Nashville-based musician, Maggie Rose, began to sing before she could even speak. In this way, she’s always been forward thinking, readying herself for the future and her place in it while practicing what most contents her sensibilities. Flash-forward a couple decades and, today, Rose is a full-fledged Americana singer-songwriter, blossoming and burgeoning in the genre that itself is doing so, too. Rose’s latest offering – the spritely “Help Myself” – is a nod to her creative core and her ambition to improve. The song, however, never loses track of the lighter side of life and the humor that it takes to press on in a world full of changes and challenges.
“There’s a levity to ‘Help Myself,’ a sarcasm and a self-deprecating angle,” Rose says. “It’s about this idea, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing and neither do you but we’ll figure it out together.’ It’s okay to not be okay, to not know all the answers right now.”
The single, which starts with a bright piano, sparks with Rose’s elastic, melodic voice. She diagnoses herself on the internet, she says. New cleanses, new gurus. We’re all searching, Rose belts, we’re all confused. As if in a cave, hands outstretched, we’re in search. A slapping snare and cascading, harmonic vocals fill out the song’s smirking rhythmic skeleton. The song will appear on Rose’s forthcoming LP, which was slated for the summer or fall this year, but, due to the pandemic, will drop 2021. In the meantime, Rose will continue to explore and expand her creative ambitions (like in this set).
“I have a big picture goal,” she says. “It’s easy to stay motivated when you feel like you’re working at something bigger than just radio play.”
While she could sing before she could talk, Rose’s musical journey began more in earnest at 16-years-old. A student at a Catholic prep school in Maryland around the Washington D.C. area, Rose was introduced to a Bruce Springsteen cover band that toured up and down the Jersey Shore. She says she would “piggyback” on their shows and collaborate with them. Eventually, she started to write her own songs and play guitar. She loved performing in front of an audience. She loved how the audience responded to her work. Later, Rose enrolled at Clemson University but in 2008 she dropped out at 19-years-old to follow her dream in Nashville.
“Moving to Nashville at such an early age really helped shape my voice and my writing style,” Rose says. “Until I got here, I hadn’t been around so many amazing creative people. I hadn’t been able to use the resources that come with living in this community. That’s when my Master’s Degree in music began.”
Indeed, Rose recalls that lone year at Clemson, driving around in her car, recording the first raw vocal tracks that would later become her more complete songs. Growing up in a more conservative-minded family, Rose hadn’t had much exposure to the world of creative or musical collaboration. But with each new day, that realm expanded around her.
“I didn’t feel I had a lot of people to bounce ideas off of at the time,” Rose says. “It was an insulated process for me, compared to what I’ve done now. My way of working now is really collaborative. I thrive in that.”
For her new record, Rose brought out the heavy hitters, including members of the Alabama Shakes, legendary Muscle Shoals musicians and other session legends. The record, which was recorded at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, raised the bar, Rose says. It pushed her to work that much harder and better to create a body of work that she could be proud of for years to come.
“It was really cool to get everyone together in such a historic place and have a lot of them meet for the first time,” Rose says. “When we were done, everyone left feeling very close and just happy. It was special.”
Rose, who has already received YouTube’s Emerging Artist Award, charted on Billboard and partnered with companies like Land O’Lakes, has earned the attention from many of her peers. The artist, who is also known for her sharp aesthetics and attire, knows that a successful career depends on a complete, well-rounded package. Whether it’s the right harmony, guitar line, hair-do or song beats-per-minute, to continue to grow and progress in one’s vocation means to dive head-first and to swim back to the top artfully. For Rose, this is no problem.
“I’m in this for the long haul,” Rose says. “I want to be a career artist and I want to make music that stands the test of time. I want to be able to look back in good conscious and know I was putting meaningful music out there, doing things to honor my talent and my experiences and that connects me with other people I love. That’s the only thing that really matters.”