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Canadian Export Rocks Nashville: MacKenzie Porter on Living out Her Country Dreams

It’s no secret that Nashville Tennessee is the hotbed for rising country talent.

Over the years, the new blood in this city known for its music, culture and line-dances, has opened many doors (and subsequently, many borders) to allow for a revival in what was once a quite traditional genre of music.

MacKenzie Porter is a prime example of just that. She is a Canadian born musical artist and accomplished actress, who has just recently dropped her latest album, Drinkin’ Songs: The Collection.

MacKenzie has developed a radiant Country style that threads the needle between the traditional heart and modern energy. Porter became the first female artist to have three back-to-back #1 singles at Canadian Country radio in 22 years with “About You,” “These Days” and “Seeing Other People” in early 2020, following Shania Twain in 1998. She is well on her way to more record-breaking success, and in addition to all of that amazing talent, she is a warm and delightful person. In my interview with MacKenzie, I learn more about her journey to rock-stardom, and what’s next for her.

Mackenzie, tell us a little about your upbringing, and how a Canadian gal ended up in Nashville Tennessee.

I was raised on a cattle and bison ranch in Medicine Hat, which is in Southern Alberta and grew up in an extremely musical family. I knew from the age of four that I wanted to perform. I studied piano, violin, and voice and am also a classically trained violinist. Because my family was so musically inclined, they helped cultivate my talent for many years.

That’s unbelievable, so you were basically born to do this?

Yeah, for sure. In 2011, I won the Nashville North Star and that opened many doors for me in both the music industry, and with acting, and it’s been a journey since. There is definitely a tie between the two things, and I’m so glad I’m able to pursue both of my talents.

Yeah, and remarkably well. Did you always know that with that talent, you were destined for the big stage? 

Actually, I’m quite a shy person, and I still get nervous every time I get on stage, which may come as a surprise to some. I have this moment of uncertainty that overcomes me, but then it washes away as soon as I get out there. 

Wow, I think that’s how you know so much is at stake; if you feel the fear and do it anyway, like taking a dance with destiny. How long have you lived in Nashville, and what made you decide to live there? 

Nashville is the place to live and work if you want to make it in the country industry. There’s no other city like it, and it really is a well-connected community of talent. 

I bet the weather helps a bit, eh? 

Yes, once we finish up this call I’m going to go out and enjoy the sun. 

I’m sure you get to interact with a plethora of amazing people and have mentors of all sorts. What’s the best advice you’ve received, and how have you applied it in your own life? 

I was once told that you should always treat everyone around you with the same respect that you’d want them to give you. Everyone has a story and no matter what walk of life you’re coming from or going through, you need to be kind and give respect to everyone you meet. Being around a cast or the band, and the crew we work with, you interact with so many people on a daily basis, so it’s important to be kind. It’s the best advice I have been given, and also the piece of advice I give. 

That really is great advice, we’re all created equal and should be treated as such. We’re all excited to listen to your new album. 

Yes, Drinkin’ Songs: The Collection is now available for streaming and downloading. 

You might just make a country gal out of me. It was a pleasure meeting you. You can learn more about MacKenzie Porter on her Instagram page, and on her website

Danai Mushayandebvu

Danai is usually scrolling through Instagram in search of new restaurants, things to do and places to be. While she has no formal dance training whatsoever, she hopes to be part of a professional hip-hop troupe someday. You can follow her escapades @dnizzler