Maggie Rose Biography
Music is a powerful means of expression and rarely has a young performer displayed better command of the vehicle than Maggie Rose. Possessing a strong, warm voice that is alternately playful or poignant as the subject matter dictates, Maggie has a gift for penning insightful songs and delivering them with emotional punch. Working with legendary producer James Stroud, Maggie has crafted a debut album filled with potent songs, each one anchored by her riveting vocals.
With one listen to her impressive voice, it’s obvious Maggie could have chosen any musical genre and found success, but country seemed like home. “I did have a lot of influences,” the Maryland native says recalling her childhood. “My mom exposed me to great female artists like Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt and Trisha Yearwood, really powerful female voices.”
Always passionate about music, she embraced a variety of different artists and styles, but felt a particular kinship with country artists, especially those with the ability to share compelling stories in their songs. “The first concert I ever went to was a Shania Twain show,” she says. “While I also admired many of the pop singers that were so popular when I was younger, when it got down to my becoming an artist, country always spoke to me. I connected with country music more than any other genre.”
By the time she was 16, she was performing regularly with a Bruce Springsteen cover band called the B Street Band. “I would do my own little introductory set and then they’d play the Bruce Springsteen cover songs,” she recalls. “They were such a good band, so it was a great experience to be backed by great musicians.”
While majoring in vocal performance at Clemson University, Maggie got a phone call that changed her life. A friend had sent some of her demos to music mogul Tommy Mottola, well-known for launching Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child and Mariah Carey, among others. “I remember getting the call from Tommy’s assistant as I was walking with my friend to economics class,” Maggie recalls. “She said, ‘Tommy wants you to come to his office and sing some original songs for him.’ It was so surreal. I didn’t go to class that day. I went back to my dorm room and tried to process everything.”
When Mottola learned of Maggie’s desire to pursue a country music career, he helped her connect with James Stroud and his wife Laura, a successful Music Row publisher, who Maggie describes as her “Nashville Mom.” Laura introduced Maggie to some of the community’s top songwriters who became friends and collaborators. James was so impressed with the demos he began hearing, he took Maggie in the studio to begin work on her debut. “I’m so much more sure of the artist I want to be today than I was when I first moved here,” Maggie says, “Moving to town, I became aware of the reality that there are so many talented people here. It gives me so much perspective. One of the reasons people move here is to be around other creative people.”
Maggie first gained a national audience with the engaging single “Maybe Tonight,” which was accompanied by a charming video that spotlighted her performance skills. Previously known as Margaret Durante, the young artist felt she really wanted fans to know her as Maggie Rose, the name all her family and friends call her. She felt it was time to hit the reset button. “Sharing the name that I’ve been called by my family and friends with my fans is just another way to open up a part of me to them that they haven’t seen yet,” she says. “I was not being untrue to myself going by Margaret Durante, but I’m giving my experiences and my stories to my fans and I wanted them to call me by my nickname. I think it’s just a nice way to honor where I’ve been and where I’m going.”
Becoming more confident in her musical gift ignited a particularly creative period for Maggie that fueled the songs on her debut album. Co-writing with some of Nashville’s most noted tunesmiths, Maggie delivers a diverse collection that examines the intricacies of life. “I feel like this music is unapologetic,” she says. “I want women to hear this and be like, ‘Yeah! Right On!’ It gives women empowerment definitely, but also I want people to be entertained by it. A lot of the music, for me, is very coming-of-age. It’s about finding out who I am, not just as an artist, but as a young woman growing up, being on my own in Nashville.”
Maggie is thoughtful, articulate and intelligent yet has a playful streak that is endearing and a dry sense of humor that will sneak up on you. Her songs have the ability to move an audience with their depth and intensity, yet she’s equally capable of delivering a light-hearted romp that will make audiences want to get up and dance. “‘Fall Madly In Love’ is just a catchy, infectious, flirty, confident song,” Maggie says. “There’s something about that song. I couldn’t stop singing it once I heard it once and it just came alive. When we recorded it in the studio with James, it just took on a life of its own. It’s an undeniable song with lots of energy and confidence, which is what I feel like my music is about right now, just being confident and sassy and having fun.”
“Preacher’s Daughter” spotlights Maggie’s ability to pen a great story song. Co-written with Connie Harrington, the eerie lyric recounts the murder of two young lovers. “We had a blast writing it,” Maggie says. “We wanted it to be sultry and a little dark, but also have a deep South, funky country sound like Bonnie Raitt. I love how she has that cool vibe about her. We were trying to channel that for ‘Preacher’s Daughter.’ I love singing it. Every time I perform it I can’t help but just to come alive because it’s a great story.”
“Better” is a compelling song that finds Maggie channeling the pain of a past break up. “I was telling James Stroud and Stephony Smith the story of this person who had just broken my heart,” she recalls. “They said, ‘Boy, have we got a song for you!’ They played me ‘Better’ and I was so moved by it. I was right there in the trenches of everything that was going on in the song in my own life. Even now when I sing ‘Better,’ it just takes me back to that feeling that I had emotionally when I first heard the song. It’s really powerful and totally honest. We didn’t compromise anything on that song.”
Uncompromising, unapologetic and unexpected--these are just a few of the words that come to mind in describing Maggie Rose. Whether she’s opening for Jason Aldean or Lady Antebellum in a large arena or performing an intimate set in a local club, Maggie has the ability to transport the listener through her music. “I love connecting with people,” she says. “There’s no feeling like it. When I go to a concert, I won’t know the person sitting next to me, but if someone puts on a great show, by the end of the night I feel connected to complete strangers because the person on stage has made us all relate to what they are saying. We all feel that common ground that we’ve bonded on. It’s incredible and magical for me. As an artist and songwriter, that’s the thrill--to be connecting with a group of people by sharing your stories. It’s pretty remarkable.”
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