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Michael Marcagi

Michael Marcagi

After enjoying success as the leader of alt-rock band the Heavy Hours, Michael Marcagi stepped out on his own with the EP American Romance -- and folky originals like the breakout hit “Scared to Start” have met with viral success.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Marcagi formed the band that would become the Heavy Hours in high school, and had a novelty hit with a full-band cover of Dua Lipa's “Don’t Start Now” in 2021. Debut EP Wildfire proved that they were a serious act to watch, thanks to tracks like “Don’t Walk Away” (co-written with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, an early fan) and “Desperate Days,” both of which were reissued on the group’s self-titled sophomore album, released in 2023. Marcagi elected to go solo later that year, working on a more subdued and intimate set of folk-rock tunes. When he played a snippet of an unfinished song, “Scared to Start,” in an online video, it inspired a groundswell of fans sharing the song and even recording versions of their own. After the finished song made pop chart appearances in America, the U.K., and several other countries, Marcagi released his debut EP American Romance in February 2024. Anchored by his hit “Scared to Start,” the five-song release cracked Billboard's Top 200 at number 195. ~ Mike Duquette

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