me to make sure I get enough water. A tiny travel size Vaseline comes in handy when I’m traveling to all these different climates. A few different bags of tea like Traditional Medicinal’s Throat Coat or Yogi’s Egyptian Licorice Mint Tea.