Kevin MaC
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Kevin MaC

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"Local Rising Star is Polishing Up Album"

Everyone knows that country stars come out of Nashville, but it's beginning to look like one of the industry's next hot young things will be coming right out of Virginia Beach.

His name is Kevin MaC. If you live in town, you might have heard of him through 97.3 The Eagle, the FM country station here that has more or less adopted Kevin as its protege and next star.

"This is a kid that's got it," said John Shomby, program director at The Eagle. "You can feel it when he walks into the room."

Kevin MaC - born Kevin MacDonald - was raised in King George, a town just outside Fredericksburg. Citified Fredericksburg doesn't exactly call to mind the kind of environment where a young boy grows up playing the banjo and plucking the guitar, but if Keith Urban can come from Australia and master country music, then certainly a Virginia boy like MacDonald can get it right.

And besides, though King George isn't exactly Mississippi, it's not Los Angeles either, and growing up there gave MacDonald just the right amount of exposure to city life, country life and the gray areas in between.

"My grandmother's house was around 50 acres of cornfield," he said. "We're not talking Alabama backwoods 'Deliverance' country. It's like a farm town."

In his youth, friends and family would call Fredericksburg "town," which is where they'd go to hit up Walmart and the movies. After that, though, he'd come home to the quiet and the solace and the tractors of (relative) rural life.

Being situated between both ends of the spectrum - city and country - gave him a unique musical view. "I can deal with both of them," he said. "I'll always be country, but where I'm from, man, you can have a dude rolling in a pickup truck listening to Tim McGraw, and then the next track might be 50 Cent or Run-DMC. I can roll anywhere."

In fact, he's in the midst of a whirlwind tour of meetings with record label officials and recording artists from across the recording industry. He and his manager, Shaggy Stokes, the Z104-FM music director, were in Miami on Friday and New York on Monday to meet with and play for record label representatives. On Friday, it's off to Los Angeles to meet Jimmy Iovine, the head of Interscope Records, then Nashville. He's met with 50 Cent and Clive Davis, the record executive, producer and star-maker, and is scheduled to meet with Lil Wayne and Big Machine, which is Taylor Swift's label. That itinerary shows MacDonald's promise, and that the interest in him goes far beyond country music, Stokes said.

MacDonald's first brush with stardom came in elementary school, where the 6-year-old sang an Elvis song in front of classmates. "Everyone was going buck wild," he said. "I knew then I had to do this for the rest of my life."

By high school, MacDonald had learned to play piano, banjo, guitar and bass - all largely by attending "pickins" around town. Every Saturday night, as many as 300 people packed into a Ruritan club in King George, a space that was previously a church.

"Every Saturday we'd get up, have hot dogs and play. At a young age I was there headlining the show against people playing their whole life."

After graduation, he wanted to continue working at the radio station that had made him well known locally, but in keeping with his mom's wishes, he went to school. After earning an associate's degree in mass communications from Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg, he enrolled in Old Dominion University in 2006. "I went from a comfort zone where everyone knew who I was to moving back to square one. For the first couple of months, I was depressed."

He got a job offer at The Eagle, based in Virginia Beach. But he really wanted to keep playing music.

"I prayed on it," he said. "I said, 'Lord, if you want me to play music, I need to know.' " He turned on the radio just in time to hear an announcement about a Colgate Country Showdown - which would allow him a chance to open for Kenny Chesney. He saw a shooting star speed across the horizon.

He entered the contest. He won.

He started opening for acts including Martina McBride at local spots including the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater and The NorVa in Norfolk. Chesney liked MacDonald so much, he took him on the road with him.

"I went from sitting on top of a garage playing to playing the amphitheater with my heroes." (He says things like that, brilliant little sound bytes, all the time, which should give you an idea of how good a songwriter he is.)

Now Kevin MaC is polishing tracks for his yet-to-be-titled debut album and waiting to see whether he'll be working through any of the labels to release it. He's preparing a single for release next month and plans to shoot a video for CMT, the country music cable TV station.

With so much success already, who needs Nashville?

"I have nothing against Nashville," he said, "but industry people say to make a buzz where you're from first. Because if you can't make it in you -

"The Southern Sway Way with Kevin Mac"

Country music sprinkled with a dash of R&B and Hip-Hop.....Ever heard of that!? Maybe not, but there is a new country music sheriff in town and he goes by the name Kevin MaC! Meet the man behind this new style of Country music destined to make an impression in the Country music industry! And he is right here in Virginia!!!

Before a single note leaves his lips or one chord is strummed from his acoustic guitar, Kevin Mac convinces you to love him. His style is refreshing and honest. His words speak of love, heartache, happiness, and appreciating the small things while his fingers confirm that each song tells a story of the life he's lived by way of his guitar. Kevin has opened for industry heavy hitters Martina McBride, Phil Vassar, Darryl Worley and has gotten a nod from Kenney Chesney, who he also opened up for in some 2008 concerts. Kevin has also played for and impressed heavy hitters in different musical genres such as Pharrell Williams and Timbaland, who both are excited to lend a helping hand in Kevin's in musical journey. Kevin is now in the Studio with Music Legend Teddy Riley, working on some songs for Kevin's Album entitled "Southern Swag."

Born in King George County, VA, Mac was bred on country/bluegrass music and raised in the church. He began his career as a radio personality and deejay in Virginia, which led to opportunities for him to perform.

Spending time with Kevin MaC in a one on one interview offers a wonderful insight into his passion for country music and undeniable presence in the industry.

Who is Kevin Mac?

Kevin MaC is a Country Music Artist who lives/eats/breaths music. I appreciate all types of music and a "serious artist" who writes, and performs their music to make an audience listening believe what their music is saying. Amazing Music makes people get away from reality and that's what Kevin MaC's goal in his musical journey is, to make people feel good, even if it is only for a 3 min song. I write/perform/play all my music and believe in working my music in the small bars/clubs for common hardworking people is just as important as when i play my music in the coliseums, as an unsigned artist I play both.

How would you describe your music? And do you write your own music?

My music is acoustic rooted with heavy bouncy drum and bass section. I like the idea of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and all sorts of bluegrass instruments being mixed with a hip-hop drum machine to make country music that is different. I write and own all my music.

You are crossing boundaries in Country music by collaborating with various artists and producers of other genres. Tell us about some of your projects.

I am re-doing "no diggity" with Teddy Riley (country version).... Working on some records with industry producer, Bink and other heavy hitters in the hip-hop industry who are on the Kevin MaC team. Every person helping me with my music is not even in the country music genre. I can play country music "old/new/bluegrass" till the cows come home, different styles/genres and sounds attract me towards new projects. I have SOOOOO much respect for country music, it's my life. I'm just trying to be creative.

Who are your musical influences?

Guys like Eric Church/Keith Urban/ Brad Paisley/ Vince Gill = country artist who Write/Play guitars/Sing all their own songs......Pharrell Williams/ Timbaland= Guys who work with everyone to stay creative and always show the love of their craft. REAL artists Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis and all the other outlaw artists who people looked at like they were crazy because they did things outside of the box. People who stay in the box make records, people who step out of the box make history.

What artists do you want to work with in the future?

Chris Brown, Jordan Sparks, Jason Mraz, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Jack Johnson, Miley Cyrus, Eric Church

What has been your biggest challenge as a rising artist?

Just always remember if you are an artist "talk is cheap;" people saying they are going to do something and they don't do it. I'm a country boy, and when I say I will do something I stick to my word. Some people in this industry act like they can make moves, but they don't. I don't play music for anyone but myself, God, and the people who want to hear it. I ain't trying to shove my music down peoples throat, If people wanna hear my music and are drawn to it, those are the people who make me say at the end of the show "this is why I play music" for people who tell me it makes their day, they love one of my songs for this reason. Isn't that why people listen to different artists? Music is not a fad, it's life.

"Always remember why you started playing music in the first place. Cause its fun" -Kevin MaC

Where can fans see your performance?

I play at Saddleridge in Hampton, VA every Friday and Saturday from 6-9pm and I have a big show at the Hampton Coliseum on Jan 29th, 2011.

W -


9 Pac - 2012



Singer, songwriter and guitarist Kevin MaC wins audiences over immediately as he explodes on stage with his exuberant personality. Although his roots are in country music and his original music is decidedly country, Kevin is far from a one-trick pony; he loves to surprise audiences with his own spin on hip hop, classic rock and sometimes even a boy band hit or two. Equally at home performing any of these genres, Kevin coined the term “Southern Swag” to describe his unique brand of music. According to Kevin, “Southern Swag is a cool country sound where hip-hop and country styles combine to create a fresh, sexy vibe.”

Kevin has opened for industry heavy hitters Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Phil Vassar, Darryl Worley, Trace Adkins, Colt Ford, LeAnn Rimes, Kip Moore, The Band Perry, Missy Elliott, Blacksreet, T. Mills, Timbaland, J. Cole and Ashanti. He re-recorded a "Southern Swag" version of the 1990s hit "No Diggity" with mega producer Teddy Riley, and he has written and collaborated with some of the most accomplished songwriters in the business, including hitmakers for Rascal Flatts, Diamond Rio, Beyonce, Britney Spears and The Statler Brothers. Lately Kevin has been writing songs with Keith Urban’s bass player, Jerry Flowers, to pitch to legendary Nashville record producer Dann Huff.