19 year old singer/songwriter Mags Duval might be currently based in Nashville, but her love for music and need to express herself through song traces all the way back to her childhood in Florida. From writing songs about mean classmates at only 9 years old to creating her newest single, “Stay Lonely” – a bittersweet track about longing for someone you can’t have – on her bedroom floor, Mags Duval creates from the heart. With a new appreciation for songwriting, Mags Duval has been hard at work creating new music. Read about how Mags got her start and get a sneak peek for her plans for the future below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who might not be familiar?
Hi, I’m Mags! I grew up in Clearwater, Florida, but I live in Nashville, Tennessee now. Songwriting is my passion, it has been since I was nine years old. Black is my favorite color, I like old movies, I love to read, I’m super addicted to coffee, I totally lose track of time when I play piano, I wear red lipstick most of my life. Those are a bunch of random things haha am I doing this right?
You got your start writing music at a fairly young age. What first drew you to music and inspired you to start writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love music. I was always singing as a kid, in every home video I’m singing. Haha, the first song I ever wrote when I was nine was called “True Friends Don’t Lie”, I felt inspired to write it because there was this girl at school who was being so mean to me and then only way I felt like I could express that was through song. I still feel that way about pretty much everything that happens in my life.
You grew up in Florida but in the last few years, relocated to Nashville. How do you feel your hometown has affected you as an artist?
My family is really big into fishing and diving so we’d spend eight hour days out on a boat in the middle of the ocean together on weekends or in the summer and my dad would always be the DJ. I grew up on so much Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Carly Simon and Jimmy Buffett because of that. One thing all of those artists have in common is that they are great storytellers; I think that’s why I’m so drawn to songs that tell stories.
What sort of affect has the move to Nashville made on your music and the way you write?
Nashville has such a deep appreciation for the craft of songwriting. Living here has impacted my writing in such a positive way because before coming here, I didn’t even know that collaboration in songwriting existed. I thought the concept was really strange, actually. I was like, “Wait, people write songs together? Do they paint painting together too?” I learn so much from the people I get to make music with, they make me better at what I do.
Fast forward a few years and now you’re releasing the music video for your first single, “Stay Lonely.” How does it feel to finally have the video and song out there for people to see and hear?
It feels amazing! I wrote ‘Stay Lonely’ at 3AM on my bedroom floor, so to think people are now listening to it is still surreal to me. Getting to bring this song to life visually via music video was such a great experience- I collaborated with director, Matthew DeLisi, to come up with the moody, conflicted love storyline. It was a blast.
I think the story in “Stay Lonely” is something everyone can relate to at some point in their life. What inspired this track for you?
Thank you! I have been led on by guys before too, so I do have empathy for the person I did this to! I thought this perspective was interesting because we’ve all done this to people, but probably wouldn’t admit to it. I had a guy friend that I adored, but not enough to risk the friendship. However, I didn’t want him dating anybody else so I unintentionally kept him in this cruel, lonely limbo.
How was the filming of the video?
I had the time of my life! I get to tell stories through my lyrics, but to actually play this one out was such a cool feeling. It was literally freezing that day and I was barefoot most of the time, but appearing to be cold and conflicted look the same on camera apparently haha so maybe it was meant to be! Everyone on set was so wonderful and helpful in capturing the essence of “Stay Lonely” and what it means to me. I couldn’t be happier with how the video came out.
Do you have plans to release any more new music soon? What can fans be on the lookout for?
I do, actually! My next single is coming out at the end of March, I am so excited.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you! And thank you to everyone reading this, I really appreciate you taking the time and am so pumped for this journey with you all. I have so many songs for you. This is just the beginning!