Scott MacKay is an S.A.C. member who recently released his debut album, Dressed In Blue. We asked him to share a little about his journey, and the experience of self-identifying as an artist, and then creating his first album on the East Coast. Thanks for sharing with us Scott!
In His Words…
During high school I would have told you that I was an artistic failure. Being a science guy, I looked at artists, musicians and writers as mystical creatures. I figured that artistic talent was an innate characteristic that couldnʼt be learned. Years later my thoughts have changed. I now realize that anyone can be creative, it just takes time and hard work.
How do I approach songwriting? I donʼt have a specific recipe for how I write, I tend to approach it several different ways. One being, starting with a title. Titles are the first thing a listener notices. A title is like bait, meant to catch peoples attention. A good title will invite people in to listen to a song, where a bad title will do the complete opposite. Once I have the title chosen I decide what direction I want to take it. I generally write out the chorus first then start with the verses to create a story. I then decide whether a bridge is needed. I then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. This process can happen in a couple hours, a day, a month, or a year. Thereʼs nothing more satisfying then coming up with a great line. I donʼt know if Iʼve ever caught lightening in a bottle, but in those moments it sure feels like I have.
In July of 2011 I began the process of recording my first CD “Dressed in Blue”. Fast forward to July 2012 where the fruit of my labor was released. If only it were as easy as pushing fast forward. It was baptism by fire, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I figured Iʼd have everything done in a month. I soon came to the realization that this was merely a fantasy. There was even one song that we had finished recording that we scratched last minute because we felt another song Single Bed would be a better fit. Iʼm very glad we made that decision but at the time it was very difficult. I canʼt thank my producer Corey Doucette and recording engineer Mark Geddes enough. I wouldnʼt have been able to get it done without them. They not only offered their talents but offered comic relief in times when things were overwhelming.
The word of “humble” means having or showing a modest or low estimate of oneʼs own importance. You could tag this adjective onto the front of any PEI musicianʼs name and it would ring true. Itʼs as if itʼs woven into the fabric of who we are. Maybe itʼs something in the potatoes?
Being fresh to the PEI music scene I carried some worry as to if Iʼd be welcomed or not. However, my worry quickly melted away as I was received with open arms by local musicians and members of the music community. It doesnʼt matter what genre you play; Rap, Heavy Metal, Country, Pop, Folk, Celtic, Rock, etc., you will be welcomed into the music scene. Not only is the community itself great but the support that is offered by Music PEI is remarkable. If youʼre looking for a vibrant, inviting music scene then PEI is the place.
Gene MacLellan, Catherine MacLellan, Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta), Two Hours Traffic, Rose Cousins, Tim Chaisson, and Meaghan Blanchard are just a few household names who call PEI their home. It would seem that talent isnʼt scarce on PEI.