Mackenta – Hypersensitive
ARTIST NAME: Mackenta
SONG TITLE: Hypersensitive
RELEASE DATE: January 18, 2019
Mackenta takes an unconventional approach to R&B music, dissecting the influences of her life and generation. She serenades audiences with striking contrasts in both her sound and visuals; combining “woke” lyrical intricacy, with tripped-out experimentation. Her music is simultaneously sensitive and fierce.
Mackenta also known as Mack Davis first gained popularity with her single “Issues”, which has been featured on outlets like OVO Sound Radio, The Source, and HotNewHipHop.
It is the first single from her debut seven-track EP, Over The Influence (June 2016), which features production from JUNO award-winning, Gavin Bradley (Jacksoul, Serena Ryder.) Her late 2017 single, “No Finesse”, premiered on Noisey and was featured on Spotify Official Playlists like, “Just Vibin”.
Mackenta continues to express herself vulnerably, on record, and during live performances.
In recent years, she has graced the stage of festivals, including Manifesto, 199Z, and internationally at New Skool Rules (Rotterdam).
In an interview with RESPECT Mag, Mackenta comments, “I’m just writing about the human experience, through my experiences. I’m writing about the things that don’t make me perfect.”
Mackenta will expand on her creative vision in 2019, with the release of new singles and music videos.
Discuss your composition and melody.
I tend to sing-rap a lot on songs, but I did less of that on this track. I wanted to create a sound that combines a more classic 90’s R&B vibe, but with experimental production. The song builds and falls back, and the synths help create layers to the mood.
State the name of your producer and elaborate on the song.
Hypersensitive was produced by CZY and Gavin Bradley – both producers blend futuristic sounds and soulful feels. CZY started the initial beat and Gavin added some layers later on. It felt like each person added an ingredient to complete the final recipe.
Discuss the lyrics of the song.
I wrote this song about the duality between being sometimes perceived as “rough” on the outside, yet “soft” on the inside. I’m not one or the other, I’m both. But my tough exterior is there at times to protect my heart from getting hurt. The lyrics talk about me getting comfortable with expressing my emotions and needing my relationship to be vulnerable and honest.
Elaborate on your music career.
I released my first single “Issues” in 2015, and it was the song that really started my career. That song now has over 85K plays on SoundCloud, and led me to a lot of different opportunities and fans. Since then I’ve performed a lot in Toronto, and for the first time last year, I performed in Europe. I’ve also released an EP called “Over the Influence” and a single called, “No Finesse.” This year I’ll be releasing a lot more music and music videos.
Brief us on how you are reaching fans with your music.
I connect with fans through the stories I tell, especially in my lyrics and music videos. I find that people who enjoy my music tend to enjoy hearing and seeing something personal that they can connect to. I also have connected with new fans on social media; I love receiving messages from people who have discovered me and I always try to respond and thank them.
Discuss your motive behind making music.
For me, making music started as something that was purely therapeutic. It was a way for me to express whatever I was going through. That’s how it all started — I just needed a way to vent. As I continue making music, I use it not only as a personal outlet, but as a way to reflect and critique society, and a way to challenge myself. I also want to give people music that makes them feel less alone; show others there is someone else in the world who feels the same emotions as them.
Discuss your lyrics and songwriting.
Lyrics are the most important thing to me because growing up I gravitated to artists who wrote honest and intriguing lyrics. It makes you feel like you can relate to them and embody the song.
For me, my lyrics hit when they are completely genuine and a stranger can feel an emotional connection to what I’m talking about. I’ve found I write my best songs when I’m going through something real and I stop and just write down exactly what I’m feeling in that moment.
Elaborate on your work and achievement so far in your music career.
As an independent artist who is self-managed, I’ve been able to achieve a lot on my own. Because I rely on myself, I am always striving for more. I’ve had my music featured on popular blogs and Spotify Official Playlists, and I’ve received funds to create some of my music and travel for music. I was proud of myself this year for performing in the Netherlands. Most recently, I was a finalist of Stingray’s Rising Star Award, where I won a trip to Montreal to be mentored at the Stingray Music Headquarters. However, of all achievements, I feel most successful when I can really feel the human connection my music has on other people. That’s most important to me.
Tell us your opinion on using a rhymes dictionary or writing software to develop lyrics.
I tend not to use them; I prefer to see what flows naturally. But I don’t judge songwriters for using them. Sometimes you just need that extra nudge to get your message out. Every artist has their own process.
Discuss the music industry.
The music industry feels like the wild wild west at times. Other times it’s helped me meet some of the best people in my life. Overall, it challenges me to stay true to myself no matter what. I think the music industry has a long way to go for women and the LGBTQ community. We need to start honoring and making more room for diverse voices and perspectives. I feel this is beginning to happen, but we have a long way to go.
Elaborate on how you prepare yourself for a recording session.
I try to meditate and burn some sage before I record or do something just to quiet my mind. I also like to have a healthy meal and drink lots of water or tea.
Brief us on your preference in terms of tempo as in up-tempo, mid-tempo, or slow tempo.
Mid-tempo and slow-tempo are my favorite. I like a tempo that allows some space to work around and get into my feelings. I tend to only listen to up-tempo music to work out or party to.
Discuss your shows or live performance.
It’s important for me to connect with the audience at my live shows and feel their vibe. Sometimes I play with a band and sometimes with a DJ. If I can, I try to incorporate some type of trippy visual projection or lights because I like to create a whole mood that matches my songs.
Share your emotional feelings.
I can’t be superficial in my relationships, if you want to get close to me; you have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Feeling trapped inside a generation where it’s considered “cool” not to catch feelings, I am the exact opposite.
In the past, I’ve written lyrics about hiding my feelings. Although my exterior may appear one way but deep down, I’m also emotional and romantic. I got so sick of trying to act like nothing…
In the “Hypersensitive” music video, I play a being that is not human (either alien or robot – you can decide) but it seems as if they’re being held hostage by human emotions. Eventually, they break down. That’s how I was beginning to feel in a world where emotions are related to weakness.
At the end of the day, I’ve come to recognize that my ability to be vulnerable actually makes me strong, regardless of how others perceive me.
Send a message across to your fans and supporters.
As an independent artist, your support means the world to me. I have gratitude for every single person that connects with my music.
Discuss the storyline of the song.
This song is about being trapped inside a world of insensitivity and “Savage” behavior, which was something I used to perpetuate.
It feels like being honest about emotions is looked down upon. It’s about my transformation into embracing a sense of strength and sensuality in expressing vulnerability.
Tell us what makes this song unique from others.
A lot of artists in my generation brag about being emotionless or hurting others or not “catching feelings.” I’m going in another direction and being open about the fact that I am sensitive and romantic. I’m going with what’s true to me, not necessarily what’s “on-trend.”
Tell us the theme of most of your compositions.
Most of my compositions are a reflection of my experience as a young woman who is dealing with the pressure of society, life, love, and growing up.