Let’s be real, growing up is hard. Hell, being alive in the 21st century is hard – what with all the pressures and mixed-messages that are being fed to us, day and night, through social media, advertisements, public policy et al. Thus, let us ask ourselves: W.W.M.L.D. (What would Maggie Lindemann do)?
The past couples of years have been exciting ones for Maggie Lindemann with "Pretty Girl" and "Obsessed" getting 500M and 50M streams a pop, and her name topping the international charts in Scandinavia, U.K., and Belgium. Fresh off international tours alongside Khalid and The Vamps, she is back in the studio working on her forthcoming (and—can you believe it—first ever) EP. But something is different now. "Humans," released in October, marks a shift in Lindemann’s music – a shift, she explains, that parallels her path to self-realization. Lest we forget, this industry was first introduced to Maggie when she was but a 16-year-old singer/songwriter from Dallas and, like all of us, she has since been figuring things out. While her sound may have shifted from the indie-pop beats of "Pretty Girl" this (now) 20-year-old’s honesty sure hasn’t. Be it her struggle with depression, the pressures of her new life in L.A. or be it the pleasures of falling love, Lindemann’s pristine vocals, brutally honest lyrics, and catchy beats hail in a new generation of musicians that are keeping it real at all costs. And, boy, are her fans (A.K.A. we) here for it. Unsurprisingly, the same rules apply for Lindemann’s latest music video that, courtesy of renaissance-woman director/photographer/writer Kajal, captures the sometimes colorful, often unexpected and always scary reality (or, shall we say, surreality) of growing up in the craziness of the 21st century. To top it all off, Lindemann’s music is “genuinely sick” too.
Check out our exclusive Q&A with Maggie Lindemann, below. While you're at it, here's your chance to see the world premiere of her brand new music video for "Would I," too. Happy Monday!
You’ve mentioned that your career is different now from what you imagined when you were first starting out at 16 years old - imagining, for example, that ‘Things’ was the type of music you’d be making. You also said that a big reason for this was because you’re slowly starting to figure out who you are. Who was Maggie Lindemann then?
I was young and I think I just wanted to be viewed as more mature. I was 16 and viewed as a kid that didn't know who she was or what she wanted. I just wanted to be like "nah I'm mature and I know what's up with who I am” - which I later found out was just not the case. I was really angry back then and kind of ignorant. I was just confused with a lot in my life and still figuring things out, but I wanted the world to think I had it already figured out.
You’ve said that your creative process has changed as you’ve matured. We've also heard that you’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio these past few months. Can you walk us through what your creative process currently entails?
It's been me getting an idea, then getting on the guitar and finding cool chords to go with it. From there, it's been about making a beat, all the melodies then putting the words in there.
Before dropping ‘Human,’ you warned us (in a good way) that it would be very different from anything you’d ever released before. What thoughts were going through your head in the hours leading up to the drop?
I was excited. It was my first drop in almost a year and I was just hyped to release something I thought was genuinely super sick. I was nervous of course because you always get those initial thoughts like, "are people gonna like this? Is this cool to other people or just me?" But I'm happy with the response.
People seem to be extremely receptive to ‘Would I,’ with many posting very personal thank you messages to your social media and some even tattooing the lyrics on their bodies. What kind of reception were you expecting?
I was nervous ‘cause, you know, it was some really personal stuff. I've never talked about any substance abuse before that, or the true depth of my mental state. So, to see people saying they really admired me for that and telling me their stories meant absolutely everything. I was hoping to get that response but, honestly, I was bracing myself for a lot of hate. ‘Cause people who don’t really understand tend to downplay it. But the response was awesome and I’m so thankful.
You’ve revealed that ‘Would I’ also refers to your struggle with depression. We here, at L’Officiel USA, admire you for your contribution to the discourse about mental health. How have you found the courage to be honest?
I’ve struggled my whole life and I’ve always been open about that. But, as time goes by, I’ve felt the need to talk about it more. I’ve been through some tough times and I’ve found it really helpful to release those feelings through music, so I’m going with it.
Considering how well ‘Would I’ was received, everyone’s been dying to see its accompanying video - the details of which you’ve been tantalizingly dropping, here and there, for your fans on social media. How did you initially pitch the idea to Kajal, who also directed ‘Human’?
Well, I had these ideas and mood boards that I put together and she just totally got it right away. When I sent my ideas, the plans she sent back were literally flawless. She has been so amazing to work with.
There seems to be a recurring theme here. Do you like scary movies?
I love scary movies – honestly, that's all I watch. I like to be creepy. It makes me feel more myself. I wanna be in a scary movie one day, that’d be sick.
Who is Maggie Lindemann now?
I'm a lot happier now, not in life necessarily, but just with who I am. I think I'm finally coming to terms with myself. I'm not an angry person anymore and I view things way more optimistically, which is something I've always struggled with. I'm still working on myself but I'm happy with who I'm becoming.