Last month we introduced you to Sonny Mackenzi, who is making waves with her debut single, ‘New Crush’. Now we catch up with her and ask six quick questions to find out a bit more about the Atlanta-based singer songwriter.
EP: What’s the Sonny Mackenzi story?
SM: I was born and raised in Colorado, and I have been singing and performing for as long as I can remember. Basically, since I was born, I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist. I was modeling a lot in high school and doing music on the side, and then one day I posted some of my original music online. That led to a meeting with Nick Haussling, an A&R at Warner Bros. Records in LA, and that was kind of my spin off into becoming a serious recording artist. I began traveling, recording, and performing non-stop, and eventually I signed with the production company Main Attraction Music. The company has become a family to me, and last year I moved to Atlanta with my manager, where I’m literally living my childhood dream.
EP: You made the move from Colorado to LA and now to Atlanta – what’s been the appeal of each place you’ve moved to?
SM: I never officially moved to LA, but I was certainly traveling there quite a bit so it almost felt like I lived there. What I love so much about LA is the abundance of talent. Everyone there seems to be involved in entertainment in one way or another, and there’s a ball of creative energy everywhere you go that’s just infectious and exciting. Atlanta is pretty similar in that aspect, which to be honest, I was surprised by. I hadn’t spent any time in Atlanta before moving, so I was blown away by how big their music scene was. It’s just amazing how many talented people are in the world, and both Atlanta and LA have been so welcoming to me. It’s been very humbling.
EP: You’ve been compared to Mariah Carey and Whitney Huston, and while we can hear that in your sound, we can also hear a bit of Amy Grant in there too – who would you say have been your musical influences, and what have you taken away from them?
SM: Wow, thank you so much, what a compliment! Yeah, I studied a lot of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston vocally, especially while recording my EP. I love their passion and all the emotion they deliver in their music, and I tried to incorporate that into my own records as well. So now, when people compare me to those artists, I get pretty excited because I feel like all my studying and practicing is paying off. Some other influences I have are Beyoncé and Janet Jackson, especially right now as I begin performing. Their power on stage is ridiculous! As far as writing style, I love Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, because of their ability to tell such great stories. I’ve really tried to incorporate all of that into my music, and to also be genuine to who I am as an artist at the same time.
EP: You’ve held this dream of making it as a singer songwriter performer since you were 3 – what if anything would you do differently and if so, why?
SM: Good question. You know, there are a lot of ups and downs in this career, and lots of anxiety goes along with it because you never really know what the future holds. One day you’re on top of the world, and the next you can feel like your career is falling apart. So much is about timing, and teamwork, and luck, and a lot of it is just out of your control. I think what I would do differently is try not to worry about things so much. I used to micro-manage every little thing and stress over stuff I didn’t have control over, instead of trusting my team to handle it and just enjoying the journey. I’m kind of a control freak when it comes to my music, and it was hard to let things go at first, but every day it becomes easier—and that’s a testament to the amazing team I have. Other than that, I appreciate everything that has happened along the way, even the mistakes, because they are part of the journey, and it’s part of what has made me the artist and person I am today.
EP: What’s next for Sonny Mackenzi?
Lots! We’re getting ready to release my second single soon, and in the mean time I’ll begin performing regularly. We’re also working on the release of my EP, which I’m ecstatic about because I’m so proud of the records I’ve done, and I can’t wait for my fans to finally hear what I have for them.
EP: What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
SM: Actually, you guys just asked me a question I haven’t been asked yet, and it made me think and I liked that. You asked “What Would You Do Differently?” That’s a great question, and you’re the first to touch on that subject. So, kudos to you guys!!