Who Is Mackenzie Carpenter? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music
Who is Mackenzie Carpenter? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Mackenzie Carpenter
Birthday – 06/04/1999
Hometown – Hull, Georgia
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Miranda Lambert, Dolly Parton, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley
Label – Big Machine Label Group – Valory Music Co.
Latest Release – “Jesus I’m Jealous” (*as of date of article: 02/09/2023)
This week our spotlight shines on 2023 Country Swag Artist to Watch: Mackenzie Carpenter. The talented singer-songwriter always knew that music was her calling. While she would call her journey so far a “blessed one,” it is not without hard work and dedication.
Growing up in Georgia, Carpenter was always surrounded by music and of course, her supportive family. “I grew up singing in church,” she began. “[My brothers and I] all started taking an instrument at different times, and my brothers started teaching me how to play and I started singing.” She recalls listening to a variety of different genres, but that 2k country music was always her favorite mixed with some 90s country. Artists like Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, and Trace Atkins were mainstays on her FM radio.
While listening to music was a hobby, her Dad encouraged her to start writing. “My dad knew enough to tell me that I had to start writing songs if I wanted to pursue music for real,” she shared. Thanks to the support of her family, the songstress began songwriting in high school. “I started writing music and that’s kind of when I started finding my own voice,” adding later, “Once I started writing my own songs, I was like this is fun, I can tell my own stories.”
The Turning Point:
Upon graduating high school, the singer-songwriter made the move to Nashville, Tennessee to attend Belmont University. “My parents and my family really are my biggest cheerleaders,” she shared again. “My Dad actually found Belmont, and I got here and I just started writing songs, and I didn’t release my first song until last year.”
While at Belmont, Carpenter honed her songwriting skills and began networking around town. “I went through all of college, but I didn’t start introducing myself as an artist right away.” She recalled focusing on the songwriting side of things for the first little bit.
“I started writing, writing, writing, every single day. I didn’t have a producer, I didn’t have a team. I didn’t know how to be an artist, but I could show up and write a song. I had ideas, I had melodies, so just networking, writing,” recalls Carpenter.
One day things began to change after she wrote a special track with a friend. “I wrote a song with my friend Lily Rose that she released called “Villain” and it was one of the first big, viral, TikTok moments.” This piqued her own interest in the TikTok platform and Carpenter began sharing her own songs and growing her fanbase one follower and ‘like’ at a time. “People were really, really connecting to my songwriting.”
Her notoriety on TikTok led her to get noticed by Nashville’s Sirius XM The Highway. “I got linked with ‘The Highway’ and they were like we want to be involved, and so then, I got connected to Scott Borchetta, and he literally texted me and was like “hey, I heard this clip of your song and I want to know if you wanted to meet with me” and I literally thought I was being pranked.”
Eventually, she signed her record deal with Big Machine Label Group thanks to her artistry. “I really am thankful that songwriting is what started my journey. […] It all starts with a song, and I feel really thankful that that was my foundation.”
Now, as a major label artist, Carpenter is super excited for what is in store for her future. While this past year has been monumental both personally and professionally she exclaimed that, “this year is about continuing to build a connection with people that connect with my music.”
Most recently her single, “Jesus, I’m Jealous” enticed fans across the genre. “I grew up a pastor’s daughter, so I always had faith, it’s been really important to me my whole life, and I literally just heard someone say that phrase in talking, and as a songwriter, you’re always writing things down, so I had written it down,” she shared about how the song was created.
“We wanted to make sure it was said in the right way, and we wanted it to literally be a prayer,” added Carpenter. “Whether people love it or hate it, they’ll want to know what we’re talking about.”
Continuing to talk about the message conveyed in “Jesus, I’m Jealous,” the songstress shared, “There was a time in my life, where I feel like you can look around and be like I should be where that person is by now or why hasn’t this happened to me […] I was so inspired by that time, and it’s okay to let yourself feel all those feelings like ‘I really want that right now, but also wrapping it up with, I know it’s going to be okay.’” The song is one of the most relatable songs in the genre currently.
Moving ahead, Carpenter promises more new music and a project coming in April. Keep your eyes and ears open!
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Mackenzie Carpenter’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.