Saturday, February 3, 2024

Nathalie Miranda: The UK's Daring Musical Trailblazer


London's very own Nathalie Miranda is a musical force to be reckoned with. With a collection of over six genre-defying singles, this dynamic pop star brings an extraordinary blend of soul, blues, and classic rock to the forefront of high-energy retro pop. Her performances are nothing short of electrifying; Nathalie not only showcases a stellar octave range but also performs with a passion that is both raw and captivating, ensuring she leaves everything on the stage.

Miranda draws inspiration from a rich tapestry of musical legends including Freddie Mercury, Prince, Madonna, Tina Turner, Christina Aguilera, and Whitney Houston. These influences, combined with the musical heritage of her Greek-Cypriot roots, infuse her sound with powerful belts and playful lyrics, making her distinctive style even more captivating.

2023 marks a significant year in Nathalie's ascending career, with her smash hits ‘Catch-22’ and ‘Soul on Fire’ amassing 250,000 Spotify streams each and over 200,000 YouTube views combined. Her shimmering vocals and unique artistry have established her as the UK's formidable response to the US's iconic divas. Nathalie's talents have been recognized in high-profile features including Wonderland Magazine and Rolling Stone India. Her live performances boast appearances on BBC’s ‘Later… with Jools Holland’ as a backing vocalist and gigs at iconic London venues like The Troubadour.

Born in London to Greek-Cypriot parents, Nathalie is a fluent Greek speaker and takes immense pride in her heritage, which she skillfully weaves into her music. Her 2022 single ‘????a S?µ?d?a (1000 Scars)’ is a testament to this, embracing a classic Greek folk rhythm called Zeibekiko, and produced by renowned Greek producer Harry K.

Beyond her solo career, Nathalie Miranda has been a prolific figure in the dance and house music scene since 2017, lending her 90s diva vocals to collaborations with international producers. Her versatile artistry defies creative boundaries, showcasing her ability to innovate and adapt across genres. Her early classical piano studies laid the groundwork for her songwriting prowess, a skill further unlocked by an impromptu hotel karaoke performance during a family holiday.

Nathalie Miranda's sound is continually evolving, brimming with passion, heart, and the spirit of her Greek-Cypriot roots. As she continues to captivate audiences with her powerhouse performances and innovative music, Nathalie Miranda is a name to watch in the music industry. Follow her journey for updates and new music that promises to inspire and electrify.

Miranda's tribute to the 1980s, "Is This Love," showcases her passion for the era, known for corded telephones and a social life that didn't rely on computers. The song, initially penned in 2015 and later reworked for its release, captures the essence of being young and carefree. The music video, which was shot partly in Miranda's bedroom transformed into an '80s dream and at Ballie Ballerson's in London, radiates fun, love, happiness, and nostalgia. She credits her team, including co-writer/producer Simon Cookson and director/video editor David Brant, for bringing her vision to life​​.

Additionally, Nathalie Miranda collaborated with Will-Powerz on the track "Good Day," a project that came to fruition after Will-Powerz was captivated by her soulful voice in live performance videos on YouTube. The song speaks to the hope of living life freely and coming together, with Miranda lending her voice to express these sentiments. This collaboration further solidifies her standing in the North London music scene, where she continues to perform and release solo songs​​.

Interview Summary

Nathalie Miranda, an independent artist with a diverse musical influence, has announced plans to release two to three singles with a 70s, groovy feel for the rest of the year. She finds motivation in her passion for music and the support of her small but dedicated fanbase, despite the pressures of social media and the evolving music industry. Miranda enjoys experimenting across genres, reflecting her varied inspirations, including 70s rock, and evolving her image alongside her sound.

Her hits 'Catch-22' and 'Soul on Fire' were created under different circumstances: 'Catch-22' during lockdown, connecting deeply with fans, and 'Soul on Fire' in collaboration with dance producer Babert, showcasing her versatility. Influenced by iconic artists like Prince and Freddie Mercury, Miranda's music is also shaped by her Greek-Cypriot roots, especially evident in songs like ‘Χίλια Σημάδια (1000 Scars)’.

Collaborating with international producers on dance and house tracks has been rewarding, offering her opportunities to contribute her unique flair. Miranda's vocal talents were discovered at a hotel karaoke night, marking the start of her journey in music. She discusses the double-edged sword of the digital age for musicians, recognizing the benefits of social media for independent artists while lamenting the loss of mystique and the pressure to generate content over music.

Miranda openly addresses ageism in the industry, advocating for perseverance and authenticity regardless of age. She considers her performance with the band 'James' on 'Later with Jools' as a significant career milestone and highlights her classical piano background as foundational to her songwriting and musical understanding. Miranda emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and being authentic in navigating the music industry's challenges and opportunities.

Interview with Nathalie Miranda


Can you tell us about any upcoming releases you have planned for the near future?


I have two to three singles planned for the rest of the year. I just released a cover track a few weeks ago, but ultimately, I prefer releasing my own music. The new tracks will have more of a 70s, groovy feel to them.


What inspires you to keep creating music, and how do you stay motivated in this ever-evolving industry?


You know, I think that it’s harder than ever these days to stay motivated. There is so much pressure coming from every direction, particularly with regard to social media, and I feel that it can detract from the art of actually making music. Personally, I use that determination within me to prove a whole bunch of people wrong haha! No, but really, I love making music and I’m lucky enough to have a small but incredibly supportive fanbase that keeps me motivated to be the best artist I can be, for myself and for them.


With a career that spans various genres, how do you decide on the direction for your new music?


Well, thank you for noticing! I love music, and I’m inspired by so many genres and styles. As an independent artist, I have the privilege of being 100% in control of my output, image etc, and so I’m taking advantage of this by experimenting with all the genres that have inspired me. For example, my song ‘Battle Scars’ was inspired by 70s rock, but I’m by no means a rock vocalist; I just wanted to pay tribute to those sounds and artists, and have some fun with it.

I enjoy evolving my image along with the sound also.


Reflecting on your hits 'Catch-22' and 'Soul on Fire,' what was the creative process behind these tracks?


Catch-22’ was written, recorded and released during lockdown, and it’s the song that really connected me with the majority of my fans. The lyrics came to me while I was watching TV and I had to stop everything to go and write it. I wanted to create a dramatic, almost theatrical song, and I think we did a great job with that. It’s still one of my most requested songs.


Soul on Fire’ is I think my most streamed release, but it wasn’t my release, actually. Babert, a dance producer who I’ve worked with a lot asked me to change the lyrics to this track he wanted to rework, and sing the vocals. It ended up being ‘Soul on Fire’. It was fun to record and get my dance diva on, but honestly I haven’t sung it since!


You've been influenced by iconic artists across several genres. How do these influences shape your music today?

They have a huge influence on my music. I never went to stage school or anything like that and I didn’t even have a singing lesson until I was in my late teens, so I mostly learnt everything I know by listening to my favourite artists and trying to emulate them. I love an artist who gives their all, shows passion, and isn’t afraid to take risks, like Prince, Freddie Mercury, Madonna, Christina Aguilera and so on. So yes, that’s definitely percolated down into my music.


Can you share more about how your Greek-Cypriot roots influence your music, especially in songs like ‘Χίλια Σημάδια (1000 Scars)’?


I’m incredibly proud to be Greek Cypriot. Greek was the first language I ever spoke. I grew up listening to Greek music, which is all about passion and heartbreak mostly. Greek singers really know how to convey their emotions, and it has most definitely influenced the way I perform.

 ‘Χίλια Σημάδια’ was a project I wanted to do for so many years, and I finally released it in 2022. It’s a song about revenge, heartbreak, and a woman scorned. And even if you don’t speak Greek, you can feel what I’m feeling. I hope to record more songs in Greek soon.



Working with international producers on dance and house tracks, what do you find most rewarding about these collaborations?


It’s been very beneficial to me as a singer and songwriter to work on so many dance tracks. It’s not my favourite genre if I’m being honest, but the songs are really easy to write, and with each track, I bring something different to the table. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some lovely producers over the years, some of whom have returned to me many times for further work.


Your vocal talents were discovered during a hotel karaoke night. Can you tell us more about that experience and how it impacted your career?


Ah, yes, the karaoke night. I was a very shy kid, and not even my parents knew that I could sing. We were on holiday that year in Cyprus, and I just had this feeling that if I don’t perform now, in this moment, I will never do so. I asked my mum to get up and perform before me, to which she replied ‘are you mad?’ haha. But, she got up and performed a song, which encouraged me to get up and perform ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ from Grease.


I sang with my back to the audience as I was terrified. But I finished the song and everyone got to their feet! I couldn’t believe it. That was the moment I knew that I could do it. And I haven’t stopped since then.


As an artist with a significant digital presence, what are your views on the pros and cons of the digital age for musicians?


You know, I grew up in a time when there was no internet. I listened to all my music on the radio, cassettes, CDs. And honestly, I miss that anticipation of having to wait to go buy the single or album once it comes out. I feel that, although social media and the digital age have brought their benefits, the mystique of the artists we love has now gone. Everything we want is at our fingertips. A song comes out, we press play on our phones and it’s there. We can watch and listen to everything on demand. I’m not a fan of that, to be honest.


Social media has been amazing for me as an independent, unknown artist. I’ve been able to connect with people internationally without leaving my house. And I’m very grateful for that. However, I think that the pressure and focus is now on social media and making ‘content’ rather than actually making music and being an artist. And I don’t feel comfortable with that.  I’ve created my own way of using socials so that I don’t get too overwhelmed, but at the same time, I’m interacting with my fans and maintaining that connection.


Ageism is a topic of concern in the music industry. Have you encountered ageism, and how do you navigate these challenges?


Ageism is still a huge concern, particularly for women in the industry. I talk very openly about my age, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m 40. I want younger artists, especially female artists, to know that sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you planned when you were 18. Sometimes, you end up working way longer than you thought you might before anyone takes notice, and you know what, that is ok. Personally, I think I’m the best artist I’ve ever been. At 20, I didn’t really know myself, I didn’t know who I was as an artist. And now, yes, I’m older but I’m more experienced and I’m not prepared to put up with any nonsense from anyone in the industry.


I think it’s amazing that Kylie Minogue is still out there killing it at age 55, and yet certain major radio stations refused to play her music because of her age! I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous! Kylie is an icon, and someone whose music I listen to a lot. She is very underrated as an artist. I hope she wins that Grammy!


I have faced ageism indirectly, I believe. I think because I talk so openly about my age, some venues, or producers etc, may decide privately not to work with me because I am past it. That’s just my opinion. But that’s fine, you know, I don’t want to be associated with people like that anyway.


You’ve performed on iconic stages and been featured in major publications. What do you consider your biggest career milestone so far?


I think it has to be performing backing vocals for the band ‘James’ on the BBC show ‘Later with Jools’. It was a great learning experience being on live TV, and performing songs I didn’t really know until that day. And it served as motivation for me to work hard and one day be on that show performing my own music.


How do you balance the desire to pay homage to your musical influences with the need to create a unique and distinctive sound?


Interesting question. I think that my voice is distinctive, so whatever genre I decide to sing, it somehow becomes my own because I have something different going on. That is a good and a bad thing, because the rejection I’ve faced far outweighs the opportunities. But I make it very clear that if I can’t be authentic, then there really is no point.


In terms of songwriting, how has your classical piano background influenced your approach to composing music?


I think it’s given me the foundations to be able to write music, for sure. I’m very good at hearing harmonies, for example, and I think a lot of that comes from the ear training I had to do as part of my classical piano studies. So thank you, Mum, for making me go to piano lessons!


The digital age has transformed how artists interact with their audiences. How do you use digital platforms to connect with your fans?


I do my best to reply to every comment, message and so on. Sometimes, it is overwhelming and I need to take a few days off, but it’s really important to me that my fans know how much I appreciate their support. I am incredibly grateful to them.


Facing the challenges and opportunities of the music industry, what advice would you give to aspiring artists looking to carve their path?

I would say quite simply, be yourself. No matter what people say, stay true to your vision and keep focused on your dreams.


Lyric Review of Echoes by Nathalie Miranda

The lyrics narrate a deeply emotional and evocative story of growth, pain, and self-discovery. They speak to the universal experience of transitioning from the innocence of childhood to the complexities of adulthood, highlighting the often painful process of coming to terms with one's identity and the challenges life presents.

The recurring imagery of "bullets" and a "safe little world" symbolizes the harsh realities and trials one faces growing up, suggesting a loss of innocence and the harsh impact of life's challenges. The metaphor of a "page that can’t be turned" and a voice that was "never heard" poignantly expresses feelings of stagnation and silence, reflecting a struggle with self-worth and expression.

Central to the song is the transformational journey towards self-acceptance and resilience. The mirror serves as a powerful symbol of self-reflection and the quest for identity, emphasizing the dissonance between how one perceives oneself and how one wishes to be seen. The assurance "I will be there in the mirror with you" conveys a message of support and solidarity, promising presence and understanding in times of self-doubt and isolation.

The closing lines signal a shift towards empowerment and liberation, marking a significant turning point in the narrator's journey. The declaration "I am older, I am grown, I am free" signifies a reclaiming of agency and a newfound sense of freedom, suggesting that the experiences and challenges faced have culminated in a stronger, more self-assured individual.

Overall, the lyrics are a poignant exploration of the struggles and triumphs of growing up, offering a message of hope and resilience. They touch on the importance of self-acceptance, the value of personal growth, and the power of standing by oneself through life's challenges.


Fictional Story Based on the Lyrics

Reflections of Resilience: A Journey Through the Mirror

Created by Indie Mastered

Copyright 2024 Nathalie Miranda

In a quiet town painted with the pastel hues of yesteryears, there lived a girl whose life was as unremarkable as the faded wallpaper adorning her childhood bedroom. She was young, just a child, navigating the labyrinth of growing up with only her shadows for company. No one had prepared her for the trials ahead, for the pain that growing up would bring, tearing through her safe little world like a storm unbidden.

She couldn't grasp why life, with its capricious whims, hurled challenges like a relentless barrage, leaving her to seek refuge in the crevices of her fractured dreams. It felt as if the world moved on, leaving her behind, like a page in a book that refused to turn, her voice lost in the cacophony of the unheard.

With each passing day, she faced the mirror, a ritual in search of answers. But the reflection that stared back wore a mask of unfamiliarity, the pieces of her identity scattered like a puzzle unsolved. In her solitude, she whispered vows into the void, promises to the reflection that she yearned to recognize once more.

As time wove its intricate tapestry, the girl found herself caught between the chimeras of her dreams and the stark reality of expectations. She chose to retreat, a shadow amongst shadows, her tears the silent testament to the parts of her that faded into oblivion. Yet, in the depths of despair, the echoes of her resolve lingered, a memory that refused to be extinguished.

In the darkest hours, when hope seemed but a distant flicker, a voice emerged, soft yet unyielding. It spoke of solidarity, of a presence unwavering, a promise to stand by her side, to be the companion in the mirror when the world turned its back. "For everything I couldn't do," the voice vowed, "I will be there, in the mirror with you."

Years tumbled like the leaves of autumn, and the girl, no longer a child, found strength in her reflection. The shards of her identity, once scattered, began to align, painting a portrait of resilience and freedom. She realized that the journey through the mirror was not one of solitude but of discovery, a path leading her to embrace the myriad facets of her being.

She emerged, not as the girl she once was, but as a beacon of self-assurance, her voice now a melody that resonated with the strength of her spirit. "I am older, I am grown, I am free," she declared, her reflection a testament to her journey from the shadows into the light.

And so, the story unfolds, a narrative woven from the threads of pain, growth, and redemption. It's a tale that speaks to the heart of every soul who has faced the mirror, searching for the pieces of themselves, only to discover that within them lies the power to shape their destiny, to be the architect of their freedom.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Meresha: Light Up The Sky Lyric Review and Fictional Lyric Story: Eternal Illumination


The lyrics unfold a narrative of resilience, transformation, and profound connection. They weave a rich tapestry of imagery and emotion, touching upon themes of survival, love, and rebirth. Here's a breakdown of the key elements:

Theme and Tone

Resilience and Survival:

Phrases like "I survived the fire" and "I survived the lightning" metaphorically speak to overcoming challenges and adversities. These lines set a tone of triumph and resilience, suggesting a journey through hardship to a place of strength and safety.

Love and Connection:

The recurring motif of "in your arms" symbolizes a deep sense of belonging and emotional safety. This imagery suggests that the speaker finds solace, love, and perhaps their true self, within the embrace of another.

Transformation and Renewal:

The transition from surviving elemental forces (fire, lightning) to experiencing a cosmic journey ("traveled light years," "coming out the darkness") highlights a theme of profound change and enlightenment, culminating in a celebration of new beginnings.

Imagery and Symbolism

Elemental and Cosmic Imagery:

The use of elemental forces (fire, lightning) alongside cosmic imagery (light years, darkness) creates a vibrant contrast between the earthly and the ethereal, grounding the song’s emotional depth while reaching for something transcendent.

Light and Darkness: 

The motif of light overcoming darkness runs through the lyrics, symbolizing hope, guidance, and the illuminating power of love. The repeated exhortation to "Light up the sky" serves as a powerful metaphor for unleashing one's inner light, potential, and joy.


The mention of "fireworks in the sky" encapsulates the song’s themes of celebration, victory over adversity, and the explosive joy of love. It's a visual representation of the climax of emotional and personal transformation.

Lyricism and Structure

The repetition of key phrases, especially "Light up the sky," not only reinforces the central message but also provides a memorable hook that encapsulates the essence of the song. This repetition, along with the call to "let it shine," emphasizes the importance of embracing one's identity and experiences, scars and all, to foster genuine connection and joy.

The structure alternates between reflections on past struggles and the present state of fulfillment and anticipation for the future, effectively conveying a journey of growth and discovery.

Overall Impact

The lyrics effectively blend personal narrative with universal themes of love, resilience, and transformation. They strike a balance between vulnerability and strength, inviting listeners to find their own stories within the song. The imagery is evocative and inspiring, crafting a world where overcoming adversity leads to a luminous, love-filled existence. The repetition and rhythmic structure not only make the song catchy but also imbue it with a sense of anthem-like uplift, making it resonant with anyone seeking light in times of darkness.

In summary, these lyrics stand out for their emotional depth, vivid imagery, and the hopeful message they convey. They celebrate the human spirit's ability to transcend difficulties through love and connection, making them both inspiring and relatable.

Fictional Story "Eternal Illumination" from the Lyrics

Created by Indie Mastered

Copyright 2024 Meresha

In a realm where shadows lingered, beneath a sky veiled in obscurity, there lived a soul embroiled in an endless night. Encased in solitude, they wandered, a heart enshrouded in the remnants of a storm, until the day the inferno roared. Flames, fierce and unyielding, threatened to consume all in their path, yet within this fiery trial, a transformation was kindled. From the ashes of despair, a spark of resilience was born, and the soul whispered to the darkness, "I shall endure."

As the embers of the fire waned, a revelation emerged: in the distance, a beacon of hope, a sanctuary in the form of another. In their embrace, a haven was found, a heart’s desire realized amidst the turmoil. Together, they embarked on a journey transcendent, traversing light years, emerging from the remnants of night into the brilliance of a newfound dawn.

With every step, the sky above, once a canvas of void, ignited with the colors of their love. "Light up the sky," they proclaimed, a mantra of their unyielding spirit. Visions of the future gleamed in their eyes, a world reimagined through the lens of love. A single kiss, a pact sealed, and the heavens ablaze, a testament to their bond.

Yet, the journey was not without its tempests. Lightning struck, a force formidable and fierce, unveiling a silver lining in its wake. Within the sanctuary of their union, they found strength anew, a silvered path through the storm. "I am gonna go on," a vow echoed against the clashing elements, a promise of perseverance.

As time unfolded, the scars of yore, once stark reminders of battles fought, began to fade, their edges softened by the light of shared victories. "It’s time to let it shine," they chanted, a chorus of renewal. The night sky, once a silent witness to their struggle, now danced with the brilliance of fireworks, a symphony of light celebrating the scars transformed into stars.

Thus, beneath the celestial spectacle, two souls stood, illuminated by the love that had carried them through the tempests. Together, they had kindled a flame eternal, a beacon for those still wandering in the night. Their story, a poetic testament to the enduring power of love and resilience, was etched into the firmament, a guiding light for eternity.

In their journey, they had not only survived the elements but had transcended them, lighting up the sky with the essence of their bond. And in this celestial ballet, they found the ultimate truth: that even in the darkest of nights, love has the power to illuminate the sky, guiding us home to the warmth of the arms that await, where we are destined to go on, forever alight with the glow of eternal illumination.


Vote for Your Indie Hero

 The 1st Annual Indie Hero Award

Presented by the independent music community at large!

The nomination round from January 1 through 31 2024 is now over and the voting round begins! Vote for the heroes who have helped you and others in positive ways!

Vote here!

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Andrew Macdonald's Musical Journey: From Business to Ballads


In the bustling corridors of the corporate world, Andrew Macdonald navigated a successful career, traveling globally, climbing the corporate ladder, and reaping the rewards of a fast-paced business life. His journey, spanning nearly four decades, was marked by significant professional achievements, the challenges of raising a family, and the pursuit of academic excellence through a Masters and then a Doctorate. Yet, amidst the cacophony of corporate achievements and personal responsibilities, a quiet melody played continuously in his mind – a melody of unfulfilled musical aspirations.

For years, Macdonald's love for music remained a distant dream, often relegated to the backburner as life's immediate priorities took center stage. The world of writing music and singing seemed incompatible with his fast-paced lifestyle. Yet, like a persistent whisper, songs continued to play in his head. Occasionally, he would pen down lyrics, holding onto the hope that maybe, someday, they would find their melody.

This 'someday' found its spark a few years back in an unexpected way. As his older sister approached her wedding day, Macdonald sought a unique and heartfelt gift to express his affection. He turned to his latent passion for music and wrote her a song. However, at that time, his musical abilities were limited to lyrics. He handed her the words with a promise to one day sing them, a promise that seemed more like a wishful thought than a tangible future reality.

Inspired by his older brother, who had begun piano lessons, Macdonald decided it was time to resurrect his musical dream. He took up guitar lessons, a challenging endeavor that rekindled memories of his childhood music lessons. It wasn't easy – far from the adage of 'like riding a bike' – but perseverance paid off. As he strummed more confidently and mastered chords, the possibility of setting his lyrics to music started becoming real.

His dedication culminated in transforming the lyrics written for his sister into a full-fledged song. This accomplishment marked a significant milestone in his life – he had created his first song. Yet, the thought of performing it himself was daunting. Seeking a professional touch, he explored local recording studios and discovered a world where engineers, singers, and musicians could help bring his vision to life.

At 65, Macdonald found himself in an almost surreal moment, walking the streets of Boston, surrounded by young musicians from the Berklee School of Music. This led him to a recording studio where he witnessed the birth of his first song, "To Have and to Hold," a beautiful tribute to his sister's wedding.

This experience was initially intended to be a singular venture, a fulfillment of a promise. However, the discovery of music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music opened his eyes to new possibilities. With minimal investment, his song was suddenly available worldwide. The emotional response of his sister and her husband, hearing the song on Apple Music, was a profound moment, signaling to Macdonald that it was time to delve deeper into his musical talents.

His first album, aptly titled "To Have and To Hold," was an exploration of lifelong love, inspired by his 34-year marriage. The album was a concept piece, narrating a personal journey that resonated with universal themes of love and commitment. His venture into music continued to evolve, leading him into the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) genre for his second album, and a third album titled "Purpose" on the horizon.

In just a year and a half, Macdonald has written about 15 songs, each marking a step in his ongoing artistic evolution. His story is not just about music but a testament to the idea that it's never too late to pursue one's passions. With the release of his new song, "You Believe in You," at the end of February, Macdonald sends a powerful message: belief in oneself is paramount.

Andrew Macdonald's journey is a vivid illustration that life's second acts can be as fulfilling as its first, and sometimes even more so. His story inspires others to follow their dreams, regardless of age or life's circumstances, reinforcing the idea that it's never too late to embrace your passions.

My interview with Andrew Macdonald delves into his journey from a business career to embracing his passion for music later in life.

Early Influences and Deferred Dreams: Macdonald grew up influenced by the Beatles, Dan Fogelberg, and other artists like America and Genesis. Despite his early love for music, he never considered it as a career path, focusing instead on his natural leadership skills in business. Interestingly, he occasionally wrote down song ideas, which he revisited years later, sparking his interest in recording his own music.

Balancing Life and Latent Talents: While fully engaged in his career, pursuing a doctorate, and raising a family, Macdonald kept his musical aspirations on hold. He admitted that had he been aware of the modern music world earlier, he might have pursued his musical interests sooner. Music remained a latent dream, occasionally mentioned in conversations.

The Catalyst of Change: Writing a song for his sister's wedding was a pivotal moment for Macdonald. He experienced a profound realization in combining lyrics with music, which reignited his passion for songwriting.

Learning and Relearning Music: Later in life, Macdonald relearned guitar, initially following traditional methods. Balancing this with his other responsibilities, he focused on learning chords and eventually composing his own music.

First Recording Experience at 65: At 65, Macdonald's first recording session in Boston was a surreal experience. He found the music industry welcoming and was exhilarated by the new environment and processes.

Embracing Modern Music Distribution: Navigating the modern music distribution landscape, Macdonald used DistroKid to distribute his music, marveling at the ease of getting music onto platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. His marketing background helped him in promoting his music.

The Emotional Impact of Your Music: The emotional response of his sister and her husband to his song on Apple Music deeply touched Macdonald and motivated him to continue with music.

Concept Behind 'To Have and To Hold': His first album, 'To Have and To Hold,' is a concept album exploring the journey of lifelong love, drawing from his own 34-year marriage.

Exploring New Genres and Future Projects: Macdonald ventured into the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) genre with his second album. His faith plays a significant role in his music, and he enjoys connecting with people through it.

Advice for Balancing Creative Pursuits with Life's Demands: Macdonald advises others to assess their time usage and to commit to their creative pursuits, even if it means working in the late hours.

Reflections on Success and Personal Growth: He measures his success as an artist by his personal and artistic growth, enjoying the journey and the connections made through music.

Message to Aspiring Musicians and Late Bloomers: In his upcoming song 'You Believe in You,' Macdonald encourages others to pursue their passions, regardless of age, viewing it as an asset.

Overall, Andrew Macdonald's story is an inspiring tale of rediscovering and pursuing one's passions later in life, balancing multiple roles, and embracing new opportunities in the modern music landscape.

 Interview with Andrew Macdonald

Early Influences and Deferred Dreams:

Andrew, can you take us back to those early days when music was a budding interest for you? What kind of music influenced you as a young person, and how did it feel to set aside this passion for a career in business?

My earliest memories of music were the Beatles.  They had a massive impact on me.  Their sound resonated with me at a very early age.  In my teens, the music from Dan Fogelberg had a profound impact.  The depth of his lyrics and breadth of his music, such as the use of orchestration opened my ears to the possibilities.  Other influences would have been America, James Taylor, Springsteen (I went to college in New Jersey), CSN, Genesis.

In those days, I never thought of pursuing music as a career.  Also, I had natural leadership abilities and at that time, business seemed to be the best way to utilize that.   Interestingly, through all the years, I’d have a song idea in my head and would write it down.  I almost forgot I did that until I stumbled on them last summer.  I’m pleased to say they were good.  I think it would be cool to record one and that’s my plan. . . bring the past to the future.

Balancing Life and Latent Talents:

Throughout your career and personal life, how did you manage the persistent call of music? Were there moments when it was particularly challenging to keep your musical aspirations on hold?

Overall, it was not difficult because the career which I was fully enjoying kept my life very full, then pursuing a doctorate, and having three kids and all that comes with raising a family.  The idea of making music did not seem possible.  Of course, I was not fully aware of the new world of music we now live in.  Had I been, I would likely have done something sooner. 

Funny thing was when people would ask me what I wanted to be if not a Business Executive, I would say “singer and songwriter.”  They would laugh, and a part of me would as well. . . but not the whole part.  

The Catalyst of Change – The Wedding Song for Your Sister:

The song you wrote for your sister’s wedding seems to have been a pivotal moment for you. Could you describe the emotions and thoughts that led you to finally bridge the gap between writing lyrics and actually composing music?

It was an amazing experience to begin to play songs and then play around with different chord combinations, but that moment when I realized I could put the two together was like someone unlocked a closet door full of, in this case, music, that had been there for years.   It is hard to describe how I felt when I first played that song for myself, but I could almost sense something new was happening in me.  

Learning and Relearning Music:

You mentioned taking up the guitar later in life, after a long hiatus. What was that learning process like for you, especially as you balanced other responsibilities?

Not knowing any better, I took the traditional of learning notes, then chords etc.   I had an old “how to learn” guitar course I had purchased years back for one my sons.   It was the only alternative that I knew of and since my job required traveling about 50% of the time, taking lessons on a regular basis was not an option.  So, I stumbled along slowly learning.  It was painful.  Then I realized I just wanted to be able to play a few songs.  I think I read about “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” that was basically three chords.   That changed everything.   I began to learn more and more chords and more and more songs, and then I began composing my own.   

In terms of balance with all else, I earned my Master and Doctorate while having a demanding job, traveling a tremendous amount, and raising a family.  This took my time management skills to another level.  Finishing my doctorate in 2016 freed up a chunk of time where I could focus on learning to play.  I think with something like music you need time to just explore and experiment.  

First Recording Experience at 65:

Walking into a recording studio at 65 must have been quite an experience. Can you share more about your feelings and thoughts during that first recording session in Boston?

It was surreal.  I still think about it.  Of course, I was by far the oldest one there, but the studio people were/are awesome.   Spending most of my life around business executives/professionals, this was so different, and I felt really comfortable from the start.  Thus far, I have found this industry to be very welcoming.     

Of course, everything for me was a new experience, from the modern methods of recording, to singing into a microphone with headphones on, to the people, the industry language, the whole scene.  I could not believe it was happening and I was so happy. 

As an aside, I had not told anyone about this; my wife, kids, friends knew absolutely nothing.  This was mine.  I needed to do this for me.

Embracing Modern Music Distribution:

How did you navigate the modern landscape of music streaming and distribution? What challenges and surprises did you encounter in getting your music onto platforms like Spotify and Apple Music?

Certainly, without a compass.  I knew nothing so I had to ask a lot of questions, especially to those in this new world and do research.  I’m a learner and I love to learn knew things, so this came very naturally to me.

After I recorded the song, I was talking with the engineer, a young guy in his mid 20’s.  My only intention was to give this one song to my sister.  I only knew of the traditional big recording companies.  So I asked him, what do people like me usually do.  He told me about this company called “DistroKid.”   That was a game changer. 

I went home, did my research, and within a few hours my song had been uploaded to a few dozen platforms.   I don’t think the word “surprise,” could do that experience justice.  I was blown away.  I’m still “surprised” at how easy it is to get your music out there.

But like any product, getting it out there, and getting people to listen is a whole other challenge.  No doubt that has been the biggest challenge, but I have a lot of marketing background, albeit in different industries.   Learning the process, how to, the streaming world of music and so on has been the biggest challenge, but I’m patient and I’m learning.   It was only recently that I learned about the “Indie” world and that has been a cool experience.  You realize you’re not alone.  It’s very inspiring . . . comforting.

The Emotional Impact of Your Music:

When your sister heard your song on Apple Music, what was that moment like for you? How did her reaction influence your decision to continue with music?

Her and her husband’s reaction was very special and the feeling that words which I wrote and music which I composed, could elicit that level of emotion really touched my heart.  I knew right then that I had to pursue this.  I knew that there were so many more words and melodies that could be written which could make a difference.  

Concept Behind 'To Have and To Hold':

Your first album 'To Have and To Hold' is described as a concept album. Could you elaborate on the themes and stories that you chose to explore in this album?

The second song I wrote after “To Have and to Hold, “called “Empty,” was about a long standing marriage ending.  I had two other songs in the making and began to see a story evolve.  That’s when I learned about “concept” albums.  So, I began to write about the journey of lifelong love.  The album begins with a song called “The Search,” which explores the experience of a young man looking for that one.  The second song is the follow up called “When You Know.”  So they meet, fall in love, grow together (Pretty Things), get engaged (“Love Is), experience happiness (Happy) get married (To Have and To Hold), experience the strain of careers/work and the need to spend time (Just a Moment), then separation (Empty), but in the end come together (Full).  

I’ve been married for 34 years so I was able to draw on a lot of my own experience and emotions which I found to be very helpful.  It made the music very real for me.

Exploring New Genres and Future Projects:

You mentioned venturing into the CCM genre with your second album and working on a third album titled 'Purpose.' What inspires you to explore different genres and themes in your music?

Purpose’ was to be my next album.  After completing ‘To Have and To Hold,’ I knew I did not want to write more love songs.  I wanted to use music as an extension of my personal mission to create a better world.   While this album was still an idea, I was asked to be part of a newly formed band at my church who were going to sing CCM music.  I joined and it opened my eyes and ears to this whole new genre.   I think I wrote my first CCM song, “Who Am I,” in less than an hour, that’s how natural it came to me.   On February 14, I’ll be releasing my fourth CCM song, “Coming Home,” which draws from the parable of the Prodigal Son.    My faith is a very big part of my life, and CCM gives me the opportunity to connect with people on a whole other level.  

Advice for Balancing Creative Pursuits with Life's Demands:

What advice would you give to individuals who are struggling to balance their creative pursuits with the demands of their careers and personal lives?

Assess how you’re using your time.  Consider how much time you’re wasting that could be spent on something that might change your life and others as well.  Put a plan together and make a commitment to not letting yourself down.  You may only have the late hours of the day, after work, after the kids go to bed, after everything.  Carve out the time and push yourself.  It will be hard, and at times may seem not worth the effort but push through.   The only real failure in life is not trying.  In that case you failed yourself.  You don’t want that.  If you’re a person of faith . . . pray.

Reflections on Success and Personal Growth:

Looking back on your journey so far, how do you measure your success as an artist? What personal growth have you experienced through this journey?

In terms of success, as long as I’m growing and developing as a person and artist, I’m good.  I’m mostly interested in communicating with people through music.  I do not know where this is going, and I have no idea how long it will take, but I am thoroughly enjoying the music, the journey, and people as well.   

Just this week I walked into our church to attend something only to hear one of my songs playing.  I’m not sure it gets much better than that.

From a personal standpoint, I have had an amazing career.  Traveled the world, had so many incredible experiences, but this has allowed me to become something I’ve always been, but never allowed out.  It’s like a new life.  It’s awesome.

Message to Aspiring Musicians and Late Bloomers:

With a song like 'You Believe in You' set to release, what message do you hope to convey to others who might be hesitating to pursue their passions, particularly later in life?

This song has a great story.  It was never supposed to happen, much like my songwriting career.  The message in this song says it all.

In terms of “later in life,” that shouldn’t matter if you still have the talent and desire.  In fact, the older you are the more you know.  Consider age to be your greatest asset.  It just comes down to using it, and not being afraid to fail.   When life is done, I want to look back and say “I left it all on the field . . . .the field of life.     


Lyric Review "You Believe in You"

The lyrics of "You Believe in You" convey a powerful message of self-belief and resilience in the face of loneliness and adversity. The repetition of "Yes you’re all alone / But you keep on goin / Yea, don’t give up" emphasizes the theme of perseverance. This repetition serves not just as an affirmation to the subject of the song but also as a mantra that listeners can internalize.

The transformation from acknowledging solitude ("Nobody there for you / And you seem so all alone") to an empowering belief in oneself ("Because you believe that dreams / Come true / And you believe that you / Can do / Impossible things") is particularly striking. It suggests a journey from a place of isolation to a position of strength and self-confidence.

The phrase "Because you believe, believe, believe / In you" reinforces the central theme of self-belief. It's a powerful reminder that faith in oneself can be a driving force in overcoming challenges and achieving what might seem impossible.

Overall, these lyrics are inspirational, offering a message of hope and strength. They speak to the universal experience of feeling alone but also the incredible power of self-belief in changing one's circumstances and making dreams a reality.

Fictional Story based on the lyrics  "The Light Within"

Created by Indie Mastered

Copyright 2024 Andrew Macdonald

In the small, picturesque town of Willow Creek, there lived a young artist named Emily. Emily was known for her vibrant paintings that often featured the serene landscapes of her hometown. However, beneath her calm exterior, Emily battled feelings of loneliness and self-doubt. Despite her talent, she struggled to believe in herself and her art, feeling overshadowed by the more successful artists in her community.

One cold winter evening, as Emily sat in her modest studio, she heard the soft melody of a song drifting through her window. The lyrics spoke of perseverance and believing in oneself despite being alone. The words, "Yes you’re all alone / But you keep on going / Yea, don’t give up," resonated deeply with her.

Inspired, Emily began a new project, pouring her emotions into a canvas that depicted a lone figure standing at the edge of a cliff, looking out into a vast, star-filled sky. The figure, though solitary, stood tall and confident, embodying the spirit of the song's message. As she painted, Emily found herself internalizing the lyrics, "Because you believe that dreams / Come true / And you believe that you / Can do / Impossible things."

Days turned into weeks, and Emily's painting evolved into a masterpiece that captured the essence of hope and self-belief. She decided to showcase it at the local art fair, a decision that took every ounce of her newfound courage.

On the day of the fair, Emily's painting, now titled "The Light Within," drew an awe-struck crowd. Viewers were captivated by the way the figure in the painting seemed to emanate an inner light, symbolizing the power of belief in oneself. Among the crowd was a renowned art critic who was deeply moved by Emily's work. He wrote a glowing review, praising her unique talent and the emotional depth of her painting.

Emily's life began to change after that. She received invitations to exhibit her work in larger cities, and her paintings started to sell. But more importantly, she had found her inner light. She realized that the loneliness she once felt had transformed into a source of strength and creativity.

"The Light Within" became not just the title of her painting, but a mantra for her life. Emily learned that believing in oneself could turn the impossible into reality, a lesson she shared through her art. And whenever she felt doubt creeping in, she would hum the song that changed her life, remembering always to believe, believe, believe in herself.