Margie Plus and Shaun Ross chat about friendship, fame and her debut album
Margie Plus is the sweetest badass you’ll ever meet. While her endeavors can hardly be characterized in a sentence, she’s a musician, activist and style icon that the music and fashion industries need but don’t deserve.
Margie stands out in the industry for her strong, unyielding voice when it comes to issues that matter to her, including inclusivity and the rights of femmes in general. She performed at Amber Rose’s illustrious SlutWalk and hosted our Girl Cult festival last year, and she stays inspiring young femmes everywhere to embrace who they are and go after what they want.
Coming from a small town all the way to New York, Margie talks about all of the people who have helped and supported her while she continues to trail blaze and make a name for herself in the industry.
Since model and musician Shaun Ross is one of her long-time besties, we thought it’d be fitting to have him ask her some Q’s about how she’s evolved over the years and become the artist she is today. Margie opens up to Shaun and Galore about industry representation, what inspires her and, of course, being unapologetically oneself in a sometimes trying world.
Shaun: We’ve been friends for over 5 years now, do you remember how we met?
Margie: We been running around these streets for so long now it seems like forever ago. I remember our mutual friend Alex Duncan was over at my apartment writing music with us one day when he invited me to his “wild friend Shaun’s” summer house party, who he assured me I would love since we are both extra AF!
Next thing you know I arrive to a full house of fabulous people dancing and twerking to some ratchet mix while Momma Ross was cooking up a buffet of the best food I have ever had. From that moment on I knew we were going to be friends and here we are, a thousand kiki’s later interviewing for Galore. You just have this indescribable vibe about you and this beautiful way of bringing together like-minded individuals who are all building towards something creative.
Shaun: I know you are from a small town, how did you make it to NYC from there?
Margie: I grew up in a fairly closed minded small town in the northwest called Spokane, Washington. It was definitely looked down upon to be different, let alone fat and poor. Even though I had my share of bullying growing up I always knew that it was important to be stay true to myself and not let anyone dim my light. After studying fashion design at Washington State University I scored an internship with Conde Nast publishing in NYC for Lucky Magazine and Vogue that changed my life forever!
Having no money or family resources at the time I was lucky enough to have a model friend let me crash on her floor so I can complete the coveted and very much unpaid internship. I have been in NYC hustling towards my dream of music and fashion ever since.
Shaun: How long have you been doing music?
Margie: I have been singing and performing for as long as I can remember… and thanks to the urge of my mom, [I] would basically perform on command for anyone who would pay me any mind. Whether it was busting out a classic an Aretha Franklin riff or doing a Janet Jackson or Britney Spears routine, I knew I had a connection with music and took any opportunity I had to perform. It wasn’t until I met my now husband Harald (a.k.a. Supervillainmusic) did I actually start writing my own music and working towards creating this album.
Shaun: You and Harald write and produce all of your music, what is that process like? How did you meet?
Margie: It is still so wild to me that Harald and I met on Tinder! As you know he had just moved from Norway a few years prior to train with heavyweights Stargate to try to make it as a music producer here in NYC. After a few months of dating we decided to make a song together just for fun. The song ended up being FIRE and a few dozens of songs later we became a writing duo.
Typically, Harald will usually sit on the computer to start a beat from scratch and while he is building I add in with some melodies. We record those random melodies and structure it in the song as a reference track before we sit down together and figure the overall vibe of the song and write the lyrics together. It’s so cool to have a partner that you can create with!
Shaun: What was it like performing for the second time at the Amber Rose SlutWalk?
Margie: Performing at the annual Amber Rose SlutWalk for the second time in a row was a dream! You know, having such an empowering woman like Amber Rose supporting me and helping me share my gift and message with the world has been unexpected and amazing! Marching with thousands of women (and men) for the common goal of equality to end sexual violence and derogatory labels was so needed and important.
That is one of the main reasons why I shot my music video “Ready To Go” there, so I could share the experience we had with the world. And as a side note, Thank YOU Shaun for not only being my friend but being one of my biggest supporters! You are the first one on stage to give a bitch an iconic intro or vogue down the runway to my track so thank you for being a ride or die!
Shaun: Speaking of squads, I see you were able to steal Yusef away from Rihanna to come and do your hair for this Galore shoot! How did you manage that?
Margie: Oh man, I really lucked out having such a beautiful and talented spirit like Yusef Williams in my life. Who, mind you, used his one day off of work in months jet-setting around the world with Fenty Corp to come slay my hair for this shoot and I feel #blessed. Not everyone knows but in addition to being on Rihanna’s team and landing dozens of Vogue covers, he also slays legends like Naomi Campbell and Mariah Carey.
We met over five years ago through a mutual friend one magical night on the rooftop of Le Bain. He is a Leo… all my friends are Leos. I had just moved to NYC and we majorly hit it off, the rest is history! He even officiated my Brooklyn wedding last year. Since the day we met he took me in as his daughter to help bust me through the scene and help me discover who I am as an artist. It’s so insane to me to think I went from a small ass town like Spokane, WA, to partying with icons like Rih Rih.
Shaun: As a body positive advocate, Why is it important for you to represent for the big girls?
Margie: As you know, growing up in the media without people that look like you really messes with your head and can cause some major issues. I want the next generation of curvy babes to grow up seeing all different shapes and sizes in magazines and on TV to show their differences are beautiful and special.
That’s another reason why I was so excited to shoot this editorial with photographer and fellow curvy girl Anastasia Garcia. She is another inspiring and talented women fighting for more representation in the industry. With the political climate we are currently in, I feel like it is more important than ever to show that plus size women can be confident, educated, sexy and bold all at the same time. That is why it is crucial we use our platforms to support movements like your #inmyskiniwin or #nowrongwaymovement that help spread self love.
Shaun: Describe your sound?
Margie: I call my sound hip POP! I think since I am influenced by so many different genres of music even with the pop heavy tracks it still has its own vibe and is authentic to Harald and I.
Shaun: As a member of the House Of Miyake Mugler, how has the ballroom scene help shape your look and your music?
Margie: I was first introduced to the ballroom scene by Yusef, who is the overall father for the house and a low key fashion icon. I had of course heard about the scene but after actually experiencing the magic of my first real ball I was hooked! I was always inspired there and found that it was a safe space for creatives to be whoever they want to be. Whether you are voguing or walking labels, you really have to be confident in yourself and sell it. The ballroom is where I learned how to hone my inner fierce dome, to walk the walk and talk the talk while serving face the whole time.
Shaun: People are loving your track “Face,” what inspired the song?
Margie: If I had to pick a ballroom category it would be big girl face, so I wanted to create a song around serving face that captured the kiki scene energy. It is an ode The House of Miyake Mugler and everything it taught me… and of course I had to give a shout out to sis and her bad bitch Fenty Beauty essentials.
Shaun: What inspired your body positive song “Temple”?
Margie: Temple is the song on the album where I really go deep and talk about what it was like growing up as a fat girl with big dreams in a small town. I wanted to make a song that talks about my story but also had a positive message behind it to show the importance o self love. Body positivity is really all about mind over matter and finding your inner strength. I love the hook because it states pretty much everything I want to say to women out there, “I believe your body’s a temple yeah, you got to worship and love yourself, don’t have to listen to no one else!” I encourage people to sing the hook back until the feelings follow.
Shaun: What artists inspire you right now? What’s on your playlist?
Margie: Honestly my artist friends are a big music inspiration to me especially now. I pretty much had your song “Symmetry” stuck in my heads for months after hearing! It is so authentic to you and of course who can resist that hook and positive message. I also love my fellow BBW Lizzo and of course our girl Shelby Swain aka the “Beyonce of baby hairs.”
Shaun: Now that your album “Margie Plus” is out, what is next?
Margie: THANK GAWD IT’S OUT! I feel like I have been waiting forever for the music to drop and I am so excited to finally share it with the world. Besides you and I busting through Coachella, in April I will be in LA performing at a few club appearances before heading back to NYC and shoot the music video for my song “Face” directed by Loic Maes. He is a Beyonce favorite who shot my “So Bad” video and from the looks of the storyboard the new video is going to be EPIC!
Photographer: Anastasia Garcia @anastasiagphoto
Hair: Yusef Williams @yusefhairnyc
Makeup: Cici B with @beglammednow
Stylist: Margie Plus @margieplus wearing @duckie_confetti, @amorireyewear , @forever21
Shot in the @McCarrenbk penthouse