Today's Q & A is with a young man, Evan McKee, who moved to Nashville and is actively seeking a career as a singer/songwriter, so he fits right in with the type of story we love to write for our column here on Nashville Places and Faces.
Hi, Evan McKee and thanks for taking some time out of your busy day to chat with us and to give us some insight into your life here in Nashville as a singer and songwriter. I have a few questions for you, and we can find out more about you and your music career in Nashville through this Q & A session, thanks.
Q. Evan, where are you from and when did you come to Nashville?
A. I'm from Knoxville, TN and came to Nashville 7 years ago to study Marketing at Lipscomb.
Q. What brought you here to Nashville, originally?
A. I planned to go to school here, but songwriting has always been a passion of mine, so I plugged myself into that community early on.
Q. Who inspired you when you were growing up?
A. When I was growing up, I was inspired by other Knoxville bands who had "made it." Kenny Chesney, 10 years, and Wes Bailey of Moon Taxi all called Knoxville home. I knew that performing professionally was hard - as hard as being a professional athlete or elite scientist. But the dream was always the same - that one day, the struggle would be worth it.
Q. How do you think you're different from other artists?
A. I have a unique story. I continued the musical climb while battling depression and mental illness in my twenties. During the low points, it would have been easy to give up and fall into a profession that is less mentally taxing. Being positive is one of the most important parts of musical success, and depression, and the stigma associated with it, strikes a heavy blow. But I'm alive, and still kicking, and still performing, because I had people who loved me and cared about my music and my life. Not everyone has that, and I am infinitely grateful.
Q. What would you say drives you?
A. I'm driven by internal motivation. It's no use comparing yourself to others; the only one you need to conquer is the old you. I'm motivated by a desire to be a better person first, and a better musician second. The best people make the best musicians, so if you can improve yourself, your music will improve as well.
Q. How do you think the internet helps you to achieve your goals?
A. The internet gives me a way to reach fans I would never have come into contact with otherwise. The last three fans that added me on 'Radio Airplay' were from Pakistan, Guatemala, and New Zealand. With the internet, I can be an international star without ever leaving the house!
Q. Tell us, Evan, what would you say is your own 'American Dream'?
A. Nancy, when I play a song, and I look out over the crowd, and I see one person who is listening intently, and that song was exactly what they needed to hear, at exactly the right time. Whether they tell me afterward or not, if a song I played spoke into their life, then I've fulfilled my own 'American Dream'.
Q. What do you hope to accomplish and where do you want to be 10 years down the road?
A. My overarching goal has always been to play the halftime show at the Superbowl. Beyond that, I'll settle for winning a Grammy or two!
Q. Tell us your advice for others who are starting out on the same path?
A. Do something for your music every single day. This is show biz, and you have to come to grips with the reality that there's a younger, prettier version of you coming along to take your place. If you slack, even for a moment, someone else might not, and they will surpass you.
Q. What about your personal life, family & such? Do any of them play or sing?
A. My mother loved music, and I learned to sing singing next to her in a church pew many years ago. But beyond that, I have no family members crazy enough to do music like me!
Q. Where can we find you on the web or contact you, Evan?
Thank you, Nancy. These are my thoughts -
Music is bigger than we are, and more beautiful than we are,
and the best we can hope for is to touch it on its way into the
world. If music has chosen you to be its conduit for entering
the world, you should be eternally grateful.
Here is a link to Evan McKee's YouTube page, along with a link to one of his songs: 'Walk A Little Taller - Evan McKee' so our readers can enjoy Evan McKee's own brand of Nashville music or 'Music made in Nashville'.
That concludes our Q & A session with Evan McKee, up and coming young singer and songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee. Keep an eye on this young man, and enjoy the attached photo slideshow of him. You can send him a 'Friend request on Facebook' and keep up with his music and his career through his Facebook page or his webpage link given above.
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