Interview with Arkansas Idol winner Zach McKenzie

Interview with Arkansas Idol winner Zach McKenzie

Meet Zach McKenzie

Zach McKenzie was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Growing up in a family that attended church regularly, he developed a love for music at an early age. His passion for music grew as he was involved in high school choir before graduating in 2005. After a brief period at Bible College, McKenzie decided to embark on a music career. 

After winning Arkansas Idol in 2012, Zach decided to audition for the 12th season of American Idol that same year. Judges Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nikki Minaj, and Keith Urban unanimously voted to send him to Hollywood. However, he was sent home on group day. 

For the last fifteen years, Zach has performed in restaurants and bars in Nashville and all across the state of Arkansas. Although mostly known as a solo act, he has fronted several bands throughout the years. Having released singles and albums with various groups, McKenzie has also released two independent solo albums and several singles. His musical style encompasses Country, Soul, and Gospel. With his strength being a vocalist, he is also a songwriter and acoustic guitarist. 

McKenzie identifies as a Christian and is known by his family and friends as a nice guy that you wouldn’t mind having as a next door neighbor. Although, not known for being outspoken or opinionated, he has a lot to say through his soulful raspy singing voice and relatable songwriting.  

Zach McKenzieThe Sound of Zach McKenzie

1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?

Zach McKenzie [ZM]: My music encompasses Country, Gospel, and Soul. I feel like getting to play with the genres makes me unique.

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?

ZM: At first, it was simply a love for the music. However, experiencing life, both good and bad, has shape my music to what it is today.

1 In Music: When did you realize you were going to make music professionally?

ZM: I was about 23 years old. Realizing that having a normal job wasn’t going to make me happy. I also felt, to a degree, that I had something to prove.

The inspiration of Zach McKenzie

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

Zach McKenzie [ZM]: I like to listen to Classic Country, 2000’s Country, and Motown.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

ZM: Gavin Degraw. Solid singer and songwriter.

Zach McKenzie inspiring us

Zach McKenzie1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

Zach McKenzie [ZM]: I don’t really have a preparation routine. Usually I just say a little prayer right before I go on.

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

ZM: Outside of music, I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker.

(Aside from music, McKenzie does indeed love movies and has an interest in filmmaking. In 2022, he made his screenwriting and directorial debut with the short film, Joanett Road.)

1 In Music: Success to you is…?

ZM: Making a decent living doing something that I enjoy. And being happy while doing it.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

ZM: Don’t ever compromise what you want to do. Don’t let someone talk you into changing your artistry.

What is next for Zach McKenzie

Zach McKenzie1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?

Zach McKenzie [ZM]: I’m currently working on a Country album that I am very excited about.

1 In Music: Where do we find you music?

ZM: My new single, The Day That I Found You, is available on all major streaming platforms.

Exclusive with Musician and Educator Bonnie Milne

Exclusive with Musician and Educator Bonnie Milne

Meet Bonnie Milne

Bonnie Milne, born and raised in a small central northern town in Ontario, studied classical piano from a young age. Around age 11, Bonnie realized that she could create music. She continued on with studying Music in University and completed her Teaching Degree adding vocal music as a focus too. Bonnie taught both piano and vocal lessons over the years and began teaching music in elementary schools. She is now working as the District Arts Facilitator for her Board and implementing a “music education program” in all elementary schools.

The Sound of Bonnie Milne

1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?

Bonnie Milne [BM]: My music is described as flowing, melodic, deeply emotional and even intense at times. I have my own sense of dissonance to harmony that is unique to me, moving from major to minor and back, creating an emotional journey for the listener. I enjoy performing in the outdoors, surrounded by natural beauty.

I believe that music is a tool for well-being. I see how my own sons as well as students and adults are affected by the calming sounds of my compositions. In a world where anxiety is on the rise, music should be a “go to” for support.

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?

BM: I was inspired by the greats of Classical Music, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, etc. but also drawn to more contemporary instrumental music, such as Ludovico Einaudi, David Tolk, Piano Guys, and the popular sounds of Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Sara Bareilles etc. Everyday, in my role, I am inspired by passionate Music Teachers and students who are fully engaged in musical activities. I also have family members and friends who encourage me to keep composing and sharing my music.Bonnie Milne

Bonnie Milne’s inspirations

1 In Music: When did you realize you were going to make music professionally?

Bonnie Milne [BM]: After the experience of recording my first pieces, a fire was lit! I was so thrilled to hear how the harmonies and counter melodies of the tracks I was composing were sounding together. Then after sharing publicly, when I started receiving positive messages and seeing the downloads happen of the pieces on my first album Anticipation, I thought maybe I should take this further!

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

BM: I listen to many genres of music, including instrumental, classical, Christian, popular, blues, jazz, folk and some country.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

BM: I think that women composers are still undervalued but this has been changing over the past few years thankfully.

Getting inspired by Bonnie Milne

1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

Bonnie Milne on the pianoBonnie Milne [BM]: I like to record myself leading up to the performance so that I can hear how the dynamics and tempo are sounding. I also want to ensure that I am moving with the music and not sitting with anxiousness in my body. I practice in sections with the goal of playing difficult areas with confidence. Sometimes, my writing brain creates things that are challenging for me to play, ha, ha! I was trained in transcendental meditation and often use this tool to support focus and clarity before performing.

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

BM: I spend time hiking with my sons and dog and I love to be paddling on the water. I think it is important to model how being in nature helps us feel better and how being active is essential to our health.

1 In Music: Success to you is…?

BM: Providing listeners with the experience of an emotional journey that supports them in feeling the way they need to at that moment.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

BM: Find a recording and notation tool that makes the process easier to capture.

If you have the ability to create, just go with it and don’t stress about whether the form is it right or wrong. Are you expressing how you are feeling and what you want to say? That’s what is most important.

What is next for Bonnie Milne?

1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?

Bonnie Milne [BM]: I am working with many Community Partners and have various projects in the works, such as with the Music Care Organization. This programming supports youth and adults by providing tools and strategies to use during stressful or anxious times.

I am continuing to compose more music, with the intent of compiling a second album.

I am continuing to collaborate with musicians on my pieces so that we are able to perform in spaces that welcome Instrumental Music.

1 In Music: Thank you so much for answering our questions. Before you leave, where do we find you music?

BM:

Twitter: @BMilneMusic (BonnieMilneMusic)

Instagram: @bonniemilnemusic https://www.instagram.com/bonniemilnemusic/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bonnie-Milne-Music-112360984677608

TikTok: BonnieMilneMusic

https://bonnieblack3.wixsite.com/website

The Subtheory releases Song of the Damascene

The Subtheory releases Song of the Damascene

About Song of the Damascene

“Song of the Damascene” by The Subtheory is a captivating blend of dark trip hop and melancholic pop, setting a hauntingly beautiful tone that transports listeners to a shadowy realm of introspection and longing. The ethereal vocals provided by Pet Twin, an electronic act based in Oxford, add an enchanting layer to the track, floating effortlessly over driving basslines and mesmerizing melodies.

A great follow-up to the track Sophistry

The Subtheory releases Song of the DamasceneThe song serves as a sequel to their previous hit “Sophistry,” which received widespread acclaim, indicating The Subtheory’s adeptness at crafting compelling narratives through their music. Their ability to seamlessly blend genres, infusing elements of dream pop and soaring guitars into their dark trip hop sound, showcases their versatility and creativity as artists.

Production of Song of the Damascene

The production quality of “Song of the Damascene” is intricate and polished, drawing listeners in with its haunting harmonies and hypnotic beats. It’s a sonic journey that balances emotional depth with an infectious rhythm, promising to tug at the heartstrings while keeping feet firmly planted on the dance floor.

About The Subtheory

The Subtheory is an enigmatic musical collective hailing from Oxfordshire, UK. Known for their captivating blend of dark trip hop and melancholic pop, the band creates a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere with their music. Comprising talented individuals whose identities are often shrouded in mystery, The Subtheory has garnered attention for their unique sound and compelling narratives. With endorsements from publications like Nightshift magazine and OMS magazine, it’s evident that The Subtheory is a band to watch in 2024. Their unique sound and compelling storytelling make them stand out in the music scene, and “Song of the Damascene” is a testament to their talent and potential.

Find out more about The Subtheory or follow the band at:

Editor’s Notes

1 In Music has previously reviewed The Subtheory’s single, Crown Of Thorns.

Bruce Springsteen 2024 Fellow of The Ivors Academy

Bruce Springsteen 2024 Fellow of The Ivors Academy

The Ivors Academy is thrilled to announce the newest addition to its esteemed roster as a Fellow of the Ivors Academy: Bruce Springsteen. Recognised as one of the most influential songwriters in history, Springsteen will be honoured with the highest accolade bestowed by The Ivors Academy. The iconic musician will be presented with the award at The Ivors ceremony, in partnership with Amazon Music, scheduled for the 23rd of May.

Springsteen’s induction as a Fellow marks a significant milestone, as he becomes the first international songwriter to receive this honor in the 80-year history of The Ivors Academy. His unparalleled contribution to the art of songwriting and profound impact on the cultural landscape of the UK are celebrated through this prestigious recognition.

Expressing his gratitude, Bruce Springsteen remarked,

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by The Ivors Academy, especially as the first international songwriter to receive this distinction. This award not only acknowledges my songwriting but also pays tribute to the unwavering support of my fans and friends over the past five decades. I am immensely grateful for the warmth and acceptance I have received from this country throughout my journey.”

Springsteen joins the illustrious ranks of the Academy’s Fellows, which includes legendary songwriters such as Sir Paul McCartney, Kate Bush CBE, Joan Armatrading CBE, and Sting, who was honoured with the award in 2023. As the twenty-seventh Fellow of the Academy, his induction further enriches the legacy of excellence embodied by this esteemed institution.

This recognition of Bruce Springsteen’s unparalleled talent and enduring impact on the world of music underscores the significance of his artistic contributions and reaffirms his status as a true icon of songwriting excellence.

Find out about the event dates, venue and more at on the dedicated page at The Ivors Academy website.

Exclusive with sought-after musician Eager London

Exclusive with sought-after musician Eager London

Meet Eager London

Music artist Eager London is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and producer who hails from the streets of San Diego, CA. With a multitude of talents under his belt, London has garnered recognition for his exceptional work. The prolific songwriter has penned songs for numerous artists, and thereby solidified his position as a sought-after collaborator. His journey has led him to the highly-anticipated release of his debut single, titled “Graffiti Butterfly.” This R&B/Pop track encapsulates his distinct style, exuding a sense of energy, nostalgia, and sheer fun. 1 In Music was pleased to e-meet with the artist.

The sonic shaping of Eager London

1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?

Eager London [EL]: I think my music paints visual pictures in the listeners’ heads. I think it evokes emotions and relatability. It makes them feel like they’re the main character in a movie. It’s the same way I feel when I’m creating.

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you? :

EL: I grew up in Southeast San Diego in not a pretty part of town. But it was home. A lot of bad things happening around me, a lot of music I probably shouldn’t have been listening to and lifestyles I probably never should have adopted or been exposed to. But it has helped to shape my music and gave me an edge that helped me speak in my own ways and create my own lane. I believe the influence around me has so much to do with my sound.

EL: My dad was an amazing musician. He supported me throughout different phases in my career, may his soul rest in love. My mother is still my rock and stands behind me as well. I am grateful always.

1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?

EL: I’m not sure there was a specific time that I realized I was going to make it professionally, but there was a time in high school when I just wanted to be “famous” to me that was success. But there are a lot of famous people that are broke! I think after just hustling, building a network and creating, you just kinda wake up one random day and say “Oh sh*t I’m doing it!” and then just keep going.

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

EL: I don’t actually listen to a lot of music. I’ve had the same stuff in my playlist for years, Hans Zimmer, Prince, Frank Ocean, The Killers, Jordan Ward and Daft Punk. In the past couple years i’ve been playing a lot more 70s music, I love the feel!

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?:

Eager London [EL]: H.E.R., in my opinion is a phenomenal artist, her voice and musicianship are just otherworldly, and she’s just getting warmed up. She’s definitely the closest I’ll get to working with Prince. lol

(Gold) Nuggets of wisdom from Eager London

1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

Eager London [EL]: First, I put on headphones and play some Hans Zimmer ‘Man of Steel’ or ‘Dark Knight’ soundtrack to get me hype. Then,

I pray for strength, clarity, a sound mind and that my team and I would bring glory to God and that He would bless our steps and all who would hear us…and then maybe a tad bit of rehearsals here and there.

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

EL: I’ve been writing and working on film sets for some years now, I would like to write and direct a few feature films in the near future and score them myself.

1 In Music: You have come a long way from thinking that “success is being famous”. What is Success to you today?

Eager London [EL]: For me success is being able to pay my bills, buy a few nice things and have a community of people that I can call friends and family who love and support me. But, what makes my spirit glow is when people tell me that my music has ministered to their souls and that it has helped them through valleys or that it brought them freedom or healing in some way shape or form. That makes my heart full and the journey worth it.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

Eager London [EL]:

Put yourself out there while perfecting your craft.

Allow your listeners/fans to go on the journey with you.

Allow for the mistakes. Stop being so critical of yourself, you’ll never be perfect anyways. Besides, it’s art. Give yourself a chance to experiment.

Never underestimate vulnerability. Few of us are willing to allow it, but it’s a powerful thing. BE HUMBLE or you will lose, maybe not now but you will.

Where to see more and what is next for Eager London?

Graffiti Butterfly by Eager London1 In Music: Give us a taste of your latest project and first single, Graffiti Butterfly

EL: Graffiti Butterfly is a song about a lover’s plea for a heartbroken ‘graffiti butterfly’ to rediscover her vibrant colors after a rough break-up. The single Graffiti Butterfly Eager London: is available on Spotify and you can hear it below…

and on Apple Music including the Graffiti Butterfly clean version on Apple Music.

1 In Music: Wait did I hear you sampling Prince’s “The most beautiful girl in the world” with great subtlety? That was smooth, man. Nice little wink to one of the greatest!

We are definitely looking forward to more from you. Any upcoming projects?

Eager London [EL]: Absolutely! I have a few artists in a lineup for my newly formed Production Company called ‘The Sour Batch Kids’ with my partner Tato Beats. Which we’re very excited about.

1 In Music: Where do we find your upcoming music?

Eager London on Spotify music

Eager London on Apple music