Canadian country-pop artist Mandy McMillan started singing at the age of 5 and never stopped!
After moving to Nashville she joined stages with country stars like Trisha Yearwood and Kenny Chesney. Her first full-length album“Dream Catcher” will be released later in 2020.
Would you like to know more about Mandy McMillan? Read the full exclusive interview at The Country Startpage below:
Why country music ?
~ Honestly, I feel like my music is placed in the country genre but has many influences from other genres also, such as pop, alternative, rock, blues etc. The country music genre is a great place to explore your creativity when it comes to songwriting and producing. I have also always been a fan of country music with huge influences coming from Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ I had never thought of this before but the two artists that first come to mind would be Maren Morris and Johnny Cash. Can you imagine that much badassery in one performance? I genuinely believe they would knock it out of the park, especially doing a mashup of “My Church” and “Ring of Fire”.
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ I would have to say that my newest single, “Dream Catcher” means the most to me! This song has been such an amazing "Aha" moment for me regarding what I want to portray with my music and it has made me take the right steps to go out and catch my dreams. Also – to be able to inspire others to catch theirs as well makes me so, so happy!
Mandy McMillan - Dream Catcher Official Music Video
What do you consider the most significant changes in country music over the last decade?
~ I think the reality of women in country music and having our voices heard more has started a major change in country music. It really is wild how tricky it can be as a female in this industry to be heard and be able to get air time. But I believe the purpose is for us women to challenge ourselves to create the most amazing music and not back down.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ I am Plant-Based/ Vegan and have been for the past 7 years. It has been one of the best decisions I have made for my mind and health. It has also kept me inspired in creating plant-based options for meals with the added bonus of testing my skills in the kitchen!
Give us one country song you never want to hear on radio anymore and tell us why.
~ Alright – so mad props to Carrie Underwood and the success of this tune, but “Before He Cheats” is one song that I could go without for just a little while. After performing in Nashville for 4 years and having this song requested at least twice daily, I could go without hearing "Before He Cheats" on the radio or live. I could definitely go for more of her songs "Heartbeat" and "South Bound", though!
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would?
~ I have to say that you've asked some amazing questions and some that are out of left field, which I appreciate!
A question that I would have for myself right now would be "What advice would you give to those wanting to pursue music?"
My answer would be to believe in yourself a million percent and allow yourself to blossom naturally and genuinely. Take constructive criticism, but know that opinions are just opinions and that as long as you follow your intuition in what you're creating, you'll be so much further along than following what the crowd says
What are the curses and blessings (if there are) for your work as an artist concerning the Corona crisis?
~ I definitely see the Pros and Cons to the down time of the pandemic. The curses would be suddenly having "life as we know it" come to an abrupt stop, but I genuinely believe that it was a blessing. The down time allowed me more energy to focus on the release of “Dream Catcher” and gave me room to breathe. It allowed me to make some major life changes that I would've otherwise never realized. It also gave me a greater appreciation for playing on stage and being able to connect with an audience
Johnny or June ?
~ June 100%! Fun Fact- I actually dressed up as June Carter for Halloween years ago and I didn’t have a Johnny Cash as arm candy! I went by myself. I made a fake guitar out of cardboard and had painted it to look very real. Everyone loved that I went out as June Carter and showed female independence. I just think she had such a great personality and helped to inspire Johnny to be the best that he could be.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ I don't really get nervous jumping on stage anymore, but there is a level of excitement and anxiousness that happens. I just want to be up there doing my thing and thriving off of the energy of the crowd. I definitely have started doing short meditations before taking the stage to line up my energy and tap into my intuition for the performance.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ The most memorable day would be when I was on stage with Kenny Chesney on the CMA Awards in 2014! Such an unreal experience where we performed "American Kids" in front of every major country artist and 10,000 audience members as it was broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide. Kenny Chesney is one of my favorites, so it was a magical moment to be able to work with him!