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Introducing: Katie MAC

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Since breaking onto the music scene just 18 months ago, Katie MAC has caught the eyes of pop experts around the world, and with the release of her latest single ‘Heartless,’ it doesn’t look like that will be ending any time soon. 

Image Credit: Luke Rodgers

Katie, who hails from Nashville, Tennessee, deals candidly with ideas of love, heartbreak and pain in her work, which has amassed an impressive 300k streams on Spotify. Katie has the remarkable ability to channel emotional struggle into infectiously upbeat tracks. “I find it really cool to take the tough experiences in life and turn them into art that’s universal and fun,” she tells me. That's exactly what her music is: fun.  

Her latest single, ‘Heartless,’ released today to coincide with Valentine’s Day, is “fuelled by heartbreak and pain,” she says, “but we wrote it to sound really fun and upbeat.” The song is both moving and energetic at the same time; it’s a paradox of emotions and feelings, but it is one that Katie pulls off effortlessly.

Discussing the single, Katie had time to reflect on personal experiences with heartbreak, “it represents a moment of self-awareness that I had a while back when thinking of people that I had loved in the past and how I felt like I left pieces of my heart with them. Obviously, I had a particular experience in mind, but I think the song also relates to the love I have for my home and all of my teenage memories.” 

The main lyrics of the chorus, “Home is where the heart is / and I feel heartless,” capture the painful nostalgia that prompted Katie to release the single on Valentine’s Day. “I decided to release it on Valentine’s Day mostly because I think it’s a day when a lot of people really feel the absence of something that they miss and I thought it’d be cool to be like, “Hey! I feel that too!” In a holiday that is saturated by love songs, it’s refreshing to have one that shows the other side of the story."

Image Credit: Luke Rodgers

Katie’s work so far is bold and unapologetic, showcasing a powerful voice that is honest and unafraid to be vulnerable. She spoke frankly about the importance of creating empowering music, especially as a woman in the industry today. “I want people to feel empowered by my music because it’s honest and it’s inspired by real-life emotions that I think everyone experiences,” she says. “Especially for women, because I think that finding common ground and looking out for each other is incredibly important as we continue to break barriers!” She cites fellow artists Ariana Grande, Bebe Rehxa, Charli XCX and Nashville icon, Taylor Swift as her biggest influences.  

Katie has recently graduated with a degree in songwriting and it shows in her work. Her songs are rich with captivating lyricism and vibrant melodies, and although they are rhythmic upbeat tracks they also display a level of poignancy learned through time and practice in a supportive environment. It's a process, for her, that she finds emotionally cathartic, “Even though I make music for people to listen to, there have been a lot of times where I create it solely because I just need to.”

Balancing university work and a burgeoning music career, it's clear that it hasn't come easy, “I had to be really honest with myself about what I could and couldn’t handle - and I had to be even more honest about the things that actually mattered long term. That meant making a lot of sacrifices. I didn’t go out nearly as much as my friends did, I spent most of my free time in studios, writing and I missed out on a lot of typical, “college” experiences. It sounds kind of harsh, but I always cared about my goals and my music way more than I cared about having a normal college experience.” 

Her advice for fellow songwriting hopefuls is making sure you're kind and honest with yourself, “Make sure you want it. Like really want it. Honestly, this industry can be really tough, and you need to be the hardest worker on your team. Stay true to your instincts and operate with empathy and kindness no matter what.”

With the release of her latest single ‘Heartless', Katie is truly making her mark in the music world. But what’s next? “Well…Heartless is a part of a project that is very special to me,” she says, “and I can’t wait to tell the whole story!”

Listen to the new single 'Heartless', out now.

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