We sat down with emerging local artist, Katy Mckenzie at Hotel Emma to discuss her Debut EP Freedom. Read more to learn about her thoughts on the unique sound of music coming out of san antonio and her advice on making it as a young artist.
Twenty Something SA: How did you get into music?
Katy Mckenzie: My late grandfather on my mom’s side played piano by ear. He was always playing and he would have his brothers playing with him at family gatherings. That was probably the first thing that inclined me to even pick up a guitar. I started writing songs before I played guitar and then I started writing on guitar too.
20SA: How long have you been writing and playing the guitar?
KM: I learned guitar when I was 13. I had been writing before that but it wasn’t very good. *laughs*
20SA: How would you describe your style of music?
KM: Not that I don’t like genres, but I feel like music should just come out and be what it is. I guess [my music] would be country pop focused.
20SA: Tell us about your debut EP Freedom.
KM: I wrote most of the songs on the album when I was 17 and didn’t get to record until I was 19. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted them to sound and what I wanted to do. But it was really hard finding the right people to [record with]. I worked with two people and the magic wasn’t really there. Then I went to Keith Harder and it worked out and sounded great.
20SA: What is your favorite track on the album Freedom?
KM: No Strings. Some of those songs did not turn out how I thought they were going to turn out. Which was good, because they sounded different. But No Strings sounded exactly how I thought it was going to sound
20SA: What inspired the title of the album?
KM: I feel like people should have the freedom to be who they are unapologetically no matter where you are or who you are. (We agree!)
20SA: What excited you the most about the music scene in San Antonio?
KM: I think that music here is so different. There is a lot of Spanish/Mexican music infused with country music. The culture here is really different as far as like country and that TexMex culture. I think that really comes out in the music here.
20SA: What advice would you give to a young artist?
KM: Get on social media and go to school and major in business, law or marketing. It has become a DIY business and you really have to know all of that to get yourself out there.