Exclusive Interview: Introducing Maggie Sajak

Rising country star Maggie Sajak recently took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us, and we’re thrilled to introduce you to her. We chatted about everything from her hot new single “Wild Boy” to her love of Carrie Underwood to her impressive school-music balance.

Maggie recently released a video for her new single, “Wild Boy,” which is a song that she loved immediately upon hearing. (Us too!) While most girls deal with a wild boy or two, the song has a unique twist on the typical tale. “I love the song because it’s powerful for a lot of people. A lot of girls end up having a boy like that in their life at some point, for better or worse. Sometimes they stick with us, sometimes they don’t,” Maggie says. “What’s cool to me is that the song doesn’t just focus on the guy, but it’s more about a girl making the decision about the guy and whether or not to put her heart on the line.”

On first listen to “Wild Boy,” Maggie immediately connected with the lyrics and knew it was a perfect fit. “When I received it, I definitely got the chills the first time I heard it and it really touched me, so I was thinking that it would touch a lot of other people. That’s the most important thing to me, always, the lyrics and the impact it has.”

Although Maggie didn’t pen her current single, she does write much of her own music and uses a similar method whether writing or choosing songs. “When I hear a song on the radio, I know if I like it immediately. I figure when I hear a song to record, I really want to like it immediately,” Maggie tells us. “If it’s important to me and meaningful and comes from the heart, then hopefully it’ll mean something to others as well.”

Fans of CMT’s guilty-pleasure dating show Sweet Home Alabama first heard Maggie’s song, “First Kiss,” played as Devin Grissom chose Adam Moyer to be her final suitor. Although that TV romance was short-lived, it was that single that took a then-16-year-old Maggie’s talent from a hobby to a career path

Having grown up singing, performing and playing instruments, she was always enthralled with music, but when she picked up the guitar at age 13, she really began to hone her craft. “I started playing guitar more seriously at age 13, and that’s when I started writing more songs and doing more local performances.” Those live performances empowered Maggie with a different type of energy and inspired her to pursue music more seriously.

In addition to guitar, Maggie also plays the piano, mandolin and ukulele. And while she’s on a quest to become the female version of Hunter Hayes, she hopes to eventually add drums to her musical repertoire. “I would love to learn drums. I think that’d be amazing because everything that I play is kind of similar so I think that the drums would be a little different.”

While balancing a musical career may be tough for any 18-year-old, Maggie is currently laying the ground work for a “pre-med” path at Princeton. The hard-working teen, whose dad is Wheel of Fortune host, Pat Sajak, tells us that education is just as important to her as music. “Education is really important to me, music is obviously very important to me.” She tells us. “I think I’d have both in my life no matter what, to some extent. Now, I’m working in music and I love them both. I don’t want to give either of them up.”

Maggie looks to another famous blonde for inspiration, both in finding a balance and life and in music and fashion. “I really love Carrie Underwood and for a few reasons. Obviously, she has an amazing voice and amazing music, but I also love her sense of style. I like the way that she incorporates fashion into her performances and everything,” Maggie says. “I like the way that it seems like she really balances her personal life and her professional life really well because you don’t really hear about scandals and things with her. I think it’s great she can stay really grounded and that’s the thing I’m always going to try to do, no matter what.

While she may admire Carrie’s music and style, it’s the boys of country music that Maggie would most like to tour with, naming Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean & Hunter Hayes as her top three dream tour choices.

Although Maggie Sajak may not be a household name just yet, she’s well on her way and working on a full album. “I care about each of these songs, and I’m putting together a full album and looking forward to writing more about my personal experiences. I know in your teenage years, it’s when’s a lot is happening, the songs mean a lot to me,” Maggie tells us. “And I just want to get good messages out there. And I think it is important for younger people too and for girls to be able to look up to me. That’s important to me. That’s one of my biggest priorities.”

Keepin’ It Country Lightning Round:

Favorite country song: “Long Hot Summer” by Keith Urban

Dream Duet Partner: Scotty McCreery

Favorite Junk Food: Cupcakes

Favorite Song to Cover: “The Rose” by Bette Midler

Last song listened to: “Red Hands” by Walk Across the Earth

We loved speaking with Maggie and are excited to watch her career rise. You can visit her official website and make sure to follow her on Facebook & Twitter.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CMChat’s One to Watch — Abbi Scott

Abbi Scott is an Indiana teenager who is in her senior year of high school and looking forward to graduation (much like all other high school seniors!). However, Abbi is not your typical high school senior. While Abbi has her face in textbooks, she has her sights set on music, and there is no stopping this country girl from making her dreams come true! Abbi describes herself as “a true country girl, living on twenty-five acres, and . . . in love with the outdoors.” Abbi has been compared to Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson, and Kelly Clarkson, and values these music industry phenoms’ strong work ethic and ability to maintain a sense of humor.

When Abbi was little, she took to singing before developing the act of speaking. Abbi was often found “hogging the TV time so [she] could use the remote as [her] microphone.” Abbi would share her talent with anybody who would listen, and Abbi certainly does not discriminate regarding who is fortunate enough to be entertained with her vocals! “I’ve sung for anyone that would listen. I consider one person an audience.” Luckily for Abbi, her audience grew from one person to crowds, as she got her official start at county fairs and festivals.

As Abbi grew up, and her love for music progressed, Abbi began songwriting as well. Abbi explained her songwriting process to us. “The songwriting process for me starts with a lot of ideas or my life experiences. I take writing very seriously and want to give listeners a song that will impact their lives. My hope is that they can identify with my work.”

In between performing and songwriting lies a typical high school student who describes her life as “crazy,” but immediately states that she “wouldn’t have it any other way!” The late nights are well worth it to this #CMChat “One to Watch,” and Abbi is surrounded by friends and family who are extremely supportive of her talents and dreams. Abbi is incredibly grateful for the support she has and, thanks to those around her believing in her abilities, Abbi has had experiences that most teenagers could never imagine. Abbi has opened for several of country music’s hottest artists, including Lee Brice, Jana Kramer, DJ Miller, David Bradley, Dustin Lynch, and Maggie Rose. “The feeling of sharing the stage with big name artists is amazing! I get to open up, get the crowd fired up, and make sure that I’ve done my job as an opening act! I love crowds and the fans are so supportive of their artists! It’s a rush!” And Abbi certainly cherishes her interactions with the fans and the opportunities afforded to her by these artists. “The best moment of my career so far has been meeting so many incredible people! From my fans to all the amazing artists that I’ve opened for … I’ve loved them all! Each person has made an impact on my life.” Abbi is humbled by the experiences she has had and is “so honored for the opportunities that I’ve been blessed with and I pray for more down the road.”

If recent happenings are any indication of whether Abbi will be blessed with more of these opportunities down the road, we have no doubt that we will be hearing Abbi’s voice on our radio stations in the near future. On September 21, 2013, Abbi released her EP, Abbi Scott, which was released on iTunes. Abbi promises that you will find “high energy, honesty, and something fresh while staying country” on her EP. “Fans can expect to hear songs I’ve written about my life and true country music. My hope is that listeners can relate and find a piece of their life story in my songs.” Abbi’s music has certainly resonated among country music fans, as Abbi was recently deemed “One to Watch,” an honor that Abbi ironically describes as “indescribable.” Abbi believes that the cards are falling into place and that her “hard work is being noticed” and she feels like “NOW is the right time for country music fans” to open their ears, minds, and hearts to what she brings to the table. (By the way, we couldn’t agree more!)

Like any blossoming artist, young or old, Abbi has thought about who she would love to collaborate with, and it’s no surprise that this blonde bombshell, who we immediately thought “this girl reminds us of Miranda Lambert!” (check out AbbiScott.com and you will understand what we mean), would love to join forces with the pistol-holding, Gunpowder and Lead-singing, superstar. Abbi bodes “our song would be completely badass!” Abbi also explains that she would like to collaborate with Outshyne and Blackjack Billy, bands which she describes as “a great look into the future!”

What’s next for this sassy, talented country girl? “Well, I need to graduate high school first and foremost. I’m a senior and will graduate in the spring. Next, along with school work, I just want to improve as an artist. Working on my craft is so important and just means that I evolve as an artist. I’m very honest, loving, and determined. I’m approachable and I love my fans! I want my fans to never be afraid to talk to me because I love meeting new faces and making people smile. I’m hoping to be signed to a label that embraces my sound. Finally, you’ll find me living full-time in Nashville, Tennessee. It is where my heart belongs and my soul feels alive! I want to make my musical dreams come true and always stay true to how my parents raised me … Hardworking, genuine, and honest!”

Just for fun, we hit Abbi with one of our typical lightning rounds!

All time favorite country song: Remember When by Alan Jackson

All time favorite country song to sing: Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert

Last song you listened to: You’ll laugh, it was The Wop by J. Dash. I don’t only listen to country!

Favorite place you have performed: Pucketts Grocery in Leipers Fork, Tennessee.

It was an absolute pleasure speaking with Abbi and getting to hear about this budding artist’s past, present, and future. We wholeheartedly agree that Abbi is one to watch and encourage each of you to download Abbi’s new EP on iTunes, visit AbbiScott.com, and watch the videos below. You will definitely want to add Abbi to your playlists so you can tell your friends you “knew her when” the first time you hear her voice coming through the speakers in your cars! We know we are eagerly anticipating that moment!