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On Beat: Mckenna Blake

Welcome back to On Beat: a look into Belmont artists, their styles and what’s going down in music town. 


18-year-old Belmont Freshman Mckenna Blake may be new to Nashville, but they are no stranger to performing in large-scale environments. In their hometown of State College, Pennsylvania, Mckenna has found great success headlining concerts, playing local venues, and sometimes performing the National Anthem at large sporting events. In their interview, it’s clear to see that Mckenna Blake’s optimism for their future is well-founded, as they are undoubtedly on a path to further success. 

What’s your first memory of wanting to go into music? 

“My parents are both really musical and my first performing experience was when I was probably about two years old, and I sang ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ at our local Minor League Baseball game because I wasn't old enough to do the National Anthem. They didn't think I'd remember the words. After that I kind of did a lot of singing, National Anthems and stuff, but I always love to be on stage and perform. I started performing my original stuff probably in like 4th or 5th grade and it was alright for a 4th or 5th grader I'd say. I've always known I wanted to do music in some capacity and then when I really started focusing on my writing, I was like this is what I'm supposed to be doing. So that's kind of how I ended up here.” 


What genre do you normally like to write or perform?  

“I definitely write a lot of different stuff because I feel like I have a lot of different influences. The stuff I'm performing most is kind of indie or folk pop. I wouldn't say it's mainstream pop, but there's definitely some influences in there. Sara Bareilles was such a cool influence. My parents always had on The Indigo Girls, and I feel like my music is very reminiscent of some of the harmonies and stuff that they always do.” 


What is your creative process? How do you come up with stuff that you write? 

“It definitely depends. I'm getting better at finding new ways to be in that creative mindset because I used to only be able to write music when I was feeling really strong emotions. Usually, when I was really upset, I'd sit down at my piano and just play whatever was on my mind. A lot of my writing comes from improv, or at least it used to almost exclusively come from improv. I would just sit down at an instrument, I would pick a key, play some chords, then I just kind of see what came out lyrically. And now, I still do that, but my process is I try to focus on what I want to be saying, or what I feel like I need to say in my songs. I still come up with a lot of my ideas by making up lyrics on the spot and then fine tuning them later. I wrote a song in about 20 minutes in the middle of the night three or four weeks ago and now I'm recording it tomorrow morning for the Belmont tracks thing and I'm like, man I wish I could write all my songs that quick and have them turn out good.” 


So how would you sum up your time in Nashville and your time at Belmont? 

“It's definitely been a really good experience so far. Obviously, I'm only a freshman so there's still a lot left to explore. I really like being at Belmont. I’ve been trying to get more involved in different campus organizations. I love being a part of Grammy U because you kind of just get to go and see artists for free and attend their sound checks and that's so fun because that's right up my alley. I've been finding a lot of fun things to do in Nashville. Someday I'll go on Broadway and perform maybe. I don't know if that's really my vibe, but there's still a lot of cool things. I played at the Bluebird Cafe for the first time a couple weeks ago and that was really cool. I'm really excited for all of the performing opportunities I'll have at Belmont and in Nashville. Especially now that I'm here full time.” 


What are you currently up to right now? 

“I'm doing a lot of super fun things. I'm working towards the release of my first and second singles. The timeline has been a little bit crazy just because I'm a full time student and a lot of the people working on this project with me are also full time students. It's really exciting because I've been wanting to release music and it's finally happening. Yesterday I finalized all of my vocal tracks so I'm super happy with how the vocals have turned out. Now I'm leaving it up to my audio engineer and producer to make everything else sound magical. That's something I'm super excited about, and then tomorrow I'm actually recording two or maybe three of my original songs with Belmont Tracks. I'll be doing a little interview with them, but I'm really excited about that too because it's a little bit scary. All of the people who’ve recorded for Belmont Tracks before, I'm pretty sure they're like all seniors. So, it's weird knowing that they've chosen me, but I guess that's an exciting thing. I've been chosen for such a really cool project. It will be nice to have some more professional videos of my music that I can be sharing and putting on my website.” 


This article was written by J O'Boyle

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2 comentários

Steele Nickle
Steele Nickle
15 de abr.

 I've always known I wanted to do music in some capacity geometry dash subzero


23 de mar.

So excited to follow this young artist and see where they go !!!

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