Originally posted on 4th March 2016 here is a Q & A with singer-songwriter James Mackenzie. We talked about his experiences songwriting & performing live.
Where did it all start for you getting into music?
It started with me when I went to my first concert - which was a Metallica show in Dublin. The darkness and Linkin Park were there. I went home and bought myself a Flying V guitar! Who are your influences? My influences, when I play acoustic stuff, are Glen Hansard, Damien Rice and Charlie Simpson. But my idols are people like Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield. With songwriting where do you tend to get your inspiration from e.g how do you start your songs & what's your process? I get inspired by things that are happening in my life at that point in time. I tend to sit and strum away until I find a melody that I like. I'll scribble down some rough lyrics and take it from there. I take inspiration or "ideas" from songs that I've heard. Predominantly stuff that has been played at the time. I'll find something catchy then imagine I've done my own version of it. This eventually leads to writing something. Thankfully it never quite sounds the same!
Do you feel it is important to watch other acts perform and to watch other live music?
I love going out and seeing other bands. I always want to be on the stage doing what they're doing.
Finally what tips do you have for anyone starting out when it comes to songwriting & performing?
The best thing to do when starting out is to find a technique or playing style that fits you. Something you're comfortable with and use it to your advantage.
You can check James stuff out at www.jamesmackenziemusic.co.uk which includes video, audio and social media links.
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