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It may not be a story as old as time, but the trope of Okies wandering to California in search of opportunity goes back at least to the Dust Bowl. And while the paucity of prospects may not have the same harrowing look it did in the 1920s, people still move from windy plains to sunny coasts in search of something better; it’s just that now, they are usually musicians.

On February 11, Maggie McClure released Time Moves On, an album written in large part about her move.

“It was never intentional for me to write an album about me moving,” she said. “It just kind of happened.”

McClure had lived her entire life in Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma City University in 2009 and spent the next three years doing what she could to make things happen as a musician: She went on a long tour, mostly playing at college campuses, and she recorded an album and an EP — one in Dallas and the other in Nashville.

But she felt limited. 

“I realized that if I really wanted to take things to the next level, something that I could do myself was to move here,” she said. “There are so many opportunities in the entertainment business in general with film and television and the music industry all being right here.”

Thus far, she has made the most of it. Not only has she just finished Time Moves On, she has also been making breaks into other sectors of the entertainment business. She sings the role of Violetta in the English version of Disney Channel Latin America’s Violetta and has had her songs featured in television shows Dr. Phil, The Real World, Cougar Town and others.

Though
thankful for her success, McClure has experienced what countless other
Oklahomans before her experienced: Transitioning from Middle America to
the coast is difficult.

“People don’t really stop working here,” she said. “It is kind of a 24/7 thing.”

She wrote “Liar, Liar” about this particular difference.

“Being
here in LA — around all these other people who are constantly working —
it’s really hard to stop working. That hunger for success is so strong
that sometimes I — and probably a lot of other people — just kind of
lose sight of what is really important in life. That is what the song is
all about.”

Her
ability to translate these reflective truths into soda-sweet melodies is
what gives her songwriting its appeal. Her songs are confessional and
deeply personal, and she describes them as “journal excerpts.”

“I’ve
always written that way, and I think it’s what works for me,” she said.
“If I’m going to be up there onstage, singing about something, I need
to be 100 percent connected to and committed to what I’m singing about.”

From
the over 750 shows she has already performed in her still-young career
to her willingness to leave everything she knew in Oklahoma, commitment
is unquestionably not something McClure lacks.

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