Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience.

Peyton McMahon, born in the USA on April 15th, 1992. Music was definitely the most memorable part in my otherwise normal childhood….I was always obsessed with listening to music and had whatever portable music device with me. I went to a relatively small private Catholic school from Pre-K to 8th Grade, and there weren’t really any classmates or friends of mine that had the passion for music that I did. There were a few more in high school but it was still a unique thing for people in my hometown, which had its pros and cons….it was cool because it was something different, but it wasn’t a common path for people to go down as far as pursuing a career. My family though (mom, dad, and older sister) have always been extremely supportive.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.

I started taking piano lessons from my grandmother when I was 7, but I stopped the lessons and started teaching myself.  I picked up the guitar when I was 10…I loved singing anytime I was home alone but was always way too scared to sing in front of anyone, including my family…so nobody knew.  When I was 16, my family and I went to Disney World and they had just opened up an American Idol Experience attraction, where you could audition and perform in front of a live audience.  I forced myself to get over my fear that day and auditioned…I went from never singing in public to singing in front of 1,500 people in one day and ended up winning the grand prize and that was what really kickstarted my pursuit with music!

After I did the Disney World thing was when I really started trying to take music seriously and pursue it as a career.  I was in a couple of bands in late high school and college that were mostly just for fun gigs, and then I started a YouTube channel in 2012 where I posted covers of popular songs and tried to put my unique spin on them.  I started building up somewhat of a following on there and connecting with them on twitter to take requests….I ended up getting some cool shout outs and having my videos featured/ shared by a handful of big artists and I was featured in a few Ryan Seacrest multi-round fan voted cover contests.  The biggest thing though was when Kelly Clarkson invited me to perform at one of her shows on her Piece By Piece Tour In 2015…she introduced me on stage and let me play a song with her band in front of her 20,000 person audience, which was the best moment I’ve experienced so far! I also have auditioned for a lot of shows and around that same time, I was one of 95 in the country that was selected for a blind audition for The Voice.  By my audition time, the teams had mostly filled up except for one spot on Christina’s team, but she said she was wanting to fill her last spot with a girl so I had some tough luck there.  It was an amazing experience though and now I’m excited to really take the bull by the horns with pursuing my career.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song.

The genre behind this first EP veers towards commercial Pop/Rock with a bit of soulfulness and singer/ songwriter elements. The single has a pretty prominent Pop/Rock feel with a catchy hook… the other songs on the EP vary between having more rock edge, more of a big anthemic chorus and there’s an acoustic ballad that’s got more of a singer/songwriter feel with a touch of folk, and a steady build with the vocal.

Each song on this EP is about different emotions you face when going on the journey of pursuing your dreams.  “Hold On Tight” is about anxiety…. there’s so many times where you feel scared that the path isn’t clear, you don’t know how or when you’re going to get to where you’re hoping to go, you second guess every move you make…it can all wear down on you. But you have to remind yourself to hold on to that passion that made you want to start in the first place and the hope that it will happen for you.  The video, which will be out in a few weeks, is kind of a simple look at what it’s like to have one of those days where you’re feeling that anxiety…. driving around, trying to collect yourself and reflect and then playing a small gig.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business.

One big thing about me as an artist is that I love variety…. there’s so much I want to do. That’s why I love Pop music, it allows you to show versatility while keeping your own unique stamp on things, so you’re identifiable. I especially love anything that has some soulfulness to it, it’s the most fun to sing big songs like that. I’m so excited about this EP because it’s the first original project I’m formally releasing, and it’s only scratching the surface of what I hope to get into.  It’s kind of an introduction to me as an artist.

Ups in the music business that I’ve encountered definitely include the experiences I’ve had with things like the Kelly Clarkson concert, getting to connect with and befriend other artists, have big artists I admire watch my videos and give me props and overall just constantly be chasing that spark of passion that I’ve always had with music.

Getting support from family, friends, and listeners for sharing what I’m most passionate about means so much more than I can explain.

One of the downs definitely would be the many “no”s and rejection you face…coming so close to thinking you have a big opportunity at your hands, and then it slipping away or being halted right before you. But you have to take it all in stride and keep hustling, it will make the successes that much more worth it.  Another tough aspect I’ve faced over the years is gathering courage to share my music…I’ve written songs for years and was scared for a long time to be vulnerable and show the world my songs.  I’m my own worst critic with that stuff…but striving to get better, hone my craft and learn to not care too much about what people think of me has paid off big time.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot.

My buddy David Maemone produced this whole EP.  He’s a ridiculously talented guy, he’s a pro at several instruments and a sick producer.  He tours playing keys and guitar for different artists, mainly playing keys for Gavin DeGraw.

I wrote the songs my own and sent him acoustic demos, asked if he would want to produce it and he was so down.  I described to him how I wanted each song to sound, and he started building some tracks…I went out to L.A. to record all the vocals with him, and then he kept producing and building the songs on his own, sending me his progress along the way so we could be back and forth with the process and make sure it was how I wanted it.  He also got a couple of Gavin’s other band members to record on it which I was so stoked about.  Michael Baker recorded drums for both this song and another one on the EP called “Tell Me Why” and Billy Norris recorded acoustic guitar for a song on there called “See The Sun”.  It wasn’t the most conventional way of making a record, doing it remotely, but we made it work and I’m so happy with how it turned out.

For the music video, which is coming soon, my friend Caleb Phillips shot it…he’s a super talented videographer who has been shooting stuff nonstop for years and now has his own company.  For the shoot, we spent the day going to different spots around New Orleans just filming everything we could, leading up to getting some great shots at sunset on the lakefront.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

I guess I’ve experienced the industry in different stages….I started auditioning for things and playing gigs when I was 17, I started really promoting myself online and building a following/marketing myself when I was 20, and this is my first time formally releasing an original project.  I’ve learned so much over the years with how things go and I’m glad that I’ve kinda learned it all in stages. That’s almost how you have to do it because when you’re starting out as an independent artist, you have to wear so many hats.  My goal is to be able to work with artists/ producers I love and admire, to tour the world and consistently release records.  I would love to be signed for that reason, I just want to be able to live and breathe this dream every day of my life.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

I find inspiration to write from basically anything I go through in life.  Any strong emotion or situation that’s weighing heavy on me is easy to use writing as an outlet for.  I also love conceptualizing and writing about hypothetical situations, or things that I see others go through.  Anything that’s got a strong emotional aspect to it, whatever emotion or mood that might be.  I also get so inspired to sing and perform by watching artists I admire command the stage and give performances…seeing people live the dream I hope to be living someday.  That stuff really fuels me.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

Honestly it’s hard to pinpoint any kind of specific secret because the process for writing is always different haha.  For me, I think my best stuff comes when I come up with a hook first…whether it pops up in my head or what and then constructing the rest of the song around it as sort of a centerpiece.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

I have some followers who have stuck by me since finding me on YouTube 5 years ago, and they’ve seen how much I’ve grown from recording cover songs in my kitchen haha. I think that’s a good message to pass along…to not stop working hard to get better and reach your goals, wherever they might be, because you’ll grow so much along the way and have so many opportunities come, if you work hard to seek them out.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

Basically the same thing as above, I would tell them that you can always improve so don’t stop trying.  There’s always more you can learn, and new ways to use your talent.  Also, don’t ever think there’s an aspect you’ll never be good at, because you can totally get there….I’ve been there and felt that way in the past about certain things, but I forced myself to work hard to improve, and with time I definitely have.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

When I was posting videos on YouTube, I had quite a few artists feature them/share them.  OneRepublic picked my cover of “Counting Stars” as one of their 5 favorites.  I had artists like Shakira, Fifth Harmony, Matchbox 20, The Vamps, Sia, James Arthur  and more share or feature my covers of their songs.  Kelly Clarkson invited me to perform on her Piece By Piece Tour as part of a thing she was doing to give undiscovered artists a spotlight.  I got to rehearse and perform with her band in front of her audience of 20,000 people. I also was selected to be in a couple of different Ryan Seacrest cover contests, which consisted of multiple rounds of fan voting…I got 2nd place for my cover of “Team” by Lorde and made the Top 5 for my cover of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. Another thing is that I made it to the blind auditions of Season 10 of The Voice, 95 out of around 40,000 people that auditioned.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform.

None yet! This is the first single that just came out yesterday so we are reaching out to places right now.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

It’s honestly different every time, but usually I will come up with a hook first…some kind of catchy melody will pop up in my head and I’ll record a voice memo on my phone of it….usually to gibberish since there are no actual lyrics yet.  Then I’ll kinda start constructing the full song around it, like filling in pieces of a puzzle.  I’ll write lyrics kind of as I go, but usually once I have the melody written.  I also jot down lyrics and thoughts in my notes on my phone, so I’ll look through those to find what I think would fit and where to start lyrically for what I’m trying to say, or what I feel the melody is telling me.

In the studio, I definitely need to have that second set of ears listening to me and stopping me when they can tell I’ve gotten some good takes down , because I could literally be recording all day haha. I’m my own worst critic so I’ll want to just keep going and going in case I can top what I’ve done so far.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

It honestly always changes. Right now, it’s Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, James Arthur, Gavin DeGraw and John Mayer.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so.

I collaborated with my friend Troy Ogletree on a song called “Life’s Like” a couple years ago on his first EP, which was fun because it was something different for me genre-wise.  As far as artists I’d want to collaborate with in the future….it would be a dream to collaborate with any of the artists I named above, as well as people like Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan and Harry Styles….Harry has been a big inspiring factor for me for a while, seeing in real-time someone around my age accomplishing the dreams I hope to accomplish someday really fuels me.  I would also love to write with Taylor Swift one day, I admire her songwriting so much.  Producer-wise, one day I’d absolutely love to work with Jeff Bhasker…I’m such a fan of his work.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

Website

http://peytonmcmahon.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/peytonmcmahon

Facebook

http://Facebook.com/peytonmcmahonmusic

Instagram

http://instagram.com/peytonmcmahon

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

iTunes

https://t.co/mfd8YpY2Ty

 

Spotify

https://t.co/Rlj5pSKH3u

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

Happiest day…definitely the day I got to perform on Kelly Clarkson’s Tour.  I’ve literally been a fan of Kelly’s since she was on American Idol, her voice is unparalleled.  So to not only be able to perform on a big stage in front of a huge audience with an absolutely amazing band, but to have been invited to do that and introduced by an artist I admire so much was just surreal.  I got a small taste of what I hope to be doing on my own one day, and it felt unreal, amazing, like I can’t even.

Saddest day….probably the day my dog Gatsby passed away a few years ago.  I’m a huge huge dog lover, and I get so close to my family pets.  Our golden retriever Gatsby shockingly passed away a few years ago, at only 5 because he had a heart issue that wasn’t detectable…I was so so heartbroken.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

 Oooh wow that’s a tough one…..maybe go to Europe because I’ve never been and always wanted to go?  Or Disney World again?  Or buy a place in L.A. and start working on a full album there!  So many possibilities…


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