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Meet McKenna Reitz

Today we’d like to introduce you to McKenna Reitz.

McKenna, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am now an independent singer-songwriter in la but it took me following a lot of different paths to finally end up here. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be involved in music. I wrote and performed my first song in the second grade for my school’s talent show. Thankfully my family saw my potential and were fully supportive. However, school was really hard for me so I was unable to pour as much time into my musical education as I would have liked. I grew up singing in church and choirs of all kinds so that was my main source of education.

When I finally became a senior in high school, I didn’t know exactly what to do. Up until that point, my musical education was all operatic. I graduated from high school and began community college focusing primarily on my musical education in hopes of transferring to a conservatory. I then attended Cornish college of the arts for a brief time, a small arts school in Seattle. I had a teacher there suggest I consider studying vocal Jazz, so that’s where I went next. I then applied and attended Jacobs School of music in Indiana, which at that point was my third college, as you can see I moved around a lot trying to find where I was “supposed” to be. Somewhat like Goldie Locks and the three bears; nothing felt quite right.

After a year in Indiana studying Jazz, I knew I needed more. I wanted to write, produce, and release my own music. My mom did some research and found Los Angeles College of Music which is where I graduated from in March. It took me four tries to find out what worked for me and along the way, I learned a lot about myself and gained so much knowledge. I came into school at LACM for the first time knowing exactly what I wanted to be my own artist. I worked the past 3.5 years on cultivating my artistry and what It means to be just me. I was hung up for a long time on why people would care about me and my artwork but it turns out the more honest you are about yourself, the more people are interested. I am now working on so many musical projects and hope to be releasing music soon.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely has not been easy. As I said before attending four colleges has posed its own challenges. The biggest hang-up for me was keeping the confidence to continue pursuing a career in music and not allowing others to get me down. Thankfully my family has been supportive but I experienced lots of rejection, mental and emotional strife, but it all has helped get me to where I am today. I honestly can say that through all of the college auditions, shows that went wrong, projects that fell through, loss of friends and family, I have become stronger and a more authentic and relatable artists.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I am a singer-songwriter who has a background in classical music and Jazz. My personal music ranges from jazz-pop to funk and soul. I am currently working on a project that is completely different from anything I have ever done and it’s exciting to work on music outside of my usual comfort zone. I never thought I would be creating electronic dance music but now I love it. I would say my background in multiple different genres of music has served me well from a technical standpoint. I love working with all musicians and don’t shy away from something thats different or unfamiliar. To be honest, I am like all singer-songwriters in that I write about my life and my feelings but I would say my physical sound is very different than most. I wasn’t always proud of the way I sounded “different” but now I think it is my strong suit.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I would say I am averagely lucky but I work extremely hard. I am someone who learned that failure was only a step forward; to learn what I did wrong and do it better the next time. However, I am lucky to always have had my family believing in me even when I haven’t been able to believe in myself. I was lucky to grow up in the household that I did. My mom is very adventurous and has been essential in helping me find my way. When I first moved to LA, I heard time and again “Fake it till you make it” and there is some truth to that. I have a tattoo on my right middle finger of a clover representing that you make your own luck in this life. You sometimes have to fake it and believe you belong in a room where others think you don’t.

Others don’t doubt you until you give them a reason to, so moving to LA I learned fast to make my own luck and not give other’s a reason to think I wasn’t someone important. Of course, some days are easier and some days harder, but self-confidence and a good walk can get you places. Stop apologizing for who you are and embrace it and don’t let people take advantage of you because they think you’re not “someone”. The truth is most people in Los Angeles are trying to be someone and that’s okay. Believe you are one of them.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Mackenzie Breeden @macksfilms, Zoë Sher Zoe Sher Photography

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