Interview with Arkansas Idol winner Zach McKenzie

by | Apr 18, 2024

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.