Mackenzy Mackay | 5 Minutes With

Working towards a number-one album and a BRIT award, Mackenzy Mackay mainly strives to connect with as many people around the world as possible. After wrapping up his UK/Europe sold-out tour, Mackay shares his highly anticipated EP, ‘Life, Love & Upsets.’

From Yorkshire via London, Mackenzy Mackay is a talented trailblazer in original storytelling and rhythmic, wise verses. Dismissing the copy-paste artist model, he sticks to his passion for vulnerable songwriting and connecting with his audience. “I write for me, because I like it, I don’t write to be commercial,” he says.

‘Life, Love & Upsets’ is a sincere snippet from Mackenzy Mackay’s past 12 months and his gathered wanderings, realisations, and manifestos. From start to finish, the project is full of encouraging takeaways and poetic remarks showcasing Mackay’s magnetic penship. 

“I won’t take my days for granted, take a deep breath as deep as the Atlantic”

“I got a lot of love to give, maybe too much”

“Chin up; it didn’t pan out like you had in mind, but don’t quit trying”

“You’re the reason why my pages aren’t blank”

“You bring me right back home”

Mackay opens up about his initial passion for the creative arts, writing, and romance, elaborating on life lessons with a predominant mantra—love with all your heart. 

You just wrapped up your UK/Europe sold out tour, how was it?

The tour was amazing, especially playing in some very amazing and iconic places. I’ll never forget it. Playing my music live and building real life connections with people is super special. Building memories with everyone who came to a show and meeting so many of the people who like to listen to my music is so special.

When planning this tour, were you adamant about what you want the show to look like?

Wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted the show to look like but I guess it just sort of developed throughout and grew into what it is now along the process. As long as the fans enjoyed themselves, that’s all that matters to me!

To become an artist, you have to have a certain level of self-confidence, what do you think sets you apart from other singer/songwriters?

I’m not too sure what sets me apart from other singers/artists, maybe the input I’ve had on everything building up to now? In a way that I’ve been spinning many plates to build my career to where it is today. I’d say I’m unique in a way that I’m not or at least try not to be a copy and paste of any one in the industry right now. I write for me and because I like it, I don’t write to be commercial and I write real things that are real to me. Unique but still appeal to a wider audience. 

When did you feel like you posses the gift of storytelling? Have you always wanted to share it with people and perform at venues, or did that come alter?

English at school, writing fiction! Romance in general and creative arts, definitely inspired me. I love songs, movies, books! As long as I’ve known I’ve always written songs, shit ones, forever, and gradually improved and got better through the years I guess, have definitely the 10000 hours in! I remember over 10 years ago putting my first video on YouTube.. I found it again a few years ago and I just thought it was horrendous but it was lovely to notice the progression of improvement throughout the years. My writing is better, my vocals are better, my guitar playing is still pretty basic if I’m honest and I could deffo do with practising the guitar and piano more. 

I’ve always had a love for writing songs which is key to me being a music artist, I always wanted this to be my full time job. I think inspirations came from multiple directions, from working in jobs I hated, to various different life situations I found myself in, it really just pushed me into giving everything I had to music. I started off by sharing snippets of songs I was writing on socials and then it’s really grown from there!

Your new EP ‘Life, Love & Upsets’ encapsulates your life in the past 12 months. What were the biggest lessons you picked up on the way during the process of making this EP?

Biggest lessons were not to take your days for granted. Be present in the moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff, if it’s not going to effect your life 5 years from now, don’t worry about it for more than 5 minutes. Appreciate the small things in life, don’t complain too much. Life doesn’t go in a straight line and upwards, there are always ups and there are always downs. Love with all your heart. 

Throughout the EP, you expand on your very optimistic, live-in-the-moment approach to life, where did this attitude come from? 

Life can be shit but someones always got it worse than you. Not saying you’re not allowed to have days when you’re feeling down but I always try to see the brighter side of things tbh. We all have bad days. That is life. I’ve had a life full of experiences so far. I’ve learnt a lot and I grew up very quickly but just because there is evil in the world and some of it sucks, doesn’t mean that it isn’t beautiful as well. I don’t really know how to answer this question properly and I’ll never tell someone how to live there life so this is only for me but I’ve been through things and worked through the grit and I just want to enjoy life and try be happy as much as is doable at this point. 

Could you pin-point some of the most pivotal events of this last year that inspired the themes of the ‘Life, Love & Upsets’?

There’s been many moments, some great, some really gutting. Ive achieved some things which are very pivotal. I’ve also had a lot to deal with in loss as well.

You expressed you love writing about love and about the feeling of being in love. Could you put it into words how it looks like for you to be in love?

I love with everything I have. I don’t know what it looks like but it feels great to give someone the love you know they deserve and for them to reciprocate it. 

With love often comes heartbreak and loss. How do you overcome having to detach from someone you once loved? 

Time is a healer. 

When you’ll look back at this project, what era will this EP remind you of? (Personally and professionally)

I’ll probably look back and think ‘this is where it all really started happening”

Your previous artworks often include cartoon-like symbols, or fully animated pictures, could you talk about how this vision came about in the first place?

I like to draw quite a lot so I guess I’d just sort of doodle ideas and that’s where the first EP artwork came from, with the help from a good friend of mine “jack stacks” 

What would be the ultimate goal of your musical career?

I have many, I’d love a number one album, I’d love a Brit award, but if I can grow it to connect with as many people as possible around the world that’s what mainly counts I reckon.

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Words: Karolina Kramplova