IndieWritersReview’s Music Monday! Interview with Actress/Singer MacKenzie Porter!

Hello Everyone and Happy Monday! I am so pleased today, because I have the opportunity to share an interview that Jamie B Musings my fantabulous co-host of IndieReview Behind The Scenes radio and myself had with the multi-talented MacKenzie Porter!

Ms. Porter is a Singer/Actress, her most current project is “The Horses of McBride” which aired  this past Sunday Dec.16th on CTV  at 7pm!! The Horses of McBride is based on actual events and is very inspiring!

Ms.Porter was unable to speak with IndieReview Behind The Scenes radio due to she is presently on set shooting a movie until Christmas! But she was very gracious to answer a few questions for us, even with her busy schedule! We want to thank her for the opportunity to speak with her!

So please enjoy our chat!

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Raised on a cattle and bison ranch in Southern Alberta, MacKenzie began studying piano, violin, and voice at the young age of four. As a classically trained violinist, MacKenzie performed for many years as a soloist and a chamber musician, performing with various symphonies. MacKenzie’s family of musicians helped cultivate her sound and for a number of years MacKenzie toured with a family band including her brother Kalan Porter, 2004 winner of Canadian Idol, before branching out to perform on her own. In 2011, MacKenzie won the Nashville North Star competition and has recently opened for Kenny Chesney, Doc Walker, Trooper, the Canadian Tenors and has performed for such notables as Gene Simmons and Prime Minister Harper.!She performed as part of 2011’s Ottawa Capital Hoedown featuring Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert. MacKenzie is also an accomplished actress and her credits include numerous feature films and television productions.! She has worked with such names as Patrick Swayze, Carmen Electra, Michael Madsen, Aidan Quinn, Jason Priestley and Kim Coates, to name a few. MacKenzie was awarded the 2010 “Best Actress Award” at the Rosies, the Alberta Film and Television Awards, and was named one of the “Top 11 Talents to Watch” in British Columbia by BC Living last year. Currently, MacKenzie is writing and recording her upcoming Debut Album and has her debut single set to be released in the Fall.

Please check out Mackenzie’s video

Interview with MacKenzie Porter

IndieReview Behind The Scenes Q&A for MacKenzie Porter

Dec. 17th (Monday Music Showcase)

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How did this album come about? Explain the process? Did you start out with the plan to create the album or had you accumulated music and decided to then feature it in this release?

I am actually still in the process of creating and developing my album. I spent this last year traveling back and forth to Nashville writing and collaborating with over 50 songwriters creating over 75 songs. I was not specifically writing for my album but writing whatever I felt I wanted to say at the time. I’m kinda in that awkward time of life where I’m still figuring out who I am, experiencing first love, second love, third love…:), first break up, second breakup….:( etc so I’ve had a lot to draw from and a lot to write about. At this point, I’m writing writing, writing, demoing demoing,demoing!!  Ultimately, the plan for my debut album, is to pick the songs which best describe who I am.

How do you describe your music? What are your influences and why?

There are many adjectives which might describe my music, but the one I hope is most obvious is “honest”. Every song I write is about something I’ve experienced or been apart of so I hope people see the sincerity in what I’m creating.

Every musician I collaborate with, concert I go to, book I read, movie I watch…every experience in life (which makes me who I am) influences my music. How can it not??  I am continually looking for and thinking about interesting concepts or twists of words which I can incorporate into a song or be inspirited by.
I’m curious how do you feel the trend of selling music on line, streaming and such will affect the music industry? Any prediction concerning CD and Vinyl sales; will digital music replace these formats?

In my opinion, digital music has already replaced these formats which is kinda sad. I loved going to the record store to buy a CD WITH the lyric booklet. As a fan of music, it saddens me but as an artist, I’ve never had the opportunity to know anything other than digital sales.
Are you touring right now? Do you have any projects in the works?

I am not touring right now. I’m shooting a movie until Christmas then heading down to Nashville in early January to write again.
Do you ever cover material in your shows? If so, what’s your favorite song to perform?

A couple of my favorite songs which I have covered are “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac or “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon
Do you keep note-pads around for jotting lyrics ideas or do you like using a voice recorder?

I have a note book I use at home but I find that, most of the time, I’m singing ideas into my iPhone recorder. I often wake up in the middle of the night with a “brilliant” idea and quickly record it only to hear back some muffled melody in the morning and think… “Goodness sakes…what was I dreaming of”!!!  I guess any idea sounds good at 3am while half asleep.

If you were able to collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

One Artist!!! Well I hope I get to collaborate with many, many, many…but I guess if I had to choose one right now, it would be Stevie Nicks or Lady GaGa.
What was the first recording you ever bought?

I think the first record I owned was Celine Dion’s,  “Falling Into You”…. I was 6.

Do you have a favorite song on the radio now? If so, what is it?

Favorite songs on Country radio are “Cruise” Florida Georgia Line, “Better Dig Two” The Band Perry.  Pop stations “Serena Ryder”  Stompa

I am currently obsessed with “Civil Wars”  Barton Hollow and Miranda Lambert’s “Four The Record”

Are you currently planning any new recordings?

My second single will be released on iTunes and to radio mid February. It will be recorded in Nashville in January. 🙂
Vinyl or MP3?

BOTH!! Realistically MP3 but my best friend has a huge record collection and there is nothing I like better than sitting and listening to a full record with wine…so it would be very cool if people could do that with mine!

What are your “on the road” essentials?

Road Essentials- My laptop, good headphones, my glasses, Lululemons, violin and cashews!

Tell us about the craziest thing that ever happened to you onstage.

I did a show once at the Calgary Saddledome opening for Kenny Chesney and Vince Vaughn was in the front row.


When did you begin acting? How did you get your start?

I started acting on stage when I was about 10. I performed in numerous local musicals in Medicine Hat. I loved being on stage but also really wanted to try and work in front of a camera. I begged my mom to help me find an “on camera” class and we did with Clare Lapinskie. After studying with her for a couple of years, I flew out to Vancouver for a meeting with an agent. He signed me that day in his office and 7 years later I’m still represented by him.

Is acting something that you have always wanted to do?

I found a journal entry I wrote when I was 6 years old asking God to help me become a singer and an actress, so yes, I think it’s safe to say I’ve always wanted to be an actress and musician.

Which is your focus, acting or singing?

I try to balance my focus between acting and singing equally. Scheduling is sometimes very challenging but I find that each goes in spurts so I just roll with it.  Obviously, when I’m filming, the schedule is extremely hectic so I have to put my writing and recording on hold during that time and while I’m in Nashville writing, auditioning becomes more difficult.  I want to do both so I work hard to make both work!

What are some of the projects that you are now involved in at the current time?

I have been extremely fortunate to star in 5 films this year… 4 of which have yet to air. One of my projects, “The Horses of McBride” will be airing on CTV on Sunday, Dec.16 at 7pm!!  It is based on actual events and is very inspiring!

Of course I could say a Grammy or an Academy Award but really I just want to keep making music and movies that I am proud of.
Does your family support your career?

My family is incredibly supportive of my career. I am so so blessed to have parents who understand the creative process and a crazy, creative, dramatic mind.

What do you do to relax?

I relax by hanging out with my friends, watching movies, and drinking wine!

If you could pick one character to play, who would it be?

Aileen – Monster (CharlizeTheron)

Who would be your dream co-star?

Acting wise; Daniel Day Lewis or Merryl Streep… crush wise; Ryan Gosling 😉

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

To commit. Commit to your choice and then work your butt off to make it happen. Even if you don’t succeed the first time… or second, you will learn and you will grow and you will eventually develop into the artist you are meant to be… and being authentic is what makes you “cool”.

If you could give just one piece of advice to someone just getting started in the business, what would it be?

Be yourself. You’re the only person who can be that. Every other person is taken!! If you try to be like someone else or recreate what someone else did, it’s unlikely that you will be genuinely happy or feel truly fulfilled

A Huge Thanks to MacKenzie Porter for speaking with us!