Tomorrow, 22nd September, sees the release of Mackenzie Sol‘s new single Can’t Sleep, which he wrote this time last year and uploaded to his TikTok. Previous releases for Mackenzie were most recently Happy Ever After All in July, and he collaborated with Slushii on H8 December and After Midnight. Live shows for Mackenzie have included performing around Las Vegas, touring with Slushii in 2022, and he is hoping to announce a new tour for later this year. Mackenzie is releasing a song in January called Anxiety, and is looking for a charity to work with in the hope of arranging school visits with the release to help teenagers with anxiety. Speaking with us, Mackenzie told us about his new single release Can’t Sleep, performing live shows and his TikTok account.
What was the inspiration to write your new single Can’t Sleep?
I was in a long-term relationship and I felt the relationship was one-sided. In my last song Happy Ever After All, the lyrics are questioning whether it was going to work out. Well, the nights we argued (usually because of my insecurities), I could not sleep at all and it didn’t bother her she slept just fine. So, one of the nights, to get rid of the knot in my stomach, I wrote this song. Music always helps me. Unfortunately, the relationship ended, which resulted in even more sleepless nights.
How long was the single in the making and how much did it change over time?
I wrote the song a year ago (September 2nd) in my bedroom at 4am and made a little TikTok and posted the video. It got over a million views and the response was great. I knew I had to do something with the song. I was so focused on making the relationship work, I didn’t focus as much as I should on music. Once she eventually ended the relationship, I became so focused on my career. The music really helped and I finished writing the verses and the production completely changed, it’s so much better now. I actually flew two friends, who are producers, from my small town in the UK out. Together the three of us finished the production.
What was Can’t Sleep like to work on and what are you looking forward to for the release?
This song was pretty painful to write, as everything I write about is genuinely true. The production part was a lot of fun though, we just knew it was a banger. I’m looking forward for people, who, like me, can relate with the lyrics. The chorus has a great chant, I’d love to be on stage hearing people scream it.
Who do you think will enjoy listening to Can’t Sleep and how would you describe your music style?
Everyone. My music style is pop first, however, I feel I sing with a soul voice and this particular song maybe crosses indie/pop.
Your most recent single Happy Ever After All was released in July, how did you feel releasing the song and how was it to write?
Happy Ever After All is about the same relationship, wondering if we’d stay together. When I wrote that song, I was hoping it was all in my head and she still loved me but I ended up being wrong and we are not “happy ever after all”.
What was it like seeing the listeners’ response to Happy Ever After All?
A lot of people related to the song again because it’s real. I think the main lyric people loved was the pre chorus, “I overthink too much”. There are a lot of overthinkers in the world and I’m one of them.
How did you find the experience collaborating with Slushii on H8 December and After Midnight?
Slushii is one of my best friends. I love working with him. He’s a musical genius too. Not a lot of people know this but he is actually a great singer too. After Midnight was already written, he listened through a catalogue of my songs and straight away said let’s do this one. He did it so quickly, we were both so excited.
H8 December we all wrote together when we were all hanging out. So much fun and we got to perform with Steve Aoki, which was amazing. Such a good person.
Do you have a favourite aspect of writing, recording and releasing your own music?
I love it all, I really want to start writing for others.
Can you tell us about some of the recent shows and events you’ve performed at?
Last year I toured with Slushii, that was amazing. This year, the tour I was doing got cancelled last minute so I’ve been performing in Las Vegas where I live. The Arts District, Container Park, Virgin Hotel and The Barbershop at The Cosmopolitan.
You have over 12 million followers on TikTok, how do you come up with the ideas for your content and have you had any stand-out favourite videos to film?
All our videos have been fun to film. During COVID, I became obsessed with pranks mainly with my mom and best friend as we were stuck at home. I’m now trying to create more music-focused content. I have a music account with nearly one million followers but I’m starting to do the same style content on my main TikTok.
How is it interacting with your followers on TikTok and is there anything you enjoy most about being a content creator?
I like how much of a perfectionist I am. Everyone else hates it because I shoot things 10 times before I’m satisfied. I love interacting with fans on TikTok Live, I feel like I get to know people.
How did you get into music and was it something you always wanted to do?
Both of my parents were professional singers so I grew up with it. The bands rehearsed at home and I was constantly travelling the country with either my mom or dad’s band. The first time I performed was with my dad. I was 17 months singing My Girl by The Temptations.
Who are some of your favourite music artists to listen to?
Jon Bellion I’m obsessed with. I love singing soul and Motown so I listen to Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations.
What are you hoping the rest of the year brings for you and do you have any upcoming plans that you can tell us about?
I’m very excited for Can’t Sleep to drop. I may be touring in November/early December, however, it’s not fully confirmed. I also may be on your TV screens but we can discuss that next time. Another thing I’m excited about and working on is I have a song releasing in January called Anxiety. I have suffered a lot and I want to find a charity to work with. Hopefully going into schools and helping teens who suffer from anxiety.
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