By Jack Irvin
Maggie Lindemann has all the time thought-about herself a paranoid particular person. As a child, it was the rationale she’d ask her mother to remain in her room till she fell asleep. As an grownup, it’s why she started sleeping with a switchblade underneath her pillow.
“It simply gave me dangerous vibes, which is bizarre as a result of it was a model new home,” the 22-year-old singer-songwriter tells MTV Information about her then-home in a Los Angeles neighborhood. Mixed with the copious quantity of horror movies Lindemann watched on the time, nights when her roommate wasn’t house left her scared, to say the least. “Two tales is an excessive amount of for me… I have to know each inch of the home. He can be gone, and I might simply freak out and have to sleep with a knife underneath my pillow like each night time — and in all my drawers.”
Her sharp response to worry got here in helpful as direct inspiration for “Knife Beneath My Pillow,” the pop punk-inspired first single from her debut, Paranoia, out this Friday on Caroline Information. Whereas the EP would be the singer’s first-ever venture, she is in no way a beginner within the music trade. Rising up in Texas and performing together with her native church choir, she all the time dreamed of singing professionally, and she or he moved to Los Angeles at 16 to pursue it. Like many different youngsters on the time, she began posting cowl movies on-line — not on YouTube, however on Keek, a now-defunct video platform that launched in 2011.
After selecting up a following, her followers flocked to her Tumblr and Instagram pages, turning her right into a full-blown influencer earlier than the time period — which she despises — even existed. “I hate when individuals name me an influencer, ‘trigger that’s not how I make my cash,” says Lindemann, who hit one million followers earlier than releasing her first single, the downbeat “Knocking on Your Coronary heart,” in 2015. “I all the time needed to sing. I didn’t need to simply be a fairly lady on Instagram.”
Lindemann expressed an identical sentiment in 2016’s aptly titled “Pretty Girl,” an empowering, anthemic pop monitor that grew to become a world hit and caught the eye of 300 Leisure, the report label she signed to that yr. Contemplating the monitor has been streamed properly over a billion instances to this point, and its follow-up, infectious dance bop “Obsessed,” boasts practically 100 million streams, you’d suppose the singer would have adopted up the immense success with an album. However behind the scenes, she wasn’t a fan of the music she was placing out.
“I hated being this bubblegum-pop lady. I simply did not ever really feel like that was me,” she says. “The lyrics had been me, however the vibe wasn’t, and I felt like that began to develop into a relentless theme in my music. I liked the lyrics, however the manufacturing, I all the time simply did not prefer it.”
She determined to shift her sound to raised replicate her personal music style, citing acts like Sleeping With Sirens and Avril Lavigne as main inspirations. “I like heavy drums, heavy electrical guitars. I all the time needed to scream. I used to observe my screams once I was younger,” Lindemann remembers. “I felt like my entire life was pop-punk, after which I used to be pop, and it simply felt so bizarre.” In 2018, she launched the emo, melancholic “Would I” and “Pals Go,” a No Doubt-influenced monitor that acquired a hardcore remix from Blink-182’s Travis Barker. However simply as she was lastly settling right into a sound she recognized with, issues took a darkish flip.
On June 21, 2019, she was requested to go away the stage throughout a efficiency in Malaysia, the place she was then arrested by immigration police for not possessing the right work allow visa. The incident was reportedly as a result of negligence on behalf of the visa agent, who was later fined over $7,000. After the present, Lindemann was put in jail for twenty-four hours earlier than getting launched to her lodge room, the place she was compelled to remain for 5 days earlier than she may fly house. “It’s all such a blur, however principally we needed to go and be like, ‘Look, we had no concept. We don’t e-book this stuff,’” she particulars. “We had been going through probably 5 years in jail for being there illegally and probably deportation. It was simply horrifying.”
On the time, she felt she was being watched in her lodge room, solely worsening her preexisting paranoia. “I’ve all the time been paranoid, however that was a distinct degree ‘trigger it felt like I had a purpose to be,” she says. Whereas recognizing how lucky she is to have the ability to transfer on comparatively unscathed due to her authorized staff — and what number of others aren’t as fortunate — over a yr later, she nonetheless finds herself reminded of the discomfort and uncertainty she felt throughout her time in jail. “I needed to go to the DMV the opposite day, and the tiles and stuff had been the identical [as the jail cell], and I used to be simply type of like, ‘Whoa, that is actually freaking me out.’”
But it surely additionally pushed Lindemann to “need to make higher music” and eventually get a venture out into the world, and this time she needed to name the photographs — which meant parting methods with 300 Leisure in favor of Caroline Information, an impartial distributor that enables her to take action. Inside per week of returning house from the tour, she hit the studio and made the grim, guitar-driven “Totally different,” the primary track written for Paranoia, in addition to the primary monitor she’s ever co-produced.
From that time the songs stored flowing, and shortly sufficient she had an EP’s price of fabric. Whereas new songs just like the ear-shattering screamo monitor “Gaslight!” and metallic, cutthroat banger “Scissorhands” are a far cry from the polished pop of “Fairly Woman,” the musician seems like her sound completely aligns together with her persona for the primary time. “I used to all the time see feedback like, ‘I like her Instagram, I like her fashion, however her music does not match,’ and it all the time would drive me loopy ‘trigger I am like, ‘Ugh, I do know. I need it, too, so dangerous.’ And I really feel prefer it lastly does,” says Lindemann. “What you see is who I’m, for positive.”
The truth is, she’s felt so impressed in her new sound that she’s already laborious at work on an album to return after Paranoia. “I’ve three songs already, however I’m nonetheless simply at first,” she particulars. “However I do need to have an album out not too an excessive amount of longer after the EP drops, hopefully subsequent yr.”
If it had been as much as Lindemann, the following step can be to go out on a headlining tour, which she was planning on doing earlier than the pandemic hit again in March. Above the rest, her objective is merely to show herself as an artist as soon as and for all: “I simply hope to achieve people who I haven’t reached but, and I hope that folks will take me extra severely — and never consider me as an web one that determined to make music or one thing.”