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A Dirty Dozen with MAGGIE CUBILLOS – November 2022

| 8 November 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Singer-songwriter Maggie Cubillos is currently a junior at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. The 21-year-old Colombian/Cuban/American vocalist grew up in Hermosa Beach, a small Southern California coastal town, with its own rich musical history steeped in both Jazz and Punk Rock. She has spent her entire life on stages, starting with local musical theater productions and talent shows, and later, high school choir and stints at the prestigious A Cappella Academy, and the nationally recognized Legacy A Cappella group. The former National YoungArts Foundation finalist continues to hone her craft through various projects, collaborations, and live gigs. Maggie’s first single, “Old Shoes,” is out November 4th, and was produced by Steve Ornest (who also plays guitar on the track) at LA’s Total Access Recording along with bassist Matt Rubano (Taking Back Sunday, Outasite, Lauryn Hill) and drummer Rob Humphreys (Kacey Musgraves Jason Mraz, Elle King).” We get Maggie to discuss her first single, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your single “Old Shoes.”  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard listeners might find?

“Old Shoes” is my debut single which is so crazy to say! I’ve been wanting to release my own music since I was little so I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. One thing I hope people pick up on that you might not notice the first time listening is the ocean sounds in the intro and outro! My producer had this audio of waves crashing from years ago and I thought it was perfect to set the scene of the song. I wrote the song when so much in my life was changing and I had to embrace it and one of those things was being away from my home in LA so I think it’s perfect.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I did a lot of musical theater growing up which was sort of my first introduction to performing. And my parents are both huuuuuge music lovers so it was something I was always encouraged to do. I remember going to big family gatherings growing up and seeing everyone sing and dance and have a good time and my parents brought me to a lot of concerts so I think even before I knew I wanted to be a musician it was ingrained in me.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Sara Bareilles. I started listening to her music when I was probably 13 and I remember when I saw her live back in 2019 it changed everything. I was in the midst of applying to colleges and trying to figure out if I really wanted to pursue music. My friend and I went to see her at the Hollywood Bowl and I remember as soon as she walked out on stage I was flooded with this need to do what she was doing. The career she has built for herself is so inspiring and in that moment I realized I wanted to fully pursue music moving forward.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Gracie Abrams! She has become one of my favorite artists over the last few years and when I saw her play live in Boston last year it changed my life. She holds so much emotion in her voice and I would love to write with her someday. I take a lot of inspiration from her into my own music so collaborating with her would be a dream.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love going on walks! When I was in Boston last spring for school I would wake up early and walk along the Charles River and listen to music. It was amazing and answering this has reminded me to make time to do that haha. Being outside and walking really helped my mental health a lot and it’s a nice way to disconnect from everything going on.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never heard you before? Which of your influences do you most closely relate this track to sonically and lyrically?

Sara Bareilles is one of my biggest inspirations so I think the style of her music really inspired “Old Shoes”. Other writers I really admire that I take inspiration from are JP Saxe, Gracie Abrams, Lizzy Mcalpine. They all have such a beautiful way of describing different emotions and I really took inspiration from them when writing this song.

7. This being your first single, what do you hope the listener will take away from the track?

I hope the listener takes away the whole message of the song that change is okay! For the longest time I hated the thought of change I’ve come to realize that sometimes change is such a beautiful thing so I really hope my song can help other people realize that as well.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

This past June I was in Boston hanging out with two of my friends and we ran into Dylan Sprouse. We were walking to the grocery store and a Red Sox game had just ended and as we turned the corner onto the street we saw him in a crowd leaving the game. It took us a few minutes to really figure out if it was him because there were so many people around so we didn’t want to draw attention to him but it was so crazy seeing him just out and about haha. My friend’s and I were all huge Zack and Cody fans growing up so it was pretty cool!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I love connecting with people! My favorite part of writing and performing it getting to connect with people who have felt the same feelings as I have. Being able to share my songs with the world has been such a comforting experience because it really showed me that we’re all going through the same things and made me feel a little less alone. If I wasn’t a musician I think I would want to be a baker! I got really into baking during covid and having my own little bakery would be so fun.

10. What is one question you have are hoping an interviewer will ask as you venture into the music profession – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you not looking forward to answering?

I’m hoping people ask me a lot about my songwriting process! I love hearing about how my favorite artists write their songs so I hope to get to share that with my listeners as well. I normally will write down little lyric ideas in my notes app and record different voice memos of melodies I come up with and then take them to a practice room on campus to try and come up with chords. I like to try and schedule out time to write a few times a week because even if I don’t come up with something I love, a lot of times different lyrics I come up with end up turning into other songs later! One question I hope I am never asked is anythingggg related to sports because I can talk all day about music! But if you ask me about sports I know nothing hahaha.

11. Looking back over your path to this single release, is there a moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason but I do wish I had started believing in myself and my music sooner. I’ve been singing for so long and it was only a little over a year ago that I finally started writing and showing my songs to people. It took me a long time to realize I was capable of doing a lot of things but I’m so proud of how much I’ve grown not only as a person but as an artist as well. And I think “Old Shoes” encapsulates a lot of those feelings as well which is why I’m so excited for it to be my first release.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Speak Now by Taylor Swift. The amount of times I have listened to this album and all of Taylor’s albums is crazy haha so getting to hear this recorded live would be amazing! I would love to get the inside scoop on how she writes such catchy songs and comes up with different production ideas as well.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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