Hey people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog post, we are going to talk about rising YouTube music superstar Mackenzie Johnson. Mackenzie is a 21 year old singer/songwriter from Philadelphia, PA that you will become OBSESSED with. She is not only a talented vocalist and guitarist, but also has the unique ability to make you fall in love with her music instantly. I have honestly spent the last few days listening to all of her covers and original music on repeat, and am so excited to share her channel with y’all. So please read on to discover your new favorite artist!
The first cover that we’re going to talk about is Mackenzie’s rendition of Skyscraper by Demi Lovato, which was uploaded on August 14th, 2011 (here’s the link Skyscraper – Demi Lovato Cover). I really love that this was one of Mackenzie’s first covers, because it really showed off her talent, showmanship, and level of artistry. Through this cover we got to learn that Mackenzie has an INCREDIBLE voice and can sing live while accompanying herself on the guitar. It’s hard enough to sing as well as Mackenzie does, and then when you add in the fact that she has to divide her mind between her voice and the guitar, it’s just becomes crazy that one person can be so talented. Another thing that I find important for musicians, who post covers on YouTube, is that they need to be able to find the right balance between not copying the original artist 100%, and maintaining what fans love about the original version of the song. Mackenzie is able to make her covers unique, and her natural ability to keep your attention throughout the song, proves that she has the ability to be a competitive artist in the music industry. The next cover that we’re going to talk about is Mackenzie’s cover of TLC’s hit song No Scrubs (here’s the link: No Scrubs – TLC Cover), which was uploaded on November 22nd, 2013. I really loved that she did a cover of this song, because it was a fun change from some of the other covers that she had uploaded at that point. I think that this cover really shows another layer of Mackenzie’s artistry, and proves that she can sing just about anything. I also loved that we got to really see her skills as a rapper in a song that is not easy for one person to cover. If you think about it, TLC was made up of 3 incredibly talented women who each used their individual skills to make magic, so it’s really awesome to see 1 person take on all 3 parts and do really well. I just fell completely in love with this cover. The final cover that we’re going to discuss is Mackenzie’s rendition of Fallin’ by Alicia Keys (here’s the link: Fallin’ – Alicia Keys Cover), which was uploaded on January 12th, 2015. This has to be one of my favorite covers that Mackenzie has done (which is saying a lot because I am ADDICTED to her channel). I really love that we’re able to truly see the just how well Mackenzie is able to control her pitch and still slay those big notes that have made this song a fan favorite. This is a very unforgiving song that not everyone can cover, so I was seriously impressed when I heard this cover. This was the first video that I saw on Mackenzie’s channel, and it instantly drew me in and made me want to hear more from her. I promise that once you heard this cover, you will not be able to turn away.
The first original song that Mackenzie uploaded on YouTube was entitled The Way We Love, and was uploaded on October 24th, 2011. Mackenzie says in the beginning of the video that this song is about a cute relationship that her friend was in. I love this song because it’s so sweet and has a very classic Taylor Swift vibe to it. This song honestly makes you feel like you’re in a Nicholas Sparks movie, and is just so amazing you will find yourself listening to it every day. I thought that this was a very good choice as Mackenzie’s debut original song in YouTube. It is also the perfect song for right now since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. The other Mackenzie original that we’re going to talk about is her song What I Want, which was uploaded on December 1st, 2014. This song has a really cool Jason Mraz meets Ed Sheeran feel to it that would definitely be a radio favorite. I also love that this song tells a really awesome story about a person who has been torn down by others so much that the person has always felt like they shouldn’t follow their dreams, but is now realizing that life is too short for fear. This is definitely a song that I think we can all relate to.
Keep up with everything Mackenzie is doing:
YouTube: Mackenzie Johnson
Instagram: Mackenzie Johnson (@mackenziemusic)
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ blog, we will be discussing an artist that has had an amazing year, and that I feel you need to keep an eye on her next year. Now who is this artist you ask? I’m glad you asked that! It’s the multitalented Ariana Grande (Cue the clapping!!!!!) 2013 was a very good year for Ariana, but she has worked for years to get to this point in her life, and she certainly deserves all the success she has had. So if for some strange reason you don’t know who Ariana Grande is, you will definitely know about her after you read this blog. Ready!? Well then let’s get started!
Ariana was born on June 26th, 1993 in Boca Raton, FL. She began performing in local theater production and at local sporting events at a young age, and even at this time, she had an amazing voice, as well as a comfort and ease in front of large crowds. Here’s a link to a video of a then 8 year old Ariana performing the national anthem at Chicago Blackhawks vs. Florida Panthers hockey game in Sunrise, FL Ariana Grande at 8 years old singing National Anthem – YouTube (Watch the video and you’ll be impressed…did you watch it? It was great right?) In 2008 Ariana began work on the Jason Robert Brown musical 13 (which was a show that had a 105 performance run on Broadway). She played the character of ‘Charlotte’, and sang 3 songs (which included: ‘It Can’t Be True’, ‘A Little More Homework’, and ‘Brand New You’) on the show’s album.
In March of 2010 Ariana made her debut as a main cast member on the new Nickelodeon show ‘Victorious’ (the show stared Nickelodeon alum Victoria Justice, and Ariana’s former ‘13’ costar Elizabeth Gillies was also a part of the cast). Ariana played the role of ‘Cat Valentine’ on the show until ‘Victorious ended in February of 2013. ‘Victorious’ creator Dan Schneider was so impressed by Ariana’s work and fan reception on ‘Victorious’, that he cast her in a spin-off show called ‘Sam & Cat’, which also included ‘iCarly’ (another highly successful Nickelodeon show) alum Jennette McCurdy (who plays Sam on the girls spin-off show). ‘Sam and Cat’ aired in June of 2013, and is a situational comedy, which has been a huge hit for the network thus far. In August of 2013, Ariana starred as ‘Amanda Benson’, in the Nickelodeon movie ‘Swindle’.
Although Ariana has had great success as an actress, she is also an accomplished singer. She released a single in December of 2011 called ‘Put Your Hearts Up’, which was a pop song about how doing small good deeds can cause big changes in the world (Here’s a link to a lyric video of the song Ariana Grande – Put Your Hearts Up (+ Lyrics) – YouTube, I highly suggest checking out his song, it’s very inspirational and well sung). Ariana has also released many amazing covers over the past few years, such as a rendition of Mariah Carey’s hit ‘Emotions’( Emotions – Ariana Grande (Mariah Carey cover) – YouTube), Leona Lewis’ track ‘Bleeding Love (’Bleeding Love – Ariana Grande – YouTube), and Alicia Key’s hit track ‘If I ain’t got you’ (‘If I Ain’t Got You’ Ariana Grande 🙂). On September 3rd, 2013, Ariana released her debut album ‘Yours Truly’ through Republic Records. ‘Yours Truly’ sold 138,000 copies in it, making Ariana the first female artist since January 2010 (when Ke$ha’s album ‘Animal’) to have a #1 debut album. The overall sound of this album was much more R&B than Ariana’s previous song ‘Put Your Hearts Up’, and has caused her to be compared to strong female vocalist, such as Mariah Carey. Ariana has performed on numerous shows such as ‘The Today Show’, ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and the ‘MTV Video Music Awards’ pre-show. Ariana performed her song ‘Tattooed Heart’ at the 2013 American Music Awards, and also won ‘New Artist of the Year’ at the award show (here’s a link so y’all can see how awesome she was: .Ariana Grande performing at AMAs – YouTube). Ariana also released
2013 has certainly been an extraordinary year for Ariana Grande, and I foresee 2014 being an even better year for her. It is rumored that Ariana will release another album in 2014, and her show ‘Sam & Cat’ is still one of Nickelodeon’s highest rated shows. Ariana Grande has defiantly proven in the last year that she is Hollywood’s newest “It” girl, and she certainly has the talent and fan base for a long and fruitful career.