Singer/songwriter McKail Seely is bursting onto the music scene with her unique folk-rock vibe. Between her incredible voice and moving lyrics, she’s an artist to look out for. We got the chance to talk with her about her EP Ride of Life, as well as her journey into the music industry and what inspires her.
Cliché: When did you first know you wanted to be a singer/musician?
McKail Seely: While performing as a singer/dancer for a production team, a friend of mine would come to rehearsal with his guitar and sing songs that he wrote. That was what really inspired me to start up guitar lessons, and shortly after, I was writing my own material. I was about 13 years old at the time.
You have a very folk-rock vibe. Who or what inspired you to find your voice and identify with this style?
When I was starting out as a songwriter, I turned to Bob Dylan’s music to show me the ropes, but it wasn’t until I watched a documentary on Bob Dylan that I began to fall in love with folk. I admire the fact that it’s so simple, yet so impactful. Storytelling is such an important factor with folk music and I hope to continue that tradition. As for the rock aspect, I listened to bands such as DMB, Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Counting Crows as a kid. I love the drive and grit that these bands brought out from time to time, especially within their vocals.
You moved from Salt Lake City to L.A. in 2012. What was the hardest part of leaving your hometown behind to begin this new journey?
That hardest part has definitely been living apart from my family. My family means the world to me and I’m not one for long phone conversations, so it can feel distant at times.
Be original, remember who you are, and remember why you aspired to be in the industry to begin with.
What’s the most exciting part of the success you’ve had so far?
The most exciting part has honestly been meeting incredible people within the industry and collaborating with some pretty cool cats. I was also able to open for the legendary Leon Russell and that indeed felt like a dream come true. Leon has worked with almost every legendary musician and isn’t too bad of one himself. [Winks]
What’s the most difficult part about trying to make it in the music industry?
The most difficult part would probably be gaining fans and, most importantly, keeping them. It seems to be more and more difficult these days to keep people’s attention, so therefore, artists have to work very hard on releasing content that keeps people entertained.
Do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you could tell us about?
In late 2015, I released a record called Ride of Life. I recorded four of the songs on the record with producer Zak Fox Jablow in Chicago. Most recently, I released a music video for the single “Last One” on YouTube.
What advice would you give to someone trying to make it in the music industry?
The one piece of advice I’d give is to be original, remember who you are, and remember why you aspired to be in the industry to begin with. It’s said many times before, but it’s important to stay true to yourself.
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Photographed by Ashley Maietta