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Maggie Szabo’s “I Don’t Need You”:  strong, independent and an unstoppable earworm

It was a little over 6 years ago that Canadian singer-songwriter Maggie Szabo stepped a little timidly onstage at the Hotel Café in Hollywood and informed the world that she was unstoppable by delivering her new original song, ”Tidal Waves and Hurricanes”.  She was right; she has been unstoppable, both as a songwriter and a performer. In the six years since that set in her adopted California home, she has developed a catalogue that has established her as one of the best pop songwriters and musical performers of her generation,  Her latest release, “I Don’t Need You” –  one of her best pop songs ever –   continues her ascent.

album cover“I Don’t Need You” keeps faith with  the bold, independent stance of this diminutive, physical fitness-obsessed,  talent powerhouse. Co-written with Hayes Kramer, Rob Russell, and producer Sam Hanson,  it is pop earworm of the first order, engaging your music muscle memory while it makes the statement that Maggie has been making all her life – I am strong and independent and unstoppable.

A simple but sophisticated synth beat layers up as she brings in her skillfully modulated voice tinged with urgency as well as determination.  The combination is an earworm – repeatable, top-of-playlist (which it is) as well as musical fodder for countless breakup texts, Instagram and tiktok messages. With lines like Cuz everything you are and you used to be/ Still ain’t even close to a half of me  it catches an important zeitgeist, as did her song “Sayonara”,  and puts it to a hypnotic beat and– with a clever conversation in the breakdown – makes it a tête-à-tête among friends as well as a tune to dance to.

Maggie Szab o headshot“I Don’t Need You” echoes the determination of her 2018 song “Don’t Give Up” in support of the transgender community, as well as her 2016 statement of strength in the face of betrayal, “Forgive and Forget”. It also showcases her superb musical skills which have made her one of the most sought after songwriter/vocalists in today’s music scene.  Szabo’s songs have been placed in films and TV networks, including Disney, ABC, E!, NBC, and TV Land, she was the featured vocalist on Hans Schiller’s 7 million copy-selling album, and her song, “Home”, was released with DJ Madison Mars and was in the top 40 on the Billboard Charts.

I don’t know if Maggie Szabo has braved tidal waves and hurricanes since she delivered her statement of no surrender from the stage six years ago, but she has harnessed that determination to create a body of work that has enriched us immeasurably, crowned by “I Don’t Need You”. With over 20 million streams on Spotify, 13 million YouTube views and an exploding fanbase, we may not quite need her, but we sure love her and look forward to many more hit songs like “I Don’t Need You”.

Patrick O’Heffernan

“I Don’t Need You” by Maggie Szabo now streaming on Spotify and available on all sites

Video release date June 29, 2020 .




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About Patrick O'Heffernan, Music Sin Fronteras (442 Articles)
Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist based in Mexico, with a global following. He focuses on music in English and Spanish that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America, especially Mexico like cumbia, banda, son jarocho, and mariachi. He is also edits a local news website and is a subeditor of a local Spanish language newspaper. Check out his weekly column Music Sin Frontera on Sunday nights.

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