Margaret Haynie has always wanted to be around music, be it one way or another. Haynie moved out to Nashville after college to start chasing down this dream. At the time, Haynie didn’t know what shape her musical dreams would take, whether it was simply working industry jobs or truly following her artistic aspirations. Haynie has found that “there’s no feeling like putting your heart on a piece of a paper with a few guitar chords”, and since discovering her love of music in the purest sense, Haynie has begun making inroads throughout Nashville and beyond.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with Haynie ahead of the release of her new single, If He Wanted to He Would.
Worlds Of Country: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Margaret: My mom and dad always say that I’ve been singing since I could talk. I’ve spent my life in church choir, school choir, performing in talent shows. In college I was lucky enough to do what I love a lot, in the form of chamber choirs, an a capella group, and a bluegrass band. I was also fortunate enough to study under an Italian opera singer during my study abroad program in Florence, Italy. My whole life, all I’ve ever wanted to do was sing. I started writing my own music probably in middle or high school, and learned to play guitar when I was about 14.
I’ve always been one to follow my heart and do what I’m passionate about, because I truly believe the Lord gives each of us our gifts and passions for a reason. All this to say: when I graduated college, I knew I wanted to move to Nashville to pursue a career in music, even though I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I’ve tried taking a lot of different routes, from looking for industry jobs to playing gigs. But there’s no feeling like putting your heart on a piece of paper with a few guitar chords. Songwriting is what comes so naturally to me and I feel is the most honest form of sharing your heart, and I know it’s what I want to do forever.
Worlds Of Country: Once you knew, what was your first step towards making this dream a reality?
Margaret:Cowriting, networking, playing live shows, and now releasing music. I’ve always written songs by myself, and it wasn’t until I moved to Nashville that I was introduced to co-writing. Writing and being that vulnerable with other people definitely has taken some getting used to, but that collaboration with like-minded people really keeps me motivated and encouraged. What really kick-started my career as an artist, though, was my first single Girl Before the Girlfriend which I released back in June. I posted a clip of that song on TikTok, and there were thousands of people telling me how much they could relate to it, so that kind of lit a fire under me to put music out and really put the pedal down on my artist career. A big part of why I want to do music is because I know how it has changed my life, and if I can write and share music that means something to people– there is nothing I’d rather do.
Worlds Of Country: How would you describe your musical style?
Margaret:If I’m being honest, I’m still figuring out my sound. The music that comes naturally to me when writing always leans toward country, but can sometimes have undertones that range from singer-songwriter, bluegrass, and pop. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to style because there are so many genres that inspire and have influenced me my whole life. But I plan to stay true to myself and make music I believe in when writing and creating, no matter what direction that takes me.
Worlds Of Country: Who most influenced this style?
Margaret: My influences are from all over the board. I grew up listening to alternative/indie, classic rock, bluegrass. In middle and high school I started listening to hip-hop, rap, classic country, radio country– literally everything. I truly believe that you can find inspiration in many forms, and you can’t limit the music that makes you feel something into a single genre. However, these days I am inspired by folk country and texas country and I’d really like to create music like that in the future.
Worlds Of Country; What’s the story behind your new single, If He Wanted to He Would?
Margaret: I co-wrote the song with two of my best friends, Madeline Lenhart and Levi Orr. We went into the write, Maddie suggested the idea and the song practically wrote itself. One of Maddie’s close friends had this guy who didn’t treat her right and she would always make excuses for him. Sometimes it’s hard to speak this kind of truth to someone you’re so close to because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, but she always wanted to say, “If he wanted to do all these things that you need from a relationship, he would.”
And personally, I pulled from a place of a personal revelation in which I came to the conclusion that I only wanted to be with someone who wants to be with me just as much. I had spent a long time settling for less than the bare minimum and I finally came to my senses. If someone wants to be with you they will show it. Everyone deserves to be with someone who treats them right just because they love them and they want to!
I really love that the delivery turned into kind of a conversation between two friends, because I think that will help the message resonate with a lot of people. I know this realization really helped me reevaluate my standards so my hope is that it will do the same for other women who have lost their sense of self worth.
I took the song to Saxman Studios and they knocked it out of the park, turning it into a country-rock anthem that perfectly matches the intensity and urgency of the message. I couldn’t be more proud of how it turned out, from the storytelling all the way to the production.
Worlds Of Country: What’s next for you?
Margaret:I teamed up with Whale Tale Media to film a music video for If He Wanted to He Would– which I’m SO pumped about– so that will come out the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, November 24th. Other than that, I’m really hoping to get plugged into more writers rounds and continue collaborating with writers in town. So far I’m super excited to be booked for a couple of rounds at the Local– Porchlight Pickers and Girls Gone Local– and a new round hosted by my friend Grant Edwards called Bolos and Booze at the Underdog in East Nashville. I can’t wait to see what the future holds and just am really thankful to be chasing this dream.