Before maryjo captivated the ears and hearts of her fans on American Idol, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter was carving out a space for herself in the music industry on social media. Originally using platforms like YouTube and TikTok as a way to share her music with others, maryjo quickly cultivated a devoted following, as users were drawn to her commanding, unforgettable sound. After competing on Season 19 of American Idol a couple of years ago, her fanbase grew, with new viewers tuning in every week to watch her perform songs by artists like Ed Sheeran, Tate McRae, and Jewel – to name a few. She now has over 1.3 million followers on TikTok and over 26.7 likes altogether, and those numbers will not be dwindling any time soon. Earlier this year, maryjo made her official debut on Atlantic Records with the release of “Love Fools” in February, followed by “Traffic” in May. Tastemakers fell in love with these ballads, drawn to the emotion and beauty found within. While maryjo could have released another moving ballad as her next single, she decided to switch it up and adopt a lighter attitude. We recently caught up with maryjo for more details on this single, an update on where she stands after Idol, and news that alludes to what she will be releasing in the future.
Congratulations on your new single “Don’t Call Me.” It is a little more playful and pop-sounding than your previous releases – what inspired you to lean more in that direction for this one?
Hi! I had been coming out with more ballad-type songs, and I really wanted to do something playful and fun. So, when I came to the studio, that’s what we all decided to do!
I love the idea about how this person can call you any kind of name in the book, but getting in touch with you directly/calling on the phone is a different story… Are you someone who would answer the phone and confront them, or would you just let it ring?
Honestly, I would confront them. But before doing that, I need to make sure I have my facts straight so that I win the argument of course!
Are you a phone call person or a text message person?
Sometimes it depends on the day, but for a while now, I have mainly been a call type of person.
The music video is very cool – the vintage style goes so well with the rotary phones and the phone call theme. How long did it take to land on this idea?
I honestly don’t remember. But it wasn’t long; since we decided to release it, I had everything naturally visualized. When I am recording a song, during the session, I always picture a music video. It helps with my creativity, and it helps in the long run once we decide if we are making a video.
“Don’t Call Me” and your previous singles “Traffic” and “Love Fools” are all in the relationship realm, so would you say that love/relationships is a topic that you intentionally choose to explore in your songs, or is it more accidental where you just naturally end up going that route?
It’s definitely more of a natural thing. Personally, I haven’t really experienced a very toxic relationship yet. I feed off of other people’s experiences that I know, or even though it’s sung as a relationship experience, I have a different story of what I think of when I sing.
Do you have a debut album or EP in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
Honestly, not really? I think the songs I am releasing now are naturally packaging as an EP. We mainly are just cranking out songs! We have a ton, maybe we will package it up like an album some day!
Fans may remember you from American Idol. While you didn’t win that coveted title, are you still pleased with the way things turned out?
Oh, I am so pleased. I wouldn’t be where I am today or have my freaking amazing team!
Would you recommend other aspiring artists to try out for the show?
Yes! One hundred percent, even if it doesn’t work out, it’s a great boot camp for what you’re getting into.
I read that posting videos to social media and performing on Idol helped you break out of your shell a little when it comes to singing in front of others. What are some other tips you would give to singers out there struggling with the same issue?
I would say honestly, you just have to do it a few times even if your super scared and your voice is shaky because eventually, you’ll be used to it and it’ll feel totally natural!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
To release music, and just keep creating!
Thank you so much for your time, do you have any other comments or anything else to add?
Thank you so much!! And yes, since the slow version of “Don’t Call Me” got traction on TikTok, I decided to release a part two. “Don’t Call Me (Pt 2)” will be out August 18!
“Don’t Call Me” and “Don’t Call Me (Pt 2)” are out now. You can check them out on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.