Pop-princess-turned-punk-darling Maggie Lindemann has come a long way since she debuted in 2015 with “Knocking On Your Heart,” in terms of both success and personal discovery. Following the release of her PARANOIA EP in late January, Lindemann sat down with Playboy to talk about how her music, style, and happiness with her career have changed over the years.
Early fans fell in love with Lindemann’s voice when she began posting videos of herself singing on the now-defunct app Keek, comparable to Vine or TikTok. After her now-manager Gerald Tennison, who has worked with artists like Becky G, found a video of her singing the national anthem, she moved to Los Angeles to kickstart her music career.
Her major label debut came with September 2016’s “Pretty Girl,” a lighthearted pop track about having depth beyond the surface and being more than just a “pretty” face. Three energetic remixes accompanied the release, by artists like the electronic trio Cheat Codes. Not bad for a first “official” release, but there was something missing.
“I would perform ‘Pretty Girl’ at my shows and it was always so unnatural,” Lindemann admits. “I felt uncomfortable and awkward performing it because I felt so out of touch with it. It felt like a disconnect for a really long time.”
In July 2019, she flew to Asia for what was supposed to be a fun tour where she’d get to connect with her fans. Three songs into her set at a Malaysian show, she was arrested for not having a professional visit permit.
After the incident, Lindemann felt inspired to switch her direction. She changed up her fairly clean-cut look in favor of donning short black hair (eventually adding a red underlayer), flannels, and chains. She explained, “At first, it was definitely more of a style change. Then I wanted my music to sound the way I looked, and I wanted my music to sound like what I listened to. I wanted my music to be something I actually listened to and enjoyed.”
From there, it simply made sense. Lindemann branched out and worked with legendary drummer Travis Barker, as well as fellow alternative artist Siiickbrain. While her earlier work is undoubtedly catchy and fun for pop fans, PARANOIA feels more authentic, and it’s clear this is something she enjoys doing more.
“It was hard for me because it was this inner battle,” Lindemann shared. “It became about whether I wanted to be happy and have fun with what I was doing, or whether I wanted to be really successful and make money.”
Now she’s proven that she doesn’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
Check out Playboy’s full interview with Maggie Lindemann, which goes into detail about her musical growth, experience with the internet, and body image, here!
Hi! I’m Madison Murray, a pop culture and music writer who also loves writing about lifestyle and fashion. I have credits on sites like TREMG, Young Hollywood, and Audible Addixion, and I’m the founder of Melodic Musings. In addition to writing, I’m a community editor on Genius, lyric curator on Musixmatch, and a playlist curator at VOLUP2. My favorite artists include Taylor Swift, Machine Gun Kelly, BLACKPINK, Elko, phem, and YUNGBLUD. She/her.