Music Interview: Sonny Mackenzi

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(Image Credit: Big Picture Media | The Young Folks)

Forgive me for saying this but we’ve got a new crush obsession with up and coming artist Sonny Mackenzi! Sonny, who unlike most artists, is based out of Atlanta, GA and is ready to make a name for herself in the music industry. Think of her as a mixture of Britney Spears, Selena Gomez and all your favorite powerful women popstars and you get Sonny. Remember her name now rather than later, yeah?

TYF: Hi Sonny! Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer a few questions. “New Crush” has honestly been on repeat since I was first introduced to it!

Sonny Mackenzi: That’s so great to hear, I’m glad you like it!!!!! And thank you so much for your interest in me and my music. J

TYF: I read that you were already dreaming of performing, singing and writing at a young age! What was it that introduced you to this lifestyle and career?

Mackenzi: I really can’t say what my initial introduction was to a music career, all I know is that I’ve always wanted to be an artist so that’s what I’ve been working towards from a very early age. I grew up listening to Country so that’s what I used to sing the most. Then when I was about six, I was introduced to the Spice Girls, and that is what turned me on to pop. The girl power aspect is what really hooked me the most I think, and I’ve carried that with me ever since. 

TYF: With an EP in the works, how has the process been so far? Can you give us a bit of a hint of what our readers will be expecting to hear?

Mackenzi: The process for the EP has been incredible, to say the least. Creating something like this is kind of like writing in a diary for a year and then one day opening it up for the world to see. It’s very scary, but also very exciting. I was really blessed to have a great team of people working on this EP with me, from amazing writers, to producers, to engineers and mixers, and the sound we’ve created is super unique and cool. It’s pop with edge. It was important to me that my music to stood out, especially because I’m a new artist, and I think we’ve accomplished that by taking a lot of what is new and fresh, and mixing it with some older styles to make kind of a hybrid sound. I’m very proud of it.

TYF: Will we be hearing songs similar to your song “New Crush” or will it be a completely different sound?

Mackenzi: My brand new single coming out is called “Rewind” and it’s direction might surprise some listeners if they were expecting something with the same vibe of “New Crush”, but I hope it will be a pleasant surprise. There are certainly other tracks on the EP ­­­that bridge the sweet 90’s feel of “New Crush” to the more dance-infused, edgier tones of the some of my other songs, so those listeners who are really feeling “New Crush” shouldn’t worry—there is more where that came from. And if I have listeners who aren’t so into “New Crush”, that’s cool too, because I’m confident they’ll find something they can really dig their teeth into once they listen to the EP.

TYF: Diving into this business and career path, what’s the hardest thing or moment you’ve experienced so far? How did you learn from it?

Mackenzi: One of the toughest things for me was moving from Colorado to Atlanta to pursue music full time. I am incredibly close to my family and friends, so leaving them behind so abruptly was a huge shock to me. Not to mention I was suddenly doing nothing but music 24/7, and I was working harder than I had ever worked in my entire life. To be honest I was completely unprepared for all the pressure I found myself under. I went through a major period of self-doubt and I was SOOOO homesick, but I never once allowed myself to give up. That’s actually what my new single “Rewind” is all about, so it’s cool we’re talking about this now. Going through that experience really showed me how bad I want to do this. I forced myself to break down all these walls and pushed myself past my comfort zone, facing my fears head on, and you know what? I did it a lot of things I never thought would be possible for me to do, and I couldn’t be happier.

TYF: From Colorado, you moved to Atlanta. Many up-and-coming artists would go straight to Los Angeles as their first big move. What was the motivation to move to Atlanta instead? How is the music scene there?

Mackenzi: That’s so funny because before I moved to Atlanta I had my sights set on LA like everyone else, and it had always been my plan to move to LA eventually. I was in the process of writing and recording in Colorado, and my manager and I made a trip to Atlanta to work with some writers and producers we’d been linked up with, and I just remember being blown away by Atlanta’s music scene. There is SO MUCH TALENT that has come out of Atlanta, and so many opportunities for up and coming artists here. The decision to move to Atlanta was kind of abrupt, like I mentioned above, but the opportunity presented itself and it just made sense at the time. Now I’m completely in love with this place and the team I’ve built here.

TYF: I love how your main goal is to put out positive vibes/messages in society which we definitely need more of. How do you keep such a positive outlook on things when there’s so much negativity and animosity around the world?

Mackenzi: The more negativity I see, the harder I work to be positive and put positivity back out. I’m a huge believer in energy, so I guard mine wherever I go, and I try to make sure I don’t let drama get to me. It’s easy to get sucked into the craziness and I’m definitely not immune to it, trust me, but I try really hard to stay true to the person I am and I am always thinking about what my intentions are. More than anything else, I try to love everyone. No matter what is going on, I just have to have faith that people are inherently good, and that we all have the ability to make a positive difference in this life. 

TYF: As an artist, you must have tons of goals you want to accomplish but as of right now, what are your main three goals you want to achieve?

Mackenzi: I’m dying to get on a tour so that’s probably my first and most immediate goal right now. Next thing is to finish up the album. I have a lot of songs on the side that I’d like to add to the list of the tracks I’ve already got on the EP that mean a lot to me, so to eventually get them recorded will be super exciting. And my final goal is to go to the Grammys. I recently became part of the academy, which is so cool, so now I really want to go to the event. I don’t have to be nominated, (although that would be amazing), but I would just like to go and experience such an iconic occasion.

TYF: What’s the best advice someone has ever given you whether it be something to do with your career or life in general?

Mackenzi: The best advice I’ve gotten is to always be true to who I am and to not try and fake anything, and also to be honest about my weaknesses while embracing my strengths. Following that advice has made my life so much easier, and it has made me a lot more fearless in my endeavors. 

TYF: I also read that on your downtime you like to write and you actually wrote two novels already! Any chance you’ll be publishing them in the future?

Mackenzi:  Yes I love to write and I have indeed written some novels! I am absolutely considering publishing them. Stay tuned!

Ash is a teenager trapped in a twenty-three year old body. She owes everything she's learned to Lizzie McGuire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Unfabulous. She's a pop culture fanatic so yeah, she tend to pray to the entertainment lords begging for MTV to finally hire her. When she's not updating her dog with her life stories, she tweets some pretty cool things from time to time.