Spencer MacKenzie is currently the youngest member of the Songwriters Association of Canada, but his dreams are certainly not the smallest. At only 11 years old, he’s already written 5 songs and recorded 3 songs, along with having a professionally shot music video (complete with special effects) that is currently featured on our homepage. He picked up the guitar at age 5 and knew that country music was his dream the moment he saw Keith Urban perform. As you will see from our interview, Spencer already has quite a team behind him and we believe that as he grows and continues to pursue his dreams, we’ll be hearing much more from Spencer. Here is our interview with him.
1. How did you discover you had a love for songwriting? My nana passed away two and a half years ago. I realized that by writing a song I was able to put my feelings into words. My guitar teacher, Steve Kenyon, thought it would be a challenge to start writting my own songs and it would be fun. It was my very first experience so I started writing my first song called “Too Soon To Say Goodbye.” Steve became co-writer on this song and in a few short months my first song was born and dedicated to my nana.
2. What are your goals as a songwriter? To write and write and write many songs, be as creative as I can be and hope to share my experiences with my friends and family and be enjoyed by whoever listens to my music.
3. How do you get your inspiration? What steps does it take to go from your first idea to a song? Even though I am only 11 years old I get all my inspirations from my life and what is going on around me what I see and how I feel. I start building on an idea that comes into my head. I write all my thoughts down that come into my head even if it does not make sense at the time, I work on a melody, I bounce ideas off of my parents. I then form it all together to make it sound the best that I can.
4. Which is your favourite song that you’ve written and why is it your favourite? Its hard to pick a favourite song since each song has a special meaning to me. If I had to pick one i guess it would be “Writing a Song.” It is my favourite because I like how it expresses to songwriters the journey we go thru from getting an idea, stumbling across writters block, over coming it, seeing how it finally all comes toghether. I also had the oppourtunity of a lifetime to do a music video to this song which was a fantastic life experience!
6. What do you admire most about Keith Urban? What have you learned from listening to his songs? My admiration came from when I was five years old. I went to his concert and loved how he performs on stage with the crowd. From that moment on I asked my mom to buy his videos, CD’s and this September I will be attending my 5th concert of his. I THANK him for putting the love of country music in my heart! I have learned from Keith Urban that when you write a song it should have a great story line. Every song I hear him sing I want to hear it over and over and over not only because it is catchy but to try and feel what he is feeling. He is an amazing guitar player I hope one day to be as good of a song writer and guitar player as he is.
7. Do you get nervous when you perform? YES absolutely! I get nervous mostly because I am afraid that I am going to mess up. Once I get playing the love I feel takes over and I have an awesome time and to see everyone enjoy it and when they congratulate me it makes me feel great!
8. Where do you hope to be as a songwriter 5 years from now? To be doing what I am doing now and that is writing more and more music, getting more experience as a song writer and performer and right now I am living the dream so I hope it continues
9. Who are the people behind you supporting your dream? I can put a story toghether, pick a melody, write a song but I look up to sooooo many people and am thankful everyday that they are a part of my journey! Keith Urban as my mentor, my nana for being by my side everytime I pick up a pen or my guitar, my papa who is my hero, Steve Kenyon my guitar teacher who helps me think out side the box, Jordan Ferrara my cousin, lead guitarist and my go to person for melody writing, Brad Krauss from Red Cave Studios for producing/engineering my songs, Ann singer my back up vocalist and voice coach, Louis Philippe Baraby my producer/director of my music video, my mom and dad and at the top God for making me who I am.