Maggie Lindemann assuredly knows who she is and where she’s going. She describes her sound without delay as “alternative emotional pop” and herself as “I like to look like I’m about to suck your blood but in a cute way.” The 20-year-old musician got her break like many of millenial musicians do – on social media. After that, her 2016 debut single “Pretty Girl” peaked at number 2 in Sweden, number 4 in Belgium, number 8 in Norway and the UK and number 16 in the Netherlands.
Forward to four years later, Lindemann is on a roll: she has collaborated with makeup artist PatMcGrath, has her own fashion label SWIXXZ, and several sunglass collabs with Skinny Dip London. As expected from the fans that finance their careers, musicians tend to be people pleasers, but Maggie refuses to compromise her wholeness. She describes her personal style as punk/grunge, has over 20 tattoos, addresses mental health through lyrics with her song “Would I”, and came out as bisexual – all on her own terms. Don’t let her tenacity and nerve fool you; her heart is as warm as her perfectly-glossed smile. We met up with Maggie in NYC for a quick chat, where we learned more about her new EP, her fashion and beauty collaborations, and what she has in store this year.
You’re from Dallas, Texas living in LA. Was there any cultural shock when you made that move? How are Texans different from L.A. people?
The first thing I noticed when I moved to Los Angeles was how much more accepting people were. People were wearing crazy outfits, openly gay, people would just whip out guitars and start singing at parties…. you didn’t see that as much where I’m from. People are more afraid to be themselves where I’m from cause it’s just a different world.
Tell us about your first big break – what was the thing that changed everything for you?
The first thing that changed everything for me was when I got the email that someone had noticed my singing videos and wanted to meet with me. That one message changed my whole life. I went from living in Texas, in high school to moving to L.A., finishing school online and having a full-time job as a musician.
How would you describe your sound in your own words?
Alternative emotional pop.
Which musicians have inspired your music?
Gwen Stefani, Lana del Rey, Banks, Avril Lavigne.
You’ve mentioned before that your song “Would I” is about struggling with mental illness – can you fill us in on how the song came about? Is mental health something you wish to address through music?
Yes, it’s about struggling with mental illness and using substances to try to mask the pain. I was in a really dark place last year when we wrote this song, I had this terrible mindset where I didn’t care about myself or my health anymore. So with “Would I”, I really laid it all out. It is 100% true to me and my struggles. I think it’s really important to address the important things that happen in my life in my music. It’s why I make music, it’s my diary that I let everyone listen to.
Tell us about your latest release “Friends Go” – what inspired that track?
I wanted to do something with more guitar, more drums and something a little different; the horns. I am in love with rock, alternative, ska and I wanted to incorporate some of those elements into the pop music I make. But also incorporate my dark lyrics into a really fun and energetic beat.
You have been labeled as an “anti-heroine” – how would you describe your personal style? Any designers you are into right now?
That’s funny, I like that. I would describe my style as kinda punk/grunge. I don’t really know a title for it, I just kinda dress how I want. I’m so pale so I typically just wear black, I like to look like I’m about to suck your blood but in a cute way. I mostly just thrift, but I’m really trying to get more into designers. I like Enfant Riches Deprimes. I like stuff on the darker side.
How many tattoos do you have? Is there a story behind each one? If so can you share your favorite?
I honestly don’t know how many I have, I think when you start getting a lot you stop counting. I know I have more than 20. There are not meanings behind all of them but my favorite one is probably either the one on my bicep or my lil “oogie boogie” I got on Friday the 13th. I have a new favorite every week, I like them all a lot.
You mentioned you did your own makeup for our shoot (impeccably)! How did you learn to do it professionally? Do you do your own makeup for your performances?
Haha thank you!! I wouldn’t say it’s professional at all but I just know how to do makeup for my own face well I guess. I just have been doing it for so long, and I actually enjoy doing it, so I guess over time I got kinda decent. Ya, I do my own makeup for all my performances!! I feel like I’m just the best at doing my own makeup cause I know my face the best.
Tell us about your partnership with the make-up brand Pat McGrath?
In 2017 for my single “Obsessed” I teamed up with Pat McGrath and we launched the first ever makeup collab through Spotify, which is insane. She’s such a legend in the makeup world and so humble and sweet in real life. It was a dream!! I still wear my lipsticks all the time.
We understand you recently teamed up with Skinny Dip for a sunglasses collaboration – how did that come about? What inspired the designs?
I’ve done a lot of stuff with Skinny Dip, they’re just a really great brand and before I’ve even ever worked with them I’ve always bought they’re products. I love sunglasses and thought, why not do a line? I tried to do a line that was all different so all types of people could enjoy them! Even my mom wears them, it’s awesome!
You have your own clothing line, SWIXXZ. What is the inspiration for the designs?
Ya, it came out a few months ago actually! I’m about to have another drop soon that I’m REALLY looking forward to. I like to draw a lot of anime eyes so for the last drop we used a lot of that and incorporated some cool lyrics of mine.
You recently came out as bi-sexual. How was the aftermath of coming out? Did your fans support it?
I came out almost 3 years ago and I honestly never felt different or felt like there was an “aftermath.” It just felt like I was free from a secret I’d been trying to keep. My fans were so supportive and still are. They want me to get a girlfriend really bad, it’s quite funny actually.
You have a new EP coming out soon; do you feel you’ve evolved since earlier releases? If so how?
Yes so much, I’m just a completely different person then I used to be. I feel way more content with myself and the direction my music is going. I feel very genuine in my work now.
What can we look forward to with this major release?
More music, music videos, hopefully, my own tour very soon, another SWIXXZ drop…. so much is happening.
Interview by The Untitled Magazine
Photography by Nicola D’Orazio for The Untitled Magazine
Styling by Sasha Leon
Styling Assistant Mariana Martinez
Makeup by Maggie Lindemann