05.15.17 - Elysian Magazine
By Millie Sims
Photographs by Josh Norris
Singer/songwriter Maggie Rose is a rising star in the Nashville music scene, making her voice known with mesmerizing vocals and a beautiful blend of poignant lyricism and grabbing melodies. In 2017, she has already joined both Hunter Hayes and Martina McBride on tour and will be on the road with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw this summer on their “Tim and Faith: Soul 2 Soul” tour. The momentum continues with her new album Dreams > Dollars with lead single “Body on Fire” dropping May 19, and two international icons in process of cutting a collaborative track using an original song by Maggie. Stay tuned over the coming months to learn more.
Maggie Rose pulls into the Durham Performing Arts Center an hour late after her tour van broke down en route to her Durham, North Carolina, stop on the “CMT Next Women of Country with Martina McBride” tour. Following a frustrating experience that forced her to miss sound check, Rose’s unfaltering positivity is delightful. She arrives backstage with a smile on her face, calm, cool, collected. She even recounts that she and her tour companion band, Post Monroe, had warmed up by putting on an impromptu show at Firestone while waiting on repairs. Her resilience and adaptability must certainly contribute to the success she’s found in her climb, but Rose sheds some light on what other qualities beyond sheer talent have enabled her to reach this breakthrough moment in her career.
“I used to think talent was everything, but I feel like it’s about an eighth of the big picture,” Rose said. “Having a sense of self is so important. You start to wrap your identity up in the record deals, who you’re working with, the validation you get from your title. In the past year I’ve been the most independent I’ve ever been, and the most excited about what I’m making. If you’re someone who creates, you create. If you’re emulating other people, you’ll be one step behind. It’s not about trying to hit a target but trying to be the target.”
Having started her music career at the ripe age of 18, Rose’s pursuit of self is now coming to a head with the necessary experience behind her to own her creative voice. As a student at Clemson University, Rose managed to get her tape in front of industry powerhouse Tommy Mottola and earned the rare opportunity to meet with him.
“He called me when I was on my way to Econ. I thought it was a prank call,” Rose said. “He must have been having a good day because he liked the melodies and loved my voice. I was invited to sing in his office in Manhattan, and suddenly music went from this pipe dream to a viable path.”
Gaining entrance was the launch of Rose’s professional music career, but learning to own her artistry has been the guiding factor in her journey to acclaim. “I’ve had so many reasons to get frustrated and shut down in this quest, but I think it’s my vocation,” she said. “It’s what I’m meant to do.”
Rose elaborates on what inspires her to write, which she feels is deeply rooted in the failures she has experienced and the lessons she has derived from them. “ ‘Life isn’t Sex in the City.’ There isn’t some thesis at the end of each day that says, ‘This is what you learned today’. It’s usually the moments in between the significant events that are inspiring.” She draws on the example of a song she wrote two years ago in response to her pain over a failed relationship, a seed planted and forgotten, which is now the music that two superstars are working with to cut their new track. “I’ve learned in this journey that patience is key, and intention is everything. If you do something with intent, you never know if it’ll come back in two years and be the biggest opportunity of your life. There’s nothing lost if you do something with sincerity.” E