At the end of last month, I discovered New York City-based singer/songwriter and producer Magz. She had just released a tune called ‘The Memory’, and I was instantly captivated and drawn to her sound. Since then, I’ve listened to everything that Magz has to offer and found myself falling deeply in love with her majestic vocals and vulnerable, honest storytelling.
Thrilled that she agreed to do an interview with us, Magz takes us through her early love for the theater, how she handles the nerves of releasing new music, and which three albums she’d take with her to a deserted island. Please give a warm welcome to our new friends Magz!
Hey Magz, thanks a lot for chatting with us! I’m so excited to introduce you to our ever-expanding audience! My genesis for your music came when I heard your latest single ‘The Memory’, but could you tell us a bit about your musical journey? What has led you to where you are today?
Hi there! It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me. My music journey began at a very young age. With the support of my family, I was able to take private vocal lessons, attend music classes, and perform in different theater troupes. I grew up as a musical theater kid, with high hopes for Broadway. In a turn of events, as I got older I became more detached from theater and more attracted to telling my own stories and writing my own music. I picked up a ukulele, learned about 4 chords, and just began to write.
I was quickly thrown into the music scene about 5 years ago when making some friends in the industry. I was beyond lucky to have talented friends around who wholeheartedly believed that I could be an artist. I became even more lucky when one of them invited me to work with them in their music studio. We wrote an entire EP together and then scrapped the whole thing. It didn’t feel like my sound. One song stayed, and that was the first song I’d ever released, called ‘Sorry’ back in March 2020. Since then, my artistry and the team involved have been evolving.
I’ve fallen in love with ‘The Memory’! It’s hauntingly beautiful and takes me on an emotional and ethereal journey. Do you remember the song’s “birth” so to speak?
I tend to write in a state of true nostalgia, and ‘The Memory’ hits that on the nose. It was back in April 2021 when I had written some lyrics about a first love, “Then again I last saw you when you were seventeen”. Then each verse somehow evolved into writing about different people that I used to share my love with, capturing many memories – and not the singular one I set out to write about. It wasn’t entirely intentional, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think about so many people in my past when I hear this song.
I know that ‘The Memory’ is your fourth and final single to be released before your highly anticipated debut EP ‘Night Sweats’. Do you get nervous before putting out new material? What do you feel when you’re just about to publish?
I try really hard to not let the anxiety get the best of me before new releases. I’m a perfectionist at my core, and also heavily anxious. I like to have friends around the night of my releases, whether we hang out on my couch or go out to a bar. You’ll definitely find me checking my stats quite a bit during the first week of my release – but I try my best to stay distracted by positive responses to my music.
What do you love most about being a musician? And on the flip side of that, what would you say have been some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced so far?
I probably have one billion thoughts per second, so a pen to paper (or thumbs to notes app) helps me release my obsessive thoughts. These words and these feelings begin the blueprint for a new song. All in that same process, I relive experiences that I don’t necessarily want to. Each song I write is a reflection of my reality. Writing comes very easily to me, but that doesn’t mean writing it isn’t hard on me.
I’ve been listening to some of your other tunes and I love the eclectic and diverse range of your music, so I’m excited to hear your answer to this question. Who are some of your biggest musical influences? Who did you grow up listening to?
Although I’ve been considered a “pop-girly”, my goal is to become mostly a genre-less artist. I’m glad you are able to hear the diversity that I’ve been leaning toward. I’m influenced by all music, old and new. On my Spotify, you can find The Beach Boys and Frank Ocean on the same playlist. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Chet Baker and Harry Nilsson. My music has never been heavily influenced by a singular artist, but Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, and Marina and The Diamonds were a huge part of my formative teenage years. They are the reason I ever had an ounce of confidence when it came to making pop music.
OK, Magz – desert island time! You’re allowed to grab 3 albums before being stranded on an island. Which do you choose?
This is too tough. ‘Pet Sounds’ by the Beach Boys is something I could never live without, along with ‘channel ORANGE’ by Frank Ocean. ‘Born To Die’ by Lana Del Rey would have to be the third. (BIG shoutout to ‘Joanne’ by Lady Gaga, her most underrated album.)
When you’re not creating new music, what keeps you busy and what do you enjoy doing? Walk us through a non-musical day in the life of Magz.
If I’m not making music, I’m sleeping.
If you had to pick only one for the rest of your life, would you choose to listen to or create music?
This is an evil question – but I can’t imagine a world where I would stop making music, even if nobody listened to it.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Magz! It’s been a real pleasure. Just before we let you go, what do you hope for in your musical future?
Of course! I have no idea what the future holds for me, all I know is that I’ll keep on going. My one intention with my music is to connect to those who need it most.