By Geoffrey Rowlands
By Geoffrey Rowlands
Justin Bieber, Halsey and Alessia Cara are just a few of those star names who launched their career via social media. Step forward 18-year-old Maggie Lindemann as the latest artist to translate social media postings into a place among the top ten on Britain’s singles chart.
“Everybody has to start somewhere,” said Dallas-born Maggie. “It’s no longer a stigma to be labelled a ‘social media star.’ Starting on social media, being accepted for who you are before you even put out content, is absolute affirmation that fans want what is authentic and real.”
A singer since the age of four, Maggie began recording videos of her singing while in junior high school and posted them on the keek social media app. One of her many followers put a clip of Maggie on the fan’s own social media pages. This was seen by former Sony Music marketing strategist Gerald Tennison. Recognising talent when he saw it, Gerald viewed more of her videos before contacting Maggie with an offer to manage her.
“It meant moving to Los Angeles. I didn’t want to leave my family, friends and the life I had. But I had always dreamed of having a career in music. Gerald was basically giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. It was just something I had to do. I needed to give it a shot.”
Maggie spent her first 18 months in Los Angeles writing songs, recording and developing her vocal ability. She also completed her high school education by being home schooled.
Fans were able to follow her musical progression. Rather than privately honing her skills, Maggie kept in constant contact with her followers posting her work across the entire spectrum of social media imprints.
“I wanted my followers to make the journey with me. I am so grateful for their support. My fans are why I am where I am. Whatever may happen, I will never depart from social media. I hope my followers will stay with me forever.”
Maggie’s official debut single was independently released in September, 2015. Knocking On Your Heart was a heartfelt ode to her friend Cameron who had been killed in a fire during the 2014 Thanksgiving break.
“I was overwhelmed that the song went top 20 on the iTunes Alternative chart. It’s a super personal track. Not just about Cameron. Complicated relationships I had earlier in my life also influenced the lyrics. It was good for me to release my stuffed up emotions.”
Two more independent singles would follow. Couple of Kids and Things both secured places in the upper reaches of the iTunes Alternative listings.
Maggie regards herself as a similar artist to Lana Del Rey in the sense that she wanted to retain control of her output without necessarily chasing chart stardom. With this in mind, she had no great desire to sign with any of the interested record labels. However, last September, she inked a deal with 300 Entertainment.
“My team was just me, my manager and parents. I loved it because I got to be me. But the people at 300 Entertainment saw what I was doing and wanted to be part of it. They didn’t want to alter things. That was exactly what I wanted.”
Maggie’s first release on 300 Entertainment is Pretty Girl. Issued on September 30 last year, the accompanying video did not appear until March. A slow burner, the song has now reached number nine in Britain. It has also achieved top ten status in Norway and Sweden along with solid chart spots in numerous other countries.
“It’s a different kind of song from my earlier singles. Pretty Girl still has a message in the lyrics. It’s about girls being much more than our physical appearance. People need to look past that and find what’s deeper. But the whole vibe of the song is much poppier than my previous work. It’s been described as a catchy pop tune and I’m happy about that.”
Pretty Girl was inspired by Maggie’s experiences growing up in the era of social media.
“I found myself being constantly judged and underestimated based on superficial things. This is something I think a lot of girls are going through. The song will hopefully show people there’s a lot more to girls than just being pretty. We have so much to offer.”
George Michael/Nile Rodgers
Unlike so many other artists who pass away at far too young an age, there has been no suggestion of releasing archived material recorded by George Michael. But it seems George was actually working on a collection of new songs before he died.
Chic legend Nile Rodgers recently posted a picture on Twitter of himself in a Los Angeles recording studio developing a track which he was remixing for George. Nile said George’s vocals were so hot that the faders were burning his hands.
When asked by a fan when the song would be released, Nile replied that he just made the music and had no control over any possible release. But he added that he loved the song and George’s vocals were unreal.
George died on December 25, 2016. Perhaps a release in time for this Christmas might be seen as appropriate.
Robbie Williams has announced details of his forthcoming new album. But don’t expect to see it listed in the UK chart as Under The Radar Volume 2 will be sold exclusively from Robbie’s Internet website.
Scheduled for release in November, the album is a collection of demos and previously unreleased tracks spanning Robbie’s entire 22-year solo career. It follows Under The Radar Volume 1, another compilation of B-sides and previously unheard songs, which was given away as a free download in December, 2014.
Robbie is not being so generous on this occasion. The standard digital download costs 4.99 GBP with the standard CD at 10 GBP. Two other packages feature additional tracks, exclusive picture prints, an album booklet and autographed CDs. These are priced at 30 and 50 GBP respectively.
Full details can be found at www.robbiewilliams.com/news/under-the-radar-volume-2-pre-order-now
In other news, Robbie’s latest official biography will be published on September 21. The sequel to 2004’s Feel, Reveal has also been written by Chris Heath. It is described as a characteristically raw, uncensored and honest account of the past 13 years of Robbie’s life.
Despite still being embroiled in a legal dispute with Birdman and Cash Money Records, rap star Lil Wayne recently released a new four-track EP via his SoundCloud account.
In Tune We Trust contains the songs Loyalty, Magnolia, Fireworks and Mula Gang. All but Magnolia feature an extensive roll call of guest artists. They might just be on three songs but Wayne has Jeezy, Hoody Baby, Jay Jones, Gudda Gudda and Euro all making contributions.
The EP can be heard at (no www.) soundcloud.com/youngmoneydotcom
Twelve more tracks are also posted here. They feature a range of artists such as ILOVEMAKONNEN, Tyga, Lil Twist and Mack Maine.
Fans of electronic dance music will be familiar with Flosstradamus. The Chicago-based duo of Josh Young and Curt Cameruci were pioneers in bringing trap music to the dance floor.
In a move which both saddened and excited their fans, Josh ended the partnership last year opting to forge a solo career under the name of YehMe2.
“I spent 11 years working with Curt,” Josh stated. “Towards the end, the ideas were getting a bit stale and convoluted. I felt there were too many cooks in the kitchen so I decided to leave.”
The seeds of separation had been sown last summer when Josh posted a 50-minute project, Steal This Mixtape, at (no www.) soundcloud.com/yehme2
Numerous other tracks have been posted here during the course of 2017. Some of these can be downloaded for free.
The latest posting is a 28-track mixtape, volume 2 of Steal This Mixtape. Stylised as STMT2, the entire mixtape can be acquired free of charge. It is available from www.hive.co/downloads/download/499171/spotlight/
ST. MARTiiNS are Scottish duo Katie Lynch and Mark Johnston. They met during their first year at high school in Dundee and have been playing music together ever since.
A solid concert schedule combined with critical acclaim has seen singer Katie and guitarist Mark reach a point in their career where they have released their four-track debut EP, Bad w/her.
The songs are posted at (no www.) soundcloud.com/stmartiins The video for lead single, othr grls, which features Katie, Mark and a collection of their canine friends, can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg9F_BNk0Qk
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