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Magdalena Rose Chats About Her Creative Process, Politics, and Covering Ray Charles

Magdalena Rose Chats About Her Creative Process, Politics, and Covering Ray Charles
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Multi-genre artist Magdalena Rose has recently released a captivating jazz cover of the timeless classic “Georgia On My Mind.” Drawing inspiration from her childhood, where she first heard the song by the legendary Ray Charles, Magdalena’s rendition pays homage to the rich history and significance of this American classic.

Magdalena collaborated with a talented team of musicians and producers to recreate the song. Vocal arrangements by Magdalena Rose, saxophone by Kyle Schroeder, drums by Jonathan Thomas, piano by Joe Cosas, and string arrangements by Aaron Warwick combine to create a soulful and nostalgic sound. What sets Magdalena Rose’s jazz cover apart from other versions is its ability to transport listeners to a place of emotional resonance. With a focus on evoking a dream-like quality, Magdalena’s rendition breathes new life into this beloved jazz standard, offering a fresh perspective on the genre.

V13 had the opportunity to learn more about this multi-talented artist through an exclusive interview that covered topics ranging from performance rituals and gear to politics and collaborations. Read below for the inside scoop on Magdalena Rose.

Who are your biggest influences?

Magdalena Rose: “I homeschooled as a young child, and growing up I spent a lot of time listening to my parent’s vinyl record collection. I’d have to say my biggest influences were Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey. I had almost every album of theirs.”

How would you describe your own music?

“I love all music, from Brahms choir pieces to country. My vocals can blend into any genre, but I am partial to jazz. I love to incorporate smooth jazz sounds into my music. If I were to ever compose something like a county song, it would probably include jazzy piano and that smooth sax sound to some degree (laughs).”

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

“I love subtle, smooth romantic duets. I’d love to collaborate with Michael Buble in the future.”

How would you describe your creative process?

“Before writing a song, I create a melody in my head and then write out the lyrics to fit melody. After that I map out BPM and arrange a scratch vocal, then work with my producers at the piano to compose the song’s instrumental parts. When creating an original cover song, I like to mix a variety of my favourite renditions and transform into a jazzy finish.”

Do you ever get stage fright? What’s your solution for it?

“Growing up, I had terrible stage fright. Not so much while singing in choir or public speaking, but anytime I had to perform alone. It took years of practice to conquer this mentality. Memorization is not enough, for me, I have to be able to sing the song in my sleep. I also smile directly into my audience. When you smile, they smile back.”

What’s next for you?

“My next project will be an all-original smooth jazz/R&B album. It will feature several local collaborators. I enjoy working with different artists. I also plan to release more Christmas music around the holiday.”

Do you have any rituals before you hit the stage? If so, what are they?

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“Before any performance, I warm up my vocals for two hours and have a glass of wine. It helps calm my nerves.”

If you had an unlimited budget, where and with whom would you record your record? What about production and mastering? And why?

“It’s no surprise to artists how expensive music production and mastering is. With an unlimited budget, I would continue to use everyone I currently work with because they all do such a tremendous job. The only difference would be that I’d release music at a much higher volume and focus on marketing that music on a substantially higher scale.”

Cover art for “Georgia On My Mind” by Magdalena Rose

Politics and music. Yay, nay, or what the hay?

“Politics and music might seem like two separate platforms, but in my opinion, they are closely tied together. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion (two primary political subjects) play a large role in creating musical lyrics and determining genres (Christian, country, folk, rap). Lyrics for each genre speak to the audience about their opinions on life liberty and happiness. Using your music platform to promote the cancellation of others because you don’t like their lyrical opinions is where the line is crossed and a big nay.”

What do you enjoy the most: writing, recording, practicing, or playing live?

“The best element of music for myself is recording. It’s where all the hard work comes into play. The song is written and rehearsed and it’s one of the final steps before the song is completed. I also love singing in a studio setting.”

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

“In my experience, a lot of great talent is rarely heard, and won’t hit the airwaves. The music industry is dominated by major labels and a select group of artists pushing the same theme. The labels give Spotify the music, radios pull from Spotify, and the public streams Spotify. Essentially, everything the public hears is controlled by this process. Rarely does a new song by an unknown artist get heard by the masses. I would change the monopoly process if possible.”

Do you use the same gear when recording as you do when playing live? If yes, what and why? If not, why?

“In short, no. I use a lot of different mics for a variety of purposes. I rehearse with a Shure Beta 57A. This is also great to use performing in a larger area or outdoors. For more intimate settings and smaller spaces, I sing with the Elvis mic (Shure Super 55 Deluxe vocal mic). I record social media content with a Shure condenser mic. For recording, I prefer the detailed pick-up of the Manley Gold mic, but I’m open to whatever the studio recommends.”

Tell us about your experience going it alone as an artist. How hard is it to get your music distributed, promoted, and shared?

“If you are not signed to a major record label, the musical journey is basically the equivalent of getting up each day and singing follow the yellow brick road. You have no idea where you are going, who you will meet and, in a lot of cases, what you are even doing. But rest assured, you learn with hard work. The music distribution process is fairly simple, there are a lot of great distributors that make it simple to license and release your music on all the platforms. Getting to that step is a challenge in itself as many artists don’t know who to use.

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“As for promoting, there are cost-efficient ways of marketing yourself but it does take time, money, and a lot of social media knowledge. With a lot of research, working with the right companies and practice, the marketing and sharing becomes easier.”



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