Check out what Maggie Szabo had to say:
BandRumors: Tell me a bit about how you got started in music!
Maggie Szabo: I am from a small town in Ontario called Dundas. I always did music growing up, ever since I was like three years old I knew I wanted to sing. When I was like 15 years old I started going to songwriting seminars, and I just knew that I loved writing songs. Right after high school, I drove down to Nashville and I ended up staying there and living there for a year and a half until I signed with a record label in Toronto, which brought me back to Canada.
I decided I wanted a change and wanted to try something new, and I have always wanted to go to LA, so I ended up going to Los Angeles for a quick writing trip again—history repeats itself—fell in love with it, and said I’m never leaving… at first I had my clothes, my piano and my guitar and that was it. I’ve been here three years now and I’m in love with it here. Everything’s been going really well. I’m so happy and grateful that I get to live here and do music that I love for a living.
BR: Wow, you started when you were three years old? Are your parents musicians?
MS: My parents, oddly enough, are not musicians. My mom played flute or something growing up in the high school band. My mom is an accountant and my dad is in the collision repair business, so what my parents do is totally opposite of what I do. For some reason, I’ve always just been drawn to music. I knew it was what I had to do, but I had no idea why. Luckily my parents are amazing and have always been supportive of what I did, especially my dad. He always pushed me to work really hard. The music business is really hard and I think he knew that.
BR: So you write your own music as well as perform. Do you have a favorite part of the process?
MS: I love all of it. It’s all so different. Each section is important for the whole thing…it’s all kind of intertwined. I really, really do enjoy the writing part and being in the studio just because it’s such a creative process. I love starting with absolutely nothing and then at the end of it having a full song.
BR: How do you come up with ideas for your songs?
MS: The process is always different. Sometimes I’ll write songs by myself at home and it will just be me and my piano or guitar, and I’ll make demos at home. Other times I’ll get together with a producer and we’ll start that way. I get inspired a lot by life, obviously. Sometimes if I don’t want to write about what I’ve been going through, other people’s stories will inspire me. There’s definitely always some real life relationships and experiences.
BR: That reminds me, I saw that your newest song “Gold” was inspired by being in love—is it about any one person in particular?
MS: It’s more love in general. With a sad song, it’s easier to be inspired by one person. Like if you’re really pissed off or heartbroken about something, you usually have one person in mind. But fast songs, it’s kind of just that overall feeling because it’s so exciting, it’s new, you’re on top of the world. We just wanted to capture that in a song that makes you feel good and have fun.
MS: There’s a great music scene in Canada, especially in places like Toronto and Vancouver. For me, coming to LA because it’s such a big city in comparison, there’s just so many more people and so many more people doing what I do…Compared to where I’m from, it’s more like a playground. There’s just always something, always shows, always different events, and an endless amount of people you can work with. For me that’s kind of the biggest thing. The amount of talent out here.
BR: Does the amount of competition ever get overwhelming?
MS: Sometimes it’s a reality check. But I do think it’s inspiring and it’s motivating. It pushes me to really want to work that much harder at what I do because I know the amount of great and talented people out here.
BR: Well you’ve found an edge by using social media really well for promoting your music. Do you have any likes or dislikes about social media?
MS: There’s so many platforms, it can be challenging to try to make all the content unique to each platform…There’s only so much that you can share, and you want Twitter to be different from your Instagram post, so that’s the most challenging part of it, but at the end of the day I love it and it’s such a great thing that we have artists share what we’re doing and reach fans instantly.
BR: Do you have a favorite artist you’ve worked with?
MS: I recently worked with DJ Schiller and we worked together on some tracks from his album actually. I wrote and sang on it as a vocalist. That was one of my favorite collaborations because it opened a whole new door for me to the EDM dance stuff that’s going on in Europe. It’s fun because I can still be me. I sing my melodies and write my lyrics, but it’s over a different beat and different style of music, so I really, really enjoy that.
BR: Do you have a dream artist you’d like to work with?
MS: I love Macklemore. I love that whole hip hop world where there’s a vocalist and they’re collaborating. I love Drake, that kind of thing. So that’s one of my goals, to do something that style.