Delivering particular warmth in vocal tone and instrumentation, when Paul Maged sings accentuated notes during “Free To Fly,” it is perhaps at those precise moments that the musician obliges listeners and crosses the line into true music artistry. That sentiment soon can be felt in the new single when Maged strikes an early high note on the word “Lives” at the: 29 mark. The lyrics ring with heartfelt humanity and closeness. But there is more.
While the COVID pandemic continues to cause worry, lives and occupations have been altered in as many ways as there are people. Being in the epicenter of hot spots, like many, for New York City singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul Maged, social distancing has created unwanted voids. On the page for the accompanying animated YouTube “Free To Fly” video, Maged indicates he created the song with a focus on “Love, hope and togetherness,” further recognizing, “That’s what many of us were missing.” The same kindness and empathy translate to a wonderfully sensitive melody.
Released May 6, 2020, having written the song “Fight To The Death,” known from the UFC Fight Pass promotional videos, “Free To Fly” is a bit of a changeup. But then again, so are the times in which most of the world resides. Maged realizes the connection of compassion and present day loneliness through melody and lyrics, while carrying a larger positive appeal. The syncopated color and action in the song’s anime video evoke a similar feeling, including love.
Looking ahead to post-epidemic times, there will be no shortage of former quarantined stay-at-homers wanting to be free; Maged’s message is widespread, both now and in the near future. Musicinterviewmagazine checked in with Paul Maged for some questions and answers about “Free To Fly” and more.
How did the melody for “Free To Fly” come about?
Paul Maged: I wanted to write a song about togetherness and letting go of ego. I had returned to meditation during the early stages of the pandemic because it was a very nerve wracking time. One morning toward the end of my meditation the line “Free To Fly” and the accompanying melody came to me. I went straight to my keyboard so I wouldn’t lose the melody and the entire song poured out instantly. Once I started writing the music I had the entire song written in less than an hour. I wish they could all be like that.
Tell us why you were drawn to the animated music connection regarding the “Free To Fly” video?
I love animation of all kinds. I’ve used animation in three songs, “Fight To Death,” “Corporate Hell” and “Light Years Away,” but had always wanted to have an anime video and this became the perfect song for that. Animation in general can often times convey more visually than live action and I thought that anime would be the ideal way to express what I was feeling when I wrote this song. I wanted the video to express love, romanticism, freedom and spirituality and this video emotes what I wanted to convey brilliantly.
Has the Coronavirus affected your ego while writing music? How so?
Well it did for this particular song. It was early on in the pandemic and I didn’t have access to the music studio where I normally record or the musicians that I work with, so I had to change my thought process when writing this song. I knew it had to be different and I had to let go of ego and preconceptions, which is what the song itself is about: to be able to produce the song in a way that expressed what I wanted to reveal emotionally. I had to let go of the expectations of how I usually write, which is more electric guitar driven in the alternative rock genre and just let go and say okay, this is what it is right now, just be free and let it be. So it was a big deal for me because I knew it would be a different sound from what people are used to hearing from me. I was quite nervous about releasing it but I’m glad I did. It was liberating.
You wrote, performed, recorded, produced and mastered “Free To Fly.” Who created the video?
I have a friend who created this particular video. He works for a film company doing animation for them and he created and produced this video for me as a side project. I told him after creating this beautiful product he needs to leave that company and go it on his own because he’s too talented to not be doing this for him. His name is Jax Zander and I would promote his social media if he had any but he hates it.
Yes. It was really out of necessity at the time. I can play bass and some acoustic, but I couldn’t get my usual sound on this particular song. But the song is still pop and that’s what I write, so I think it’s still in my musical style songwriting wise. It’s just a bit mellower with fewer guitars. It’s more of a singer-songwriter type feel, which I like. I love synths and electronic elements. I do incorporate them in some of my other music as well but sometimes they can be overpowered by the guitars and drums.
Your songs have been featured worldwide including “Fight To The Death,” from the UFC Fight Pass promotional videos. What motivates you to write?
A creative passion and need to express myself. It’s my therapy and emotional release. I’ve always needed to be doing something creative. If I didn’t have a creative outlet I would at some point probably explode into particles of dust lol. I started writing songs at the age of 10 when my dad bought me a tiny Casio keyboard, so I took to songwriting at a very early stage. I love the process of creating a song and bringing it to life, seeing how it grows up. I love the process of trying to continuously explore and grow as a writer.
The EP Fight To The Death completes a trilogy, which includes Light Years Away and The Glass River. Do you have other concept collections planned?
I have the idea for a concept EP about artists and performers and it would follow the lives of a male and female artist/performer. I wrote a song many years ago called “The Stage” and there’s a lyric from it that goes “There’s a star on the stage tonight/Feels the roar of the crowd’s delight/When it ends he’s all alone/Left his blood on his home.” It’s all about trying and dying doing what you love and the various stages of successes and failures that come with that. The pain and the pleasure of being a performing artist, whether an actor, comedian, singer or dancer is something I know well.
What’s next for you artistically?
A new album, hopefully a full length one, but at the very least, a new alternative rock EP is to be released later this year. I have several songs in various stages of completion and am writing and recording with musician friends in my home studio. I will be self-producing some of it which is a fun new challenge. Some of the music is socially conscious about where we are right now as a society and some of it is just my musings about the life I’ve lived and seen. I’m trying to really grow and stretch as a songwriter as well and I feel this new music artistically and sonically is the most complex I’ve written.
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Paul Wolfle, the publisher of musicinterviewmagazine.com, is a web-based journalist who has written for several popular sites. Paul has a passion for connecting with a diversity of musicians who are looking to grow a positive presence on the World Wide Web.