The journey from living in Tipp City to being a recording artist in Nashville is a long and winding road with a lot of ups and downs. To make it, Skylar McKenzie not only relied on her powerful voice, but she also put trust into the hands of God. Now with the release of a single from her upcoming EP, McKenzie can take great joy in the fact that the first leg of the voyage is complete and she has arrived.
On July 4th, ‘The Only Thing,’ a song from McKenzie’s EP became available for purchase on iTunes, which serves as a symbol of her long journey. “After almost eight years in Nashville it’s an indescribable feeling to have my first single out. After competing in competitions like ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice’ and being told ‘almost’ or ‘no’ so many times it finally feels like I succeeded at something. It’s like I finally have something I can hold that says, ‘This is why you moved to Nashville. You did it’,” she said.
A 2008 graduate of Tippecanoe High School, McKenzie (Schyler Shadoan), pursued her dream by moving to Nashville in 2010 after appearing on ‘American Idol.’ She has since gained a lot of valuable experience from recording demos and performing at all the hot spots on Broadway in Nashville. She was also in the running for a Christian girls group. All the experiences have confirmed for McKenzie that performing is her favorite aspect of the music industry. Though the words she sings were written by someone else, McKenzie makes them her own by selecting songs that speak to her heart. She uses her vocal skills to accentuate the talents of the lyricists. “Jason Aldean said it best when he said, ‘Why would I try to write songs when I’m in a city surrounded by the best song writers in the world.’ And to me that’s true and hits so close to home. There are a lot of song writers who don’t have the passion for the performance aspect of the industry and I’m kind of the opposite. I love performing. I feel like that’s what I was born to do. And I feel like I can take songs written by other people and relate them to me somehow,” said McKenzie.
The EP’s title track, ‘Electric Hearts,’ was written by Eric Paslay, best known for the song, ‘She don’t love you, she’s just lonely.’ The whole album is pop country, heavily inspired by Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris. Another song from the EP, ‘Avalanche,’ was written by Jennifer Denmark who has worked with Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, and Point of Grace. The released single, ‘The Only Thing,’ was written by Jerry Jacobs, Mandy Allen and Scott Porter.
For McKenzie the journey towards stardom continues, but she knows that it’s not all dependent on her. “I’ve learned so much in these last eight years and it’s not my plan but God’s plan and wherever He takes me is where I will go. All I can do is keep working hard, striving to be better and to keep putting great music out,” she said.