Brian Mackey is performing at Camplified (nationwide music event for children & teens) on July 31 in Hardwick, NJ, August 1 in Winchester, CT, & August 3 in Hopewell Junction, NY.
Brian Mackey is an honest, eclectic pop-infused rock, singer songwriter, with a twist of folkish Americana. His new single “Are You Listening” is impacting radio in the US.
Raised in Florida, now residing in NYC, Brian’s “Broken Heartstrings” is his 4th release, and first full-length album. One of the tracks, “Are you Listening,” was featured by German game-reviewer Gronkh on his Sony PlayStation 4, “Until Dawn” Let’sPlay. The song quickly charted on iTunes Germany, ‘100 Most Sold’ Amazon Germany, has over 280K streams on Spotify and has resulted in sold out shows throughout Germany. http://www.brianmackeymusic.com/
From Brian’s other releases, songs “Honest Love,” “Color Blue,” “Out on the Road” and “America” have garnered features in TV, Film, and National and International Branding Campaigns. A few among them are CMT Edge, Disney Channel, Travel Channel, Arla Foods Demark, and Unicef UK.
Brian tooled around with some bands in Florida, where he admits the warm weather and party atmosphere made it easy to score gigs. Wanting to experience four seasons, he moved to New York, where he continued to play in bands until he had an epiphany: “It dawned on me that I would be better off –and would grow more as an artist – if I wrote my own songs and composed my own music. I wanted to live to my full potential and felt like being a solo artist was the best way for me to do that.”
That fateful decision opened many doors for Brian, some leading to great things, some leading to frustration, but always ending with a learning experience that helped him develop into an in-demand singer songwriter.
One of the first in a series of steps to improve came when Brian flew to Nashville for a meeting with Producer Sam Ashworth (The Civil Wars, Switchfoot, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith), where they recorded “Painted Red.” This track ended up on Brian’s first EP, Feng Shui for Slobs (whose title came from his landlady who wanted Brian’s small 1-bedroom apartment to have “feng-shui”), and became Brian’s very first commercial placement, turning up on the Disney Channel’s Naturally Sadie.
His second EP, Brian Mackey Red, was a very different period all together. Brian was in a management contract with a successful producer, and although he flew Brian to Los Angeles to work with a lot of well-known musicians, Brian was ultimately unhappy with the music. He returned to Nashville to work with Sam again, and their partnership took hold. Honest Love, his third EP, has been described by Brian as “My breaking away album, my independence flag; I made the EP with my own money and did it exactly the way I wanted it.” The self-produced title track, “Honest Love,” was used in a terrific commercial for Arla Butter in Denmark and Unicef in the UK, while other songs from the EP had further placements in the movie Fake (starring Robert Loggia), on In-Flight Radio on US Airways, and the Anthony Bourdain travel show, The Layover.
Brian released his first full-length album with 2015’s Broken Heartstrings. The music took him through a very personal journey, spurred on by loss and then renewal. The album signified a new beginning for Brian. For Broken Heartstrings, a collection of pop infused American folk-rock, Brian assembled a talented team: Producer Sam Ashworth, Engineer Richie Biggs (Tom Petty, The Civil Wars), bass player Mark Hill (Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban) and guitarist Jeff King, (Reba McEntyre).
Broken Heartstrings yielded the track, “Are you Listening,” which, after being featured on YouTube by gamer Gronkh about the PlayStation 4 game Until Dawn, became a runaway hit in Germany. The song charted on German iTunes, was on the ‘100 Most Sold’ chart on Amazon Germany, had over 250k streams on Spotify and resulted in sold out shows throughout the country. Another single, “America,” was used in an Armagosa Conservancy commercial supporting the non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Amargosa River in California.
Authentic songwriting remains all-important to Brian. “There are times I feel like I am doing everything right, and then other times when I don’t seem to get anything useful. Whenever a lyric is an honest representation of what I am feeling, it’s good. If my heart isn’t in to it, it shows.” Brian is really excited to be working on new music, and he has recently signed a new record deal with Blind Pass Records. “In the end, I don’t like to compromise what I am doing and don’t like to rush something just to get music out. I need to take my time to do my best work.”
In the meantime, Brian continues to tour, playing throughout America with his band, musicians Mark Marshall (guitar), Chris Anderson (bass, Rachel Platten), Tom Curiano (drums) and cellist Rubin Kodheli.
He returned to Germany in May, and hopes to keep reaching people with his music, which is what it’s all about to him. “When people hear my music I want to give them the feeling I got when I was writing it. I want people to be moved; it’s mutual validation. I want the music to be relatable in whatever way people want to process it.”