It’s one of the hallmarks of the country music genre; a good ol’ sad song about love lost is sure to tug at the heart strings in the best way possible.
With the release of her debut single, “Maybe,” Makenzie Phipps has added a quality heartbreak tune to that list. Beginning in a low register which eventually builds to big, belting notes in the chorus, Phipps shows impressive vocal range throughout the song, which features a largely acoustic melody, allowing the lyrics and vocal track to shine, with fiddle weaving its way throughout.
We chatted with Phipps about her love of country music’s great female artists, releasing “Maybe,” her forthcoming EP, getting back on the stage and more!
Pro Country: Your bio mentions that you’ve drawn inspiration from greats like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette while also drawing influence from modern artists like Miranda Lambert and Ashley McBryde. What is it about both style of music, and about those great women of country music, that has influenced you and your artistry?
Makenzie Phipps: I absolutely love the sound of classic country music. That southern twang that Loretta has. However, when you mix that with some modern country sounds, I think that’s when you get Miranda and Ashley. I think that’s what draws me to Ashley and Miranda and their style of music.
PC: You began singing at just four years‐old. What was it about music and singing that connected with you so early in your life?
MP: I come from a family of musicians. I’ve been around music my whole life. I guess singing and playing instruments just came natural to me. It’s who I am.
PC: At what point did that early interest in music translate into realizing you wanted to/could pursue it as a career?
MP: When I started playing regular gigs. It’s something I always dreamed of doing.
PC: What emotions are you feeling as you’re preparing to release your debut single, “Maybe”?
MP: Excitement, nervous and happy, I think in that order [laughs].
PC: “Maybe” explores the feelings that come with the end of a relationship, and was written with Shane Begley. Can you talk about the inspiration behind the song?
MP: I personally think it came from seeing all of these people in the world trying to figure out the reason their love/relationships ended, when in fact, there’s no concrete answer to that.
PC: Your bio mentions that you will be releasing an EP later this year. What information can you give about the EP? What can listeners expect to hear?
MP: Something unique for sure. I definitely feel like it has that country sound, but with my own little spin on it.
PC: You’ve been featured on Country Rebel several times, with the videos receiving millions of views. What has that platform meant to you and what was it like to see your performances reaching so many people?
MP: I think I have been featured on Country Rebel over 35 times now, and I am just as excited to be featured now as I was back then. It has meant the world to me! They have been so supportive of me and I can’t thank them enough. I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for them. I’m still just so blown away as to how many people that my videos have reached. I consider myself blessed for sure!
PC: Over the past few months, your performance schedule has gotten much busier, and you’re booked for most weekends through July. How encouraging is it to be back on the stage after a period last year where performances were harder to come by because of the pandemic?
MP: It’s very encouraging, and I thank God that I am back to doing what I love on a regular basis and I hope that doesn’t change.
PC: Of the things you can control, what are your plans for the rest of 2021?
MP: Getting my EP finished and working with my band on our future endeavours.
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
MP: I want to thank Pro Country for this awesome interview, and I also would like to thank all of my followers for all of the love and support they have given me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
*”Maybe” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*