Kaylan Mackinnon Chats Inspiration As a Songwriter!
Kaylan Mackinnon is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter. In 2012 she was a nominee of the Toronto Music Awards "Best Young Songwriter" award!
Kaylan chatted with us about her musical background and what she will be up to next!
Kaylan didn't come from a musical family. Both of Kaylan's parents are doctors, but her mom is also fantastic at drawing and her grandmother is a wonderful painter.
Kaylan's art took her in a different direction.
"Ever since I was little, I've always loved being the center of attention," she said. "I would always sing, dance, or show off in any way that I could!"
Kaylan was first inspired to pursue her own career in music when she first heard Avril Lavigne. She started taking music lessons when she was 14.
Kaylan is also a guitar player who utilizes the instruments a lot in her original songs.
She started learning chords when she was 12, but didn't really start learning the instrument seriously until she was 15.
"I write most of my material, if not all," she said. "I have collaborated with a few people in regards to the music portion, but with lyrics I write everything myself."
Writing music isn't just about sitting down and finding out what hits. Kaylan explained that the best music must come from a special source.
"If you want to write a 'good' song, you need inspiration to hit, which is something that doesn't happen just like that," she said. "Usually before I write a song I've encountered a situation that strikes emotion."
She usually writes about herself or other people she knows, or makes up a story based on events she's observed.
Kaylan described being nominated for the Best Young Songwriter award in the Toronto Music Awards.
"The whole event was surreal," she said.
One of the judges who nominated her was the amazing Canadian R&B artist Jully Black.
"Knowing that in itself was a huge honour!" she said. "The award show whether I won or not, was an incredible experience and it gave me the opportunity to connect and network with many talented people."
Kaylan's music style is inspired by many contemporary and classic artists.
"There are SO many gifted talents out there," she said.
Among those favorites include The Veronicas, Katy Perry, Ryan Tedder, Lorde, Avril Lavigne, and Lifehouse.
"I think Taylor Swift would be a really cool artist to collaborate with, given she's so talented lyrically," she added. "However I would also LOVE to collaborate with Justin Timberlake."
Kaylan first decided to share a video with the world online when a friend of hers suggested that she should try it out.
"I respect all the artists who have channels and are going for it!" she said. "You've got nothing to lose. I can just write a song, film it, and post it within the same day and share it with my lovely fan base."
Most of Kaylan's videos feature her original tracks, but she also shares the occasional cover, based on top 40 hits and some of her favorite classic tracks.
"When I'm playing a cover song, I'll sometimes just change the tempo a little and sing it slightly different by adding my own spins onto sections of the lyrics to make it my own the best I can," she said.
Kaylan followed a personal set of guidelines to reach the success she has today.
"Don't second-guess yourself and always believe you're good enough," she said. "It's easier said than done of course, but if you can always fight yourself in those two traits, you're bound to be successful in whatever it is you set your mind to."
She added that the music industry is super competitive, but artists shouldn't let that dissuade them. Musicians should stay driven and work hard, and do what they can to get out into the music world.
The music video for her latest single "Down To You" will be out soon, and we absolutely cannot wait!
"I'm very excited to share that with everyone," she said.
Kaylan has also been working all summer, and plans to write more in the next couple of months, before going back into the studio to record her second EP!
She will also be traveling around Vancouver and Toronto to perform, and posting more music online!
"I just want to thank every person who supports my music day in and day out," she said. "It's OUR journey."
Interested in Kaylan Mackinnon's music? Check out her social pages!
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