Meet Maggie Szabo, the singer-songwriter and fitness enthusiast sprinkling her Canadian charm throughout the Los Angeles Pop scene. Since her 2012 debut, Maggie Szabo has been electrifying stages across the USA including the Viper Room, House of Blues, and the Hotel Café, spreading love and light with her anthemic pop tracks and soulful lyrics.
Her latest project offering “Back Where We Started: Remix Diary,” is an exciting colour palette of collaboration featuring notable names high-profile collaborators such as Barkley putting their own stamp on Szabo’s standout original.
Maggie Szabo sits down with IndustryMe to reflect on her career so far and plans for the singer’s upcoming EP
For anyone whose entry point to your career was pre-2018, they would have seen the transition into the electro-pop sound. What made you make that switch?
I met this DJ named Schiller who was in the audience at a place I was performing at and he came up to me afterward to ask if I could help him write some songs for his album. He’s a pretty well-known German DJ, so I was definitely down.
It was the first time I experimented with more of an electronic sound and it was really fun because I was able to do exactly what I normally do but the production was different. Then I started to do more of these collaborations with DJs around the world and I really fell in love with that kind of music. Naturally, my stuff began to become more electronic, so that’s the space I am living in now.
I know you spent some time in Amsterdam after that so would you attribute any of the change in your sound to that period of time?
100% and the reason why I went to Amsterdam was to link up with new producers and find more people to collaborate with. Amsterdam is a great hub for electronic and dance music, so [going there] helped me to find the direction for my solo music
Staying on the subject of your solo music, songwriting has seemingly always been important to you, so much so that you co-wrote all the songs on your debut album. Why was it so important to have that level of input so early on in your career?
Well, I started writing songs when I was like 12 so I’d always been writing. Being able, to be honest with my lyrics is really important. If there was ever a song that I heard that I loved that I hadn’t written I would never, not sing it because I didn’t write it. It just happens to be the stuff that I gravitate towards or relate to from a lyrical perspective
A lot has changed since you first started as an artist. With it being so easy to just upload something online and share it with the world how do you make sure what you put out is your very best?
That’s a good question and it’s so true. Now anyone can record anything and throw it up online. There’s so much content and noise that makes it very difficult for anyone to break through that wall. Luckily, I have a team [which includes} my manager who I’ve been working with for a few years now and is like family to me. Everything that I do goes through the both of us. I also have a great team here in LA of my writer friends and my producer Sam. Beyond that, I have been working a distribution team called Symphonic and they have their team. So, there is a lot of people that stuff has to go through before it goes out. I want to make sure that before the world hears it my team loves it also
As someone who is quite active on social media what advice would you give to a new artist on navigating that space?
A) I think patience is huge because I feel like we all want 10,000 followers right away. It takes a long time to build up followers. You have to be posting because you really wanted to share something and the way you get followers is to inspire people with your content. Don’t feel like you’re doing something wrong if you don’t get thousands of followers overnight it takes time.
B) Consistency is super key. The people that follow you want to see your content on a regular basis and want to know that they can rely on you for that content. Make sure you’re active every day.
C) Honesty. You have to be sharing stuff that is true to you. If you don’t you are going to run out of content really fast and people can always see past it.
In three words consistency honesty and patience.
Your Instagram would also indicate that you’re quite a big fan of working out. What does your weekly routine look like?
Yes definitely working out (laughs) I work out every day. For me it gets my day started and I have to do it first thing int the. Morning. I usually start with a run listening to music or a podcast, which is kind of like my form of meditation. Then I do mostly CrossFit. If I am travelling, I’ll do a long-distance run, which for me is a really fun way to explore the city [I’m in] and to see all the little things you would miss if you were in a car.
You’ve previously described music as your therapy. Is there a particular song from your discography that you look back at and think I wouldn’t have been able to get through this moment in time without this?
Yeah actually… “Back where we started”. I wrote that song a couple of years ago about a relationship I had been in years prior. I wrote the song much after the fact but I think for all of us we go through things and it can take us a really long time to heal and to process what happened. Sometimes when wounds are really fresh it’s almost like it’s too soon to even write about it. Writing that song was the last piece of “this is me moving on”. It was symbolic because it’s the first song I am releasing from this EP and the first step on this journey of harnessing my power and finding the love I feel we should all have for ourselves.
Let’s get into the music a little more “Back where we started” is about the magnetic connection but with “I don’t need you” you’re kind of over it. What changed?
Well “back where we started” is basically about not being able to run from a relationship that you know is toxic. And that can apply to anything. A friendship in or your life or an addiction. It’s that awareness of “I know this isn’t great for me but I keep going back”. Then “I don’t need you” is about finding the strength to actually walk away.
The song starts with a mention of your love interests eye colour. Are eyes the first thing you notice when you meet someone new?
Actually no. I’m huge on energy and vibes. So things like how easy conversation is but once you’re in things like eyes and looking at someone face and reading their energies through what they’re saying all feeds into falling in love with that person.
Having won a number of awards, had videos premiered by Ryan Seacrest are chart positions and accolades something of importance to you?
I mean it definitely validates what I am doing and it’s important in the sense that it makes me feel like my hardwork is paying off and getting noticed. Having all of those things is like the cherry on top but I love seeing that people are relating to my music or having them reach out and let me know that my song helped them get through something.
As an artist whose music has been featured in several tv and film projects, what advice would you give to new artists navigating that process?
Film and TV is really interesting because it is such a different process for writing your own music. LA is where is the film and TV shows are made so naturally after moving here, I started to learn a lot more about how the writing for them works. It’s a lot about networking. A lot of the people who are making these decisions are the music supervisors and you just have to go out and meet them. Not only that it’s about writing specifically for things. A lot of my solo music might not be great for film and TV because the kind of stuff they’re looking for can’t be super-specific. You have to hone that craft, it’s a different kind of writing and process.
Final question…What’s next for you?
Oooo. I am definitely excited because the music video for “I don’t need you” will be out soon and I’ll also be performing at Santa Monica pride and I have an entire EP coming out later this year. I initially wanted to do a tour this year but that’s obviously not happening so it will just be more songs, videos and content.