Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, I have an exciting interview with rising pop star Macy Medford. In the interview, Macy and I discussed her musical influences, her debut album and new music, advice she has for aspiring musicians, and so much more. (You can learn more about Macy’s music and career in my past ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog post here: YouTube Wednesday: Macy Medford, an entertainer that you will soon be “Crazy ‘Bout” | celindareyesblog.) Macy also made a special announcement…are you ready? On July 15th, 2014 she is going to perform the national anthem at ‘Minute Maid Park’ in Houston, TX in support of the Roger Clemens Foundation (which according to the foundation’s official website, “exists for the purpose of carrying on and supporting educational, charitable, literary, scientific, and religious activities for children, with a special emphasis on underprivileged and at-risk children, and children with special needs”). Please spread the word about this performance, and if you live in or around the Houston area, please go and show Macy some support
Celinda: Hi Macy! My first question for you is what bands or artists have influenced your musical style?
Macy: Well a lot of artists like Colbie Callait and Duffy, but I also love older artists like Etta James, Stevie Wonder, and a lot of people who have a lot of jazz influences in their style. I also really love artists who have amazing voices such as Celine Dion. I really try to put a lot of jazz influences in my music, because my voice isn’t necessarily pop.
Celinda: Yeah, and that adds a lot of uniqueness to your voice, and it makes it interesting, and draws attention to your music. So, you mentioned Colbie Callait, Celine Dion, Etta James, which are artists whose influence I can hear in your music, but which artists have influence you that may be surprising to your fans?
Macy: Well of course I love artists like Michael Jackson, because he had so much control in his voice. I don’t think that people would necessarily think of him when they think of my pop/jazz music. His voice and his range were amazing, and the fact that he was a perfectionist, is one way that we’re really similar. Whenever I go into the recording studio, we will do one line over and over, which is unusual, but if it just doesn’t have the right energy, or just doesn’t sound exactly the way that I want it, then we will repeat it until we get it perfect.
Celinda: That’s really cool, I like that level of dedication in an artist, and I definitely think that that’s going to be something that’s going to help you get really far in your career. Michael Jackson has definitely been an influence on just about every musician, so that’s a good one to emulate. I read your bio the other day, and I noticed that you’ve been performing for a long time, is there a specific moment early in your career that made you realize “I want to be an entertainer for the rest of my life, this is what I want to do”?
Macy: Well I’ve always kind of known ever since I was involved in a production of Annie in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I had a week to memorize all the line, all the music, all of the blocking, and put the whole show on. I just remember that I came home and I sat down with the music, and I was like “here we go, let’s do this’, and I just memorized all of it. I think that after the performance, I just knew how hard I had worked, and how dedicated I had been to the show, and I just realized how much I wanted to do it. But in terms of what is one of the moments when I just really felt like “wow, I love this’, was definitely my debut album release party. I had that in January of 2012, and so many people came, I think that it was over 500. And to be able to show people what I had been working on, and to finally be able to perform it in front of everybody was so amazing for me. I just knew that I wanted to continue recording, and continue performing, just because it was such an amazing experience, and everyone was so supportive of what I did.
Celinda: That’s a really good answer actually. I love to hear about artists or bands who, at a young age, have that kind of dedication and passion for what they do, and I can definitely hear the results of all of that hard work in your music. You mentioned that the release party for your debut album ‘Crazy ‘Bout You’ was in January of 2012, and two years later in January of 2014, you released your latest single, which I am obsessed with by the way, called ‘I’m Done’. I noticed that there is a lot of musical growth that occurred within those two years, so what was that journey like for you?
Macy: Well throughout the two years, I kept writing, because I’m always writing. I write the song lyrics as poetry first, and then I go and do the music. So I continued writing, and in school I started taking college English classes, and because of things like that I noticed that my writing was maturing. And also as I was getting older, my experiences were more maturing, and my voice was also maturing, so as all that was happening, I knew that I wanted to write something that was more mature. I wrote the songs on my CD in 7th and 8th grade, and even though I still love those songs, but it’s been almost 4 years, so I knew as an artist where I wanted to go was even more jazzy than I had been in the past, so that’s what that song ended up being like.
Celinda: Yeah, honestly I had no idea that you were so young when you wrote the songs on ‘Crazy ‘bout You’, because I love them, and I’m a little older than you were at that age. It’s awesome that you already had really great writing skills at such a young age, and that makes me excited about what you’re going to be writing in the future. So since you’ve been performing for a long time, how do you prepare for a performance?
Macy: I prepare for a performance by going through the songs, blocking out what I want to do on stage, not so much that everything is robotic, but to at least have kind of a game plan on how to get the crowd going, and what I want to say about each song between each song.
Celinda: Do you have any industry secrets that you use for your voice, or to get mentally prepared?
Macy: Drink a lot of water , that is always number 1. And make sure that you get plenty of sleep. I always get a teeny bit nervous, but it’s an excited nervous, I can tell that my adrenaline is pumping. So instead of using that as nervous energy, I try to focus it towards being excited and it usually helps me be even more energetic on stage.
Celinda: I know that you just turned 17, again happy birthday, how do you balance your personal and professional life, and what suggestions would you have for other teens and kids who want to pursue a career similar to yours?
Macy: It is not easy, especially with school. This past year, my junior year, was so hard because I was taking college classes, I was performing all the time, and trying to keep a social life on top of that. The best thing that you can do is just try and have good time management. Make sure you know what your schedule is in advance, so if you have to cancel something, you can tell them ahead of time.
Celinda: Those are really good suggestions, because I know that you have to maintain some sort of personal life for your writing.
Macy: I mean, it’s always good just to have a little free time to relax and have experiences that you can write about.
Celinda: So do you have any dream projects that you’d like to do that may surprise your fans?
Macy: Well of course I’d love to win a Grammy, that would be awesome. I’d also really love to perform at the ‘Hollywood Bowl’. But I’d also really like to do some stuff oversees for charities in different places, I’d really love to sing and be able to raise money for things like that. I do a lot of charity events here in Houston. I’ve sang for breast cancer associations, and many different charities to help raise money, but I think that it would be amazing to have an even bigger impact.
Celinda: Well you winning a Grammy isn’t a dream, it’s definitely going to happen for you, it’s just a matter of when. But getting back to the charity work, is there a specific cause that you’re really passionate about, that you’d like to dedicate all or most of your time to?
Macy: Well my grandmother died of cancer when I was in first grade, so I’ve always felt really passionate about helping foundations that deal with that, and my dad also had a heart attack, so I feel passionate about raising awareness for that, because I know that that’s affected a lot of people. It’s just a great way to have people come together for a specific cause that so many people have been affected by.
Celinda: Yeah that’s really beautiful, I ‘m sorry about your grandmother and father by the way, but it is really beautiful that you want to be a part of raising awareness for those issues. So what’s one thing that you wished that you had known about the music industry before entering it?
Macy: Let me think about that one really fast. I don’t know, because it’s really been quite an experience just jumping into it. I think that the most important thing that I wish that I had known, even earlier, was how to find exactly who you are as an artist. Whenever you come in as an artist, they’ll be like sing me something, what type of an artist are you. And you’re not like “well I can do country and pop”, so you really have to kind of find a label for yourself, so other people can relate to that. So finding myself as an artist has been really fun, and I really knew who I was when I was younger, but even back then when I was doing competition in elementary school. I found that really sticking to your one style of music is really important.
Celinda: Yeah, I definitely agree with that, because you see all of these mainstream and rising artists who seem to have a hard time balancing growing as a person, and growing as an artist.
Macy: Exactly. So if you know exactly who you are, and where you want to be, it’s much easier to grow as an artist.
Celinda: Yeah, and I definitely think that judging by your new single, you seem to be doing a really great job navigating that. So we’ve spoken about your future a little bit so far, and you’ve spoken about wanting to be really involved with charities, one day winning a Grammy, and playing the ‘Hollywood Bowl’, but what do you want your overall legacy to be. When people look back, and they think of ‘Macy Medford’, what do you want them to think of?
Macy: What I want my legacy to be, is a music artist that was popular, but yet made good decisions that people could look up to. Of course today, we have people like Taylor Swift who is amazing, and is a great role model, and I definitely want to be like that. I don’t want to be one of these artists that little girls look up to, that are making bad decisions so then other people follow that. I want to have songs that are clean, but make you feel good, and definitely have a message to them.
Celinda: Yeah, I can definitely see that happening for you, because your music is really catchy and radio friendly, and anyone will enjoy it. A little kid could love it, as well as someone older, my dad is 56 years old and he was rocking out to your music the other day when I played it for him. So is there anything else that you want to add, maybe any new projects that you can talk about or something that you want your fans, or people who are just discovering your music to know?
Macy: Well, a very big upcoming event that I have is that I’m singing the national anthem on July 15th at ‘Minute Maid Park’ in Houston, TX in support of the ‘Roger Clemens Foundation’, so I really want to get the word out about that. I have a lot of stuff in the works; I’m hoping to work on some new music videos soon, which are always so much fun to film. And of course I have that new song (I’m Done) on ITunes.
Celinda: Ok, well I will definitely tweet excessively about that upcoming event. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.
Macy: That would be great. Thank you for doing this.
Celinda: No problem, I’m really excited about everything that is going to happen for you in your career, I can just tell that you’re going to be something really big and special.
Macy: Thank you so much, and hopefully I’ll talk to you again soon.
Stay Connected with Macy:
YouTube: Macy Medford YouTube
Facebook: Macy Medford Facebook
Website: Macy Medford
‘Just Me and You’ Video: MACY MEDFORD – ‘JUST ME AND YOU’ – OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
IMDB: Macy Medford – IMDb