The most fantastic thing about working with specialized music journalism is when we come across an artist who, just by looking at them, is already different from all the other hundreds of personalities you deal with on a daily basis. The first time I received anything from the American Maggie Roberts, or simply Magz, was the single cover of “For Good”. A melancholy, tender look. Magz is magnificent, and also magnetic, and the first thing she awakens is an overwhelming desire to just comfort her.
Magz usually writes about her struggle with mental health, which, on the first song she ever released “For Good” (After 2020’s “Sorry”) brought her to a level of exposure she’s never experienced before. “This was the first time that anybody (other than my close circle) got an open book to my very personal mental health struggles”, she reveals. Moving on from the single releases of their first EP (tbr), called “Night Sweats”, the track “Quicksand” is even more direct and a bit less “sugary”, shall we say. But still irresistible.
The impact of losses and mental health can be deeply personal and unique to each individual.
According to Mags, the main idea of the single was to cause a sense of loss. “The sinking feeling speaks as a metaphor for losing control in life, which can be overwhelming and all-consuming“. What we have here is a song that dialogues very well with several others that deal with the same theme, such as “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift and, especially, a good part of the songs from the last Billie Eilish’s album, “Happier Than Ever”. All of them surrounding what has been called the epidemic of the modern world: anxiety and depression.
The song conveys the weight of hopelessness and the desire to surrender, while hinting at desperation and hope to find solid ground. Every element of this song represents a fragment of my being.
Dealing spontaneously with the entire system for promoting her work, Magz avoids fitting into the “artist-influencer” mold, and seeks much more than personality in her posts…
She is looking for empathy.
More than followers, Magz wants someone who shares her deepest, sometimes painful feelings, which she transforms into art with a delicacy rarely seen in today’s showbiz. She’s beautiful from the inside out.
After all, Magz is what we need to keep going against this quicksand we call everyday life.
2 5 Things about Magz
RC – Hello Magz, how is it going? Are you in NY?
M – First of all I’d just like to say thank you for having me! Things are a bit up and down, but mostly good right now. I have been living in NYC for about 5 years now.
RC – “For Good” and now “Quicksand” are tracks filled with some nostalgia. It almost feels like you are letting out some pain inside of you. The losses you had in your life, how did they impact on your songwriting?
M – These two tracks are really special and close to my heart. When I write, I only ever address my honest real life situations and feelings. After I released “For Good” I felt very exposed. This was the first time that anybody (other than my close circle) got an open book to my very personal mental health struggles. “Quicksand” dives even deeper, addressing things such as my experience with an eating disorder and PTSD. The loss and pain that I’ve experienced are (unfortunately/fortunately) an endless stream of inspiration for every song I write. The impact of losses and mental health can be deeply personal and unique to each individual.
RC – Even though as a would say “indie pop artist” your work has all the production the showbizz demands, however you still show a very “organic” performance. How’s your creative process, do you write the lyrics first or after the chords?
M – I’d say I’m a bit in love with my process and how everything has come to fruition. Every song stems from something I write, and either I or one of my collaborators come up with a nice chord progression. After that, melodies get passed around seamlessly. I’ve collaborated exclusively with two other writers for my upcoming EP. One based in London, and the other in NYC. This is a project that’s been in the works for almost three years now, which is why there is such precision and intention with each song. I like to create intimate and authentic work, to showcase my identity as an artist.
RC – Nowadays, every true artist needs to spend time on Instagram, doing all the pretty faces and poses. Your feed has that too, ok, but you also talk a lot about your family. Is family really important to you in your career?
M – Social media is really important for connecting with fans and promoting new music. Creating content on social media is very tough for me though. I’m insecure to a fault, and still consider myself a private person, as I don’t post too often. While many artists may showcase a more glamorous or fashionable side, I also find it important to use the platform to share more personal aspects of my life including my relationships with family and loved ones. Family and friends are an important source of inspiration, support, and grounding for me. I have a few posts on my page honoring loved ones who have passed. I feel like it’s an important thing to keep them alive somehow within photos and memories. I’m grateful to have photos and videos to look back on, and to share.
RC – Your first EP hasn’t come out. We’ll have more “nostalgic” songs or you intend to do something happier with the other tracks besides the ones you already released?
M – My debut EP “Night Sweats” is a project filled with themes of nostalgia and longing. I wouldn’t say any of the tunes are particularly happy, but there is a sprinkle of hope and strength layered in each song. It’s definitely a deep dive into my life. I have so many stories to tell (in time) and these songs are simply the start of what’s to come in the future.
So, tell us now what did you think about Magz’ work!