Few could have predicted how well Ohio singer-songwriter Michael Marcagi’s first four months as a solo artist could have gone. In December, a notoriously difficult time to release new music as publications wrap up their end-of-year lists, he dropped his debut single ‘The Other Side’.

13 million streams later, on January 12th, he announced he had signed to Warner Records and released his follow-up single ‘Scared To Start’, which very quickly took on a life of its own on TikTok and has racked up nearly double the amount of streams on Spotify alone. Needless to say, Maccagi’s been savouring it all.

“The last few weeks have been really fun” he explains as he chats to GoldenPlec from his Ohio home, “I’m looking forward to getting more music out, I’ve just played my first shows in London a few weeks back so yeah, it’s going great. It was the first show I’ve ever played where people sung along so I had to take a moment onstage to take it all in”.

“To say I’m surprised is an understatement” he laughs of his meteoric rise, “I did not expect in the first year to get a million streams on a song and to get that in a week or whatever has been really cool to see. It’s super grateful and humbling to see people connect with your music and something I’ve been trying to do for a long time and to see it happen so quickly has been really cool”.

There’s something unique and tender about Marcagi’s work in comparison to his contemporaries; as though you are opening the pandora’s box of his soul at the same time as he is slowly getting to grips with what it means to be an artist.

He’s at the sweet spot of his work not being overly produced whilst also feeling as though Marcagi knows exactly what he wants to get from it.

“I feel like with my music I tend to worry a lot, have some anxiety when I put out music and overanalyse so when I make songs I tend to want to changes things and edit things but with these new batch of songs I came out of the studio happy with what we’ve got” he explains of the creative process behind his work.

“I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s a little bit more simple, a little more stripped back because I tried to not overdo it and tried not to overproduce anything but I don’t know”.

We’re speaking on the eve of the release of his debut five-track EP, American Romance, which is named after one of the most heartening tracks of the whole project.

“For me, I write a lot about relationships and growing up in a part of the country where people are encouraged to marry young and seeing loads of relationships around me fail or succeeded so to me it’s an EP about the failure of relationships sometimes” he notes of the project.

“there are a few songs that have been around for the last few years I’ve been trying to perfect while some of the others have been written in the past few months so it’s a mixed bag”. 

Marcagi’s interest in music began when he was given a guitar at Christmas of 7th grade. From there, he fell in love with the stories of folk; inspired to write his own songs but being too scared to play them for anyway.

He came out of his shell when he moved for college, where his friends encouraged him to start playing shows. In college, he joined the band The Heavy Hours, who focused on more alternative and indie tones.

“I always knew in the back of my head that I wanted to write more acoustic, singer-songwriter songs” Marcagi reveals of when he began writing music outside of the band.

“I had songs while I was in the band that I held back because I knew that down the road I wanted to do this and that they were more folky and that I wanted to use them for something like this outside of the band. I only took time to focus on them and hone them after the band had made the decision to step away”.

“I had a lot of friends who’d got connected to the bands music so it took a bit of convincing for them to get on board” he laughs of the switch up of genre, “but people have been really supportive and lovely though, it’s been great”. 

As he looks ahead of the future, his calendar already looks busy. A day after we chat, he announced a brand new EU/UK tour, which includes a show in The Grand Social on 17th April.

“I’m looking forward to being busy” Marcagi smiles, excited again by the prospects of the future, “I’ve spent ages over the past few years begging for bands to take me as support on tour so looking at the packed schedule now is so exciting. I can’t wait to get on the road and visit countries and cities I’ve never been to and see how people react to the live show”.

Due to overwhelming demand Michael Marcagi's debut Dublin show On April 17th has been upgraded to The Button Factory. Remaining tickets available from Ticketmaster.ie