Highly acclaimed singer-songwriter Maggie Baugh released her most personal song to date last week with her brand-new single, “Dear Me,” vulnerably telling of her own struggles with mental health to help raise awareness during Suicide Prevention Month. We checked in with Maggie to talk with her all about the new single, the important role that songwriting has played in her life, her upcoming debut album, why she can’t wait for her fans to hear “Looking At The Sky,” stepping onto the Ryman Auditorium stage for the first time earlier this year, and much much more!

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis

1) You dropped your brand-new single “Dear Me” on Sept 29th. This is one of the most transparently personal songs we’ve heard from you thus far. Tell us a bit more about the song and what it means to you.

When I was 12 Years old, I was bullied horribly in middle school and almost took my own life. Instead, I started pouring my feelings and depression into the lyrics. I used songwriting and country music as a way to escape what I was going through, which later turned into me becoming an artist. Instead of using my story to gain fortune and fame, I decided to keep my head down, work hard and keep writing music that I wanted to write. Now almost 10 years later, I am ready to tell my story and what better way to tell it than through the title track to my debut album. Releasing it during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the “Dear Me” music video features a message at the end from the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, and I am honored.

2) What did your co-writers, Elena Jones and Tyler Bank, bring into the writing room that day that really helped shape what you were trying to say with this song that might not have otherwise come out had you just written it alone?

In order to write a song as powerful and as open as “Dear Me”, you have to be in a certain mindset. To this day I still struggle with mental health; we all do. It is what makes us all human. I guess that particular day, the subject matter was weighing on my heart a little heavier than normal.

It was a mental challenge of strength trying to write “Dear Me.” I had to put my mind back into that little 12-year-old girl mindset, ready to end it all. The little 12-year-old girl who kept questioning why she wasn’t good enough every day. I am truly so grateful that Tyler and Elena were there to turn my crying and my story into a song. You need to have a certain level of trust to open up about a story like mine, and their patience and compassion makes them a few of my favorite humans and writers. I truly believe that “Dear Me” was meant to be written that day.

3) You’ve said that this song is your mental health story. How has songwriting played an impactful role in helping you through those inevitable down moments of life, and how do you hope your story will inspire others during their battles?

Songwriting quite literally saved my life. I’ve always been around music. I started playing classical violin at a very young age. It wasn’t until I was 12 years old that I started songwriting. I don't really think I understood what I was doing at that age. It was so hard to tell anyone about what I was going through, because you never really think anyone will understand, but making the words rhyme was the only way to help get them out. Whether it's songwriting, painting, sports, anything, I encourage people to find what makes them happy and what they are good at as a way to help with whatever they might be going through in life. You are truly never alone, and I hope readers of all ages know that.

4) You mentioned that the song comes out during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, during which you’re working alongside the Tennessee Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Tell us more about your connection with them.

Even before “Dear Me” was born, I was involved with the Tennessee Foundation of Suicide Prevention. I have performed at a few of their events in Nashville and will be singing at another event this year in October. I feel extremely grateful that the end of the music video features a message from the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention as well as the Suicide help line number.

5) With several songs already released this year – “Take Me To Church,” “Mystery Whiskey Woman,” and “Story To Tell” – what do you feel “Dear Me” showcases about your songwriting that might come as an unexpected surprise to your fans?

I always write from personal experiences, but I believe “Dear Me” is a different kind of personal experience. This is the first time I have opened up about my mental health and been vulnerable. I am always open and honest on social media, but it has shocked a lot of my fans me opening my heart like this. I have only teased bits and pieces of “Dear Me,” and I am truly so excited for them to hear the rest.

6) Rumor mill in town says that this song is perhaps the final piece to the puzzle before releasing your debut album. Can you confirm or deny that rumor at this time? If it’s truedetails on the album! Release date, what to expect from it that we haven’t heard, etc?

YES- “Dear Me” is the title track of my debut album dropping on October 13th. 14 songs total. Everything I have dropped this year will be on it, and some you haven't heard. :)

7) Is there a song that we’ve yet to hear from you that you absolutely cannot wait to share? If so, which song is it and what is it about that song that makes it connect for you?

A lot of the album I am so excited to share. I talk about life, love, death, and family, but there is one song I am really excited about. “Looking at the Sky” is one of my favorite songs I have written. I wrote it about my grandpa who passed away in 2010. We were very very close. He was my biggest cheerleader at a very young age. He was one of the few people who told me to pursue music 100% no matter what. That is what makes that song so special to me.

8) A cool thing coming up this November (2023) is your National Record store tour...fill us in on that.

Yes, I will be going on a National Record Store Tour. For the first time ever, My album “Dear Me” will be printed on vinyl. I will be going around to a bunch of record stores around the US and doing a pop-up acoustic concert. I didn’t grow up in the day and age of vinyl, but I absolutely love the nostalgia of a classic record. I admire the rock-n-roll days, selling vinyl out of a suitcase and just playing for anyone who would listen. I really cannot wait. We will be going to Cincinnati, Ohio, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Florence, Alabama, St. Louis, MO twice, Knoxville and Nashville, TN. I will be hanging out at the stores and will even have some of my own records with me.

9) A bucket list moment from earlier this year that we absolutely must talk to you about, came when you stepped onto the Ryman stage for your debut. Take us into that night for you. Relive it with usthe nerves, anxiety, excitement, etc.

Performing at the Ryman will always be a core memory. From the second I got there for soundcheck to the moment I left, was nothing but magical. I was full of so many emotions: grateful, humbled, proud, and so nervous. My mom came into town, and we got to share this memory together. Just like the Opry, the Ryman has themed dressing rooms and mine was the bluegrass room. I was overwhelmed just thinking about the bluegrass legends who have stepped foot into that room, and I will never forget it.

10) We always like to end with this one since we have so many young artists and songwriters reading our magazine. What is one piece of advice you can offer to someone who is just starting out and trying to break into the music industry?

I will give the same advice that was given to me so many years ago. “Play anywhere and everywhere you can because you never know who is watching.”



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