From Martin Communications, a local public relations firm:
Ask Makenzie Raye how long she has been singing and she would say all of her life.
Since she was a young child, Makenzie Raye has performed in talent shows and competitions and has been a member of singing companies traveling throughout Florida. Three years ago, the teenager decided to focus on a singing career as a country music solo artist and songwriter. She has assembled her own band from talented artists she has worked with during her travels.
Recognized as an up and coming performer, Makenzie Raye and her band have been selected to perform at the Florida Strawberry Festival as the headliner at the Sweetbay tent, the second largest performance venue at the festival. She will perform on March 9, 7:30-9:30 pm.
Makenzie Raye has performed at the Florida Strawberry Festival in past years at some of the smaller venues.
“I’m excited to perform locally in such a big arena,” she said. “This year it’s the Sweetbay tent, and hopefully next year it will be the ‘Big Stage’ where the national country artists perform.”
Makenzie Raye travels to Nashville several times each year, establishing her career in the country music industry. She has taken numerous vocal lessons, writing sessions and performance lessons in Nashville while recording some of her original music. Last summer, she performed at several Writer’s Nights at popular spots in Nashville, including Nashville Palace, Indigo and the Commodore.
“Being in Nashville at the heart of country music surrounded by musicians and songwriters gives me inspiration,” she said. “This is where it all happens.”
Like most artists, she writes songs from life experiences. Her latest release, “Dang Fairytales,” was inspired by a young girl she encountered in the Nashville airport.
“My mom and I were sitting in the airport waiting on our plane after being delayed for several hours, and I saw a young girl reading Cinderella, and I thought to myself that stuff never happens.”
Makenzie Raye has lived in Temple Terrace for 10 years where she attended Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Elementary School and Terrace Community Middle School. She is currently a ninth-grader at King High School. Soccer is another of her passions, and she plays competitive soccer for the Florida Soccer Club U15 Girls team and is a starter on the King soccer team.
She is taking lessons at Music Showcase in Brandon and is being managed by Michelle Landreth and Tom Mumford of Rednek Geer Entertainment.