Sydney-based singer and songwriter Brittany Maggs had a difficult childhood. Her mother was in and out of hospital as a result of multiple brain tumors, which placed stress on the entire family. Maggs watched a lot of television and became obsessed with Hannah Monanta. She believes this was the start of her desire to be a singer.
Around the time she turned 13, Maggs began to play piano and sing over Google-sourced backing tracks. She posted the results to YouTube under a pseudonym she’s forgotten. She says that if she could remember the email address and password that they were linked to, she’d delete them. Fortunately, she didn’t give up on music, or we would have this gem:
What a stunning cover of Lewis Capaldi’s UK-chart-topping hit Someone You Loved, which is the longest-running UK top ten single ever. Fittingly, Maggs, who spent much time living with her grandparents due to her mother’s health, dedicates the cover to her granddad. There are two copies of Magg’s cover on YouTube. The one on her channel has 24m views; the one on Zephyr’s Tune, which curates “the best covers”, has 18m. As Melusine comments on YouTube: “Her voice isn’t only awesome. It’s magic”
While Brittany Maggs may disown her early YouTube posts, they did lead to her breaking into the music industry. She received a letter inviting her to a competition in Bondi. Maggs came second and started attending summer music camps. One of her teachers invited her to LA, where she successfully auditioned for a manager. She was 15. Maggs has mixed feelings about this, as she feels she was too molded to fit into the industry. After three years she returned to Australia. Here is her latest single
Returning to Australia was important for Maggs’ development as a musician. In LA, she felt like an impostor playing the role of Brittany Maggs and she had no control over her music. “I was writing these tracks and then a producer would turn them into a pop track, but they were literally written like country,” she says.
Back in Sydney, Maggs has reinvented herself as a country artist with a pop touch, which is the style she feels suits her best. She cites Taylor Swift as an inspiration. After going through numerous managers, she has found a management team that is a good fit. She’s fallen in love with making music again.
Tellingly, when asked about the advice she would give to a young singer based on her experience in the music industry, Maggs says that she would stress that eating doesn’t hamper singing. “Fuel your body so you have the energy to make your vocals work. Don’t listen to how people think you should look. Don’t let other people decide your personal appearance, your personal things. They can help decide contracts and that, but they cannot decide what is yours”.
Judging from the video for her single When It Was Easy, where she wears Western boots and a stetson-type hat, Brittany Maggs has embraced her Australian country-singer identity. She says she’s finally comfortable in her skin.