Mackenzie Shivers
Gig Seeker Pro

Mackenzie Shivers

New York, NY, USA | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

New York, NY, USA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Folk Pop




"Mackenzie Shivers Tingles Spines with “Tell Me to Run”"

The first 15 seconds of Shivers’ “Tell Me to Run” would make for a very well fit intro…or outro…to the latest horror-binge watch. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear this track on the next thriller movie soundtrack. Closing credits, anyone?

Shivers began writing music when she was four years old and piano lessons started shortly afters. She received a degree in music composition from the Blair School of Music where she studied piano, voice, and orchestration. Shivers’ experiences and natural talent shines throughout her first album (Neverland in 2014) and it will definitely be loud and clear on September 2nd with her sophomore release, Living in My Head.

“Tell Me to Run” shines toward the end of the upcoming release. A simple, piano drive melody sets the scene for this folk rock song. Shivers was inspired by Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village which used to be a graveyard. The park’s eerie history created an idea in Shivers’ head- maybe ghosts are wandering around the city. - Elmore Magazine

"Rookies on the Rise"

Mackenzie Shivers: Living in My Head EP

New York singer-songwriter Mackenzie Shivers started writing music when she was four years old and started piano lessons when she was five. She received a degree in music composition, while studying piano, voice and orchestration.

Releasing her first album Neverland in 2014, Mackenzie played in a handful of New York-based bands, plying her craft. Her follow-up release Living in My Head is powerful, showcasing her Celtic-inspired piano-driven folk. Living in My Head is due out September 2 2016 and portrays the joys and struggles of the city, as well as a new marriage.

Here's one of the tracks off the EP - 'Lily Rose' - Rob Dickens, No Depression

"Mackenzie Shivers–celtic folk-pop, telling stories and living freely"

You should listen to this girl. She made me smile, caught my attention in just seconds. She is a good remedy for a cloudy Tuesday in December. I felt very alive when I went outside this morning. The wind was gentle, the temperature was just cold enough to make me aware, but not cold enough to freeze my soul. The sky was full and active. I spent a while standing outside of my car, watching the clouds rushing past me, making me feel infinitely small. Then I went to work and I love my job, but…you know how those Tuesdays go.

Mackenzie Shivers caught me in the opening notes of her premier album, Neverland. The first song is the kind that you don’t find often enough. Shivers sings acapella, only a clapping beat and a second, harmonic voice helping her draw the picture of two people running off to dance, and wander, and discover. “Hey, Marie, come follow me. Follow me down to the sea. We’ll dance until our bones don’t ache, love until our hearts can’t break.” This carefree life looks like sunshine from where I’m sitting. The voices are carefree and beautiful.

The transition into “Nothing to Fear” seems a bit harsh at first. The starkness of a song sung without instruments is made very clear when a piano is heard. But as soon as the vocals begin, it seems perfect. This song is only the next part of the story, the part where life has worries and cares but we can put them aside because of the other humans who bring us joy.

I love the piano. Those musky, mellow tones really make this album what it is, they are the perfect companion to Shivers’ bright soprano voice. “Neverland” is another song about love, about falling into life and companionship with another human, about learning to keep each other company, give each other hope. The lyrics are lofty and dynamic, handing you photographs, offering you glimpses into scenes of life.

Each of these songs sounds familiar. The piano is nostalgic, Shivers’ voice is timeless. It soars like a bird and hums like a dragonfly. Sometimes it sounds like strings and sometimes like woodwind. “Neverland” is a perfectly curated album. It gave me chills all the way through. It was a lifetime of youth sung by the voice that has lived it, and seen it, and heard the stories about it. I cannot wait to hear more from Mackenzie Shivers. If you live in or around New York City–go see her live and tell me about it. Thank you. - EartotheGround Music

"Isabel's CMJ Day 2: Mackenzie Shivers, Lance Breakfast, Kenyon Phillips & The Ladies in Waiting, and Cardiknox"

My second night of CMJ started at DROM in the East Village. The lineup consisted it three NYC-based artists: Mackenzie Shivers, Lance Breakfast, and Kenyon Phillips & The Ladies in Waiting. Shivers started the night at the piano. Her music can be classified as folk pop, but listening closely, both country and celtic influences animate her melodies. During her track, “Fourth of July,” Shivers' voice, harmonizing with another singer, swamped the venue in a sound that was emotional and authentically beautiful. She was also the pianist for the next two acts: Lance Breakfast stepped onto the stage wearing an NYU t-shirt and strumming on a baby blue guitar - or was that an electric Ukulele? Breakfast’s music floated between genres. His voice, gruff and weighty, suggested folk, but his band's instrumentation, which was clear, organized, and hard-hitting, leaned towards rock n’ roll and blues. Although most of his tracks were consistently up-tempo, I appreciated Breakfast’s slower, quieter, moments. It was only then I could hear his lyrics. Progressing through the night, each act amped up the volume and tempo. So, by the time Kenyon Phillips & The Ladies in Waiting hit the stage, the audience was ready for some punch. Phillips commanded the stage with wide-eyed theatricalism; while watching him sing track “Born to Be Famous” I couldn't help but think that he made a good case for it. Towards the end the night, I headed west to The Studio at Webster Hall. Up next was Cardiknox, (pictured, who recently moved from NYC to LA) and it was the most fun set of the night. Lead singer, Lonnie Angle, bounced around the stage, and her performance energized me and the audience. Angle’s singing is ethereal and amplified by backup vocals, but there is nothing dreamy about Cardiknox. Almost midnight, Angle yelled into the microphone, “Let’s keep fucking doing this.” Their synth-driven anthems were so energetic and empowering, no one at Webster Hall was wishing they were asleep. - Deli Magazine

"Mackenzie Shivers "Orphan Song" - Exclusive Free Download From Her Album 'Neverland'"

Mackenzie Shivers was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, but is now a staple of the New York City music circuit. She began writing music at the age of four and studied classical piano at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music in Nashville, where she earned a degree in music composition and theory. From there she honed her craft into the folk-pop sound she has today. She's often compared to Joni Mitchell and '90s-era Jewel, but her piano-driven songs are very much her own style.

Her latest album, Neverland, was influenced by not only those aforementioned artists but also by old Celtic tunes, folk ballads, and hymns, giving the effort an eclectic feel rooted in storytelling. It also showcases her mastery of piano and her impressive vocal skills. The effort was produced by Eshy Gazit, who has worked with artists such as The Roots and Phoenix.

To celebrate the new album, Shivers is giving Music Times readers an exclusive free download of her single "Orphan Song."

"This is my favorite track off the album because of all the instrumental layering, it's the only time on the album where the French horn is used," she told us.

We agree. The song is definitely a standout. It feels timeless and expansive with its beautiful piano melodies, layered harmonies, and emotional delivery.

Neverland is now available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon. - Music Times

"Mackenzie Shivers - "Neverland" (album stream) (Premiere)"

Following PopMatters’ July premiere of New York City singer/songwriter Mackenzie Shivers’ ballad “4th of July”, you can stream her new album, Neverland, in its entirety below. Like “4th of July”, Neverland showcases Shivers' vocal and piano skills. The gospel flourishes in Shivers’ piano playing heighten the record’s emotional range; this music is ideal to listen to while walking through paths and roads lined with the orange leaves of fall.

Shivers says to PopMatters about the album, “The songs in Neverland largely center on coping with loss and what the word ‘home’ means to people. I think the concept of home can shift as we grow older. Is it defined by where we come from, where we live now, or simply by the people we hold dear?”

That’s a question you’ll have to find out for yourself after listening through the graceful tunes of Neverland. - Pop Matters

"New York Songwriter Mackenzie Shivers Makes a Lasting Impact With "Éire""

Born and raised in Tampa, FL, Mackenzie Shivers lives up to her last name as she engenders that feeling whenever listening to her music. Shivers began playing piano at age four and started writing songs at age five. Represented by Andreadis Agency, Shivers began modeling at age 14 and landed her first gig as the “Girl in White” in Phil Collins’ music video “Strangers Like Me.”

On top of all that, Mackenzie earned her degree in music composition and theory from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School Of Music. A proud member of SAG-AFTRA Shivers also works in TV and film and has made her most recent appearance on Law and Order: SVU.
In 2010, she started singing harmonies and playing piano with singer/songwriter Sam Saffery. When Sam went on to play with another band Shivers took her chance to start writing her own music again and play solo shows where she gained a lot of traction in the NYC scene.

Her latest single, “Éire”, is intimate slow burner which features impactful keys and Shivers’ elegant vocals. Listen to the track below. - Speak Into My Good Eye

"Mackenzie Shivers: Welcome to Neverland"

This was an interview that almost didn’t happen.

Last week, I was looking for music to play while subbing for Steve Klinge on WVUD‘s All Tomorrow’s Parties, when I discovered Neverland, an album by Mackenzie Shivers.

The first track, “Hey Marie,” was a fun invitation to follow the singer, a modern version of a calling on song, if you will. I found I was rocking along with the second track, “Nothing to fear,” while noticing how the lyrics painted the relationship between the singer and her guy. By the time I got to the third track, “Eire,” I was hooked. Three songs. Three different moods!

All the lyrics on Neverland are interesting and well-crafted. Mackenzie’s voice can soar above the music or fit in as part of an ensemble sound, expressing a variety of emotions and feelings as she varies her voice’s tone and volume. The songs have different orchestrations and vibes. Sometimes lush and hopping, sometimes spare and introspective. Sometimes building up, sometimes with different instruments coming and going to emphasize the emotions in the song or to comment on the lyrics, if you will. Sometimes the songs are celebratory, sometimes wistful–almost intimate, like someone taking you into her confidence. And I realized that the piano work was some of the best I’ve heard in pop or alternative music in a long time.

By now I was convinced I had to try to get this artist on The Music Room. So I went out to Mackenzie Shivers website to find her contact info…. Poking around, I learned that she was the pianist. And no wonder the piano and the arrangements were so good–she’d studied piano and composition at Vanderbilt University. And no wonder her voice is so expressive–she’s an actress, too.

We got things all set on the 28th to go live that night. Cool.

6:10pm, I tested the phone line. All loud and clear. Got on the air at 6:30, started playing “4th of July,” and the phone line into the board didn’t work. I started scrambling around, trying to make things work, and then Mackenzie Shivers, trouper that she is, called the station. I put her on speaker phone, moved a mic over the speaker, and the show went on!

She talked about how her songs are often a way that she works through a sense of loss, for example, if someone close to her passed away, or her sister moved to the left coast. But we also had a blast talking about a rock opera she just appeared in, her songwriting, her appearance in a Phil Collins video when she was a teenager, incidental music she’s written and writing for live theater plays, the differences between singing your own songs on stage, performing in a play, or being part of a musical cast.

Check out our conversation at the link below. This was an interview that almost didn’t happen. But I’m very glad it did…. - WVUD Radio

"Featured Artist: Mackenzie Shivers"

As I sit here writing about the talented singer/songwriter Mackenzie Shivers, she’s probably living up to the Celtic influence found in her music, getting married in what I can imagine is a beautiful, traditional Irish wedding over there in the Emerald Isle. The Tampa, Florida raised piano-driven pop artist is now NYC-based, but she cut her teeth on the Nashville scene while attending (and graduating from) the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Jumping from Nashville to New York has helped fuel even more inspiration for the green-eyed Shivers, resulting in a wonderful new collection that showcases her prowess vocally and on the piano, a record titled Neverland.

When we spoke with Mackenzie, we dived deeper into the inspiration behind this debut album, and her single, “Orphan Song”. She told us, “Since this is my first album, I wanted the focus to be on the songwriting, so most of the arrangements stay quite simple and raw. ‘Orphan Song’ is an exception with its heavier instrumental layering and harmonies. I am really happy with how all the tracks came out, and all the songs really came from a place of passion.” As we mentioned before, Shivers is tying the knot overseas, but when she returns, she’ll be going full-bore in support of Neverland, including a show at Rockwood 3 on April 20th. Click to to prepare and keep up. But first, keep reading – there’s so much more to learn in all the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: Mackenzie Shivers (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Mackenzie Shivers (MS): I’d describe the music in Neverland as piano driven-folk pop with a Celtic soul. I think the piano is what makes my sound different from other folk artists who inspire me.

PEV: Calling New York home, what kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

MS: I grew up listening to the Beatles, Motown hits, James Taylor, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and so many more. The first concert I remember going to was Shawn Colvin in Tampa. My mom took me for my thirteenth birthday. “Sunny Came Home” was my favorite song!

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like?

MS: The first show I played was actually in Nashville. I was in college, and a friend from songwriting class and I played a venue that had two wonderful pianos. We each sat at a piano and took turns playing our songs. A group of my sorority sisters came to cheer us on! It was really fun.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Mackenzie Shivers show?

MS: Sometimes it’s just me and the piano, and sometimes I’m lucky enough to have Yuka Tadano on upright bass and Cody Rahn on drums. It’s usually intimate and I try to throw in some backstories here and there.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?

MS: Take your time and breathe!

PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?

MS: I learn a lot about new songs I’m writing when I play them in front of an audience. I can really tell if something is working or not by playing it live and getting some feedback.

PEV: What was your underlying inspiration for becoming a musician?

MS: I’m not sure it was so much an inspiration as something just ingrained in me. I started playing the piano when I was four and writing when I was five, so it’s been part of me from an early age.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

MS: I think about it a lot! My journey here has involved piano lessons and studying music at Vanderbilt, but it’s also involved acting in theatre and film, traveling, falling in and out of love, and deciding to move to NYC. Every choice I’ve made, even if it hasn’t directly involved music, has shaped what I’m doing today.

Mackenzie Shivers 5unnamedPEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

MS: I’m getting married in Ireland next month!

PEV: What do you do when you hit a brick wall in your writing? What are some methods to get over that?

MS: I find new artists I like. It’s a thrilling feeling to connect with another artist and draw inspiration from their work. It happens to me a lot, usually when I’m listening to an album on my subway commute. Something will just click and I will get a new idea for a lyric or musical arrangement.

PEV: How do you think the industry has changed over the years, since you started out?

MS: I interned at Sony Music here in NYC when I was nineteen, and then you pretty much had to be signed with a record label to get your music out there. That certainly isn’t the case now. As an independent artist, I get to keep ownership of my songs, and that’s empowering.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest LP, Neverland featuring the single, “Orphan Song”? What was the writing process like for this album?

MS: Since this is my first album, I wanted the focus to be on the songwriting, so most of the arrangements stay quite simple and raw. “Orphan Song” is an exception with its heavier instrumental layering and harmonies. I am really happy with how all the tracks came out, and all the songs really came from a place of passion.

PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

Mackenzie Shivers unnamed-1MS: I’ve never played in Europe! I’d love to do a European tour – maybe start with Scotland and Ireland since I am so inspired by the music there.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

MS: They have been incredibly supportive and encouraging. I am lucky to have friends and family who believe in me.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

MS: Wedding planning. Or catching up on Orphan Black.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

MS: Sufjan Stevens. I just saw his show “Round-Up” at BAM and was in awe. I love what he does with percussion and think he’s an innovative songwriter and composer. His Christmas albums are a Shivers family staple around the holidays!

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

MS: Australian singer/songwriter Caitlin Harnett! Her album The River Runs North is beautiful – very Joni Mitchell meets Laura Marling.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what would you do for a career?

MS: I’d work more behind the scenes and be a producer. Learning more about sound engineering, mixing, and producing is something I’m very interested in right now.

PEV: So, what is next for Mackenzie Shivers?

MS: Well I’m off to tie the knot in a few weeks, but when I come back I’ll be playing a show at Rockwood 3 April 20th 7:30pm with the Brooklyn-based band Bellehouse!

For more information, click to - Pen's Eye View

"Listen to Mackenzie Shivers' Single "Nothing to Fear""

Mackenzie Shivers is a Florida born, New York based, piano tinkling folk singer and her new track “Nothing to Fear” is definitely worth a share. Taken from her upcoming album Neverland, “Nothing to Fear” reminds me of the 90s folk pop of Jewel tempered with a healthy dose of Joni Mitchell. - Timber and Steel

"The Fantastic Neverland of Mackenzie Shivers"

It happens sometimes. You hear a record and you dive in fantasy in a few seconds. The music is so powerful it leads you to your own dreams and let be honest, it feels great.

Mackenzie Shivers, a singer-pianist-songwriter from New York City got the precious talent to do such a thing. In twelve songs from her record Neverland, she guides us in a dreamland. According to her powerful and evocative melodies, she transforms our reality into a big bed made out of a cloud where we happily lay down, close our eyes, and enjoy the moment.

The reason of this magic ? It’s actually pretty hard to tell. Maybe it’s the talent Mackenzie got to play piano, a result of a successful classical music scholarship, or maybe it’s just her wonderful, reassuring, voice. But it would be far from complete without mentioning the strong part played by the upright bass which builds a round and smooth atmosphere along with the participation of subtle and well-used drums.

Mackenzie Shivers explained to PopMatters that “home” and “coping with loss” are the main themes of this record. We can feel some kind of a cocoon in her music that match perfectly with the chosen subjects and it makes those common themes quite specials in the way we feel them under the skin. Like Peter Pan’s world, this Shiver’s Neverland is a faeric place to let your mind wander.

Thus, open your ears and you’ll be welcomed in Neverland, a warm, comfortable and precious place for any heart, lonely or wounded, to cure. But if you’re not in this case, don’t be afraid and let you be embraced anyway.

Take a look at her website : - American Music Route

"Interview with Mackenzie Shivers"

A while back our editor Cynthia Lam got a chance to asked the adorable folk singer MacKenzie Shivers a few questions. Check out our interview with below.

1. How has getting a degree in music composition and theory helped in your musical career?

It’s wonderful, because I can apply my music lessons to my songwriting. I’ll be recording a part on the organ, and I’ll remember the part writing rules I learned in my first theory class. I think that when you know the rules, you can have more creative freedom.

2. Your new single “4th of July” is wonderful! How did the song come to be and and what was the writing and recording process like?

Thank you! I wrote that song after my sister moved from New York to California. We are very close, and it was hard not knowing when we’d see each other next. We decided we’d be able to see each other on Veterans Day, but I changed it to 4th of July in the song. The recording process was amazing, because I think the other instruments added so much. I love what Stephen Chopek did on the drums!

3. You are also an actress – do you find it difficult to balance that career with your musical one?

I do. Right now I’m really focusing on music and putting my efforts into the album, which I’m very excited about. But I’ve always believed that honing your skills in one art form will enhance another. I think my experiences as an actor have helped me be a better musician, and vice versa. So even though it can be difficult, I to try to balance it as much as I can.

4. How is the NYC music scene like? What is your favourite/least favourite thing about it?

It’s challenging and exciting. The audiences never cease to amaze me with their receptiveness and warmth. It can be scary playing in front of people whether they’re friends or strangers. But whenever I play a show in NYC, the audiences are usually quite attentive and encouraging. However, I wish more of the intimate venues had pianos!

Check out Mackenzie’s debut LP “Neverland” Now out on iTunes! - Stitched Sound

"Exclusive Free Download: New York Songwriter Mackenzie Shivers Shares the Story of "Eilean Donan""

We’ve featured talented New York-based singer-songwriter Mackenzie Shivers before, and the artist has been kind enough to offer her latest single, “Eilean Donan”, as a free download for SIMGE readers. According to Shivers:

“‘Eilean Donan’ has a cool backstory – it’s the name of a castle in Scotland that was the original fortress of Clan Mackenzie. I went to visit a few years ago, and my mom went to visit with her parents 40 years before that.”

The cello employing track relays a specific memory about a close friend that is “like family”. Snag your free download of Mackenzie Shivers’ “Eilean Donan” below and look for more from the artist here. - Speak Into My Good Eye

"People That Matter: Mackenzie Shivers"

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Shivers began playing piano at age four and started writing songs at age five. Represented by Andreadis Agency, Shivers began modeling at 14 and landed her first gig as the "Girl in White" in Phill Collins music video "Strangers Like Me." Mackenzie earned her degree in music composition and theory from Vanderbilt University's Blair School Of Music. A proud member of SAG-AFTRA Shivers also works in TV and film and has made her most recent appearance on Law and Order: SVU. In 2010, she started singing harmonies and playing piano with singer/songwriter Sam Saffery. When Sam moved on to join the band Bird Courage, Shivers took her chance to start writing her own music again and push she needed. Mackenzie currently resides in NYC playing at music venues such as Rockwood 1, Googies, The Bitter End, Bowery Electric, and Cafe Vivaldi.

Shivers is ready to release the second track "Love Her with Freedom" which can be streamed off her upcoming album Neverland. The track features a flowing piano melody with light instrumentation, while Mackenzie's soft but sure vocals keeps the song steady.

Check out "Love Her with Freedom" HERE

To hear and learn more about Mackenzie Shivers go to:
Mackenzie Shivers
Facebook - Revolution Three Sixty


Still working on that hot first release.



At a young age, Mackenzie told her mom that she had music inside her “that needed to come out.” Her mother would check in on her at night to find her fingers playing the piano in her sleep. She wrote her first song as a four-year-old. At eight years old she would go to the movies and come right home to figure out the score on the piano. Always at the mercy of the muse inside, Shivers has continued honing her craft ever since. This included a degree in music composition from Vanderbilt University, which also gained her access to Nashville’s vibrant country scene.

Though she’s lived in NYC for over eight years, Shivers’ music reflects many different landscapes. The Tampa-born artist with the Celtic soul underpins her classical training with an emotional essence that results in a full-bodied sound. You can hear it all, from the influence of the South, where she spent her childhood years visiting family in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, to the Irish and Scottish heritage which lends her music a distinctly Celtic flavor.

Her new EP Living in My Head represents the challenge of stepping outside yourself and living in the present world, and it’s a theme that is matched by the music. There’s an adventurous spirit to the record which sees Shivers expand upon her traditional influences, such as The ChieftainsElton John, and Joni Mitchell and embellish them with the richness of Florence and the Machine. Listening to it leaves you in no doubt that you’ve entered the vibrant and imaginative world of its creator.

As with all true artists, Shivers’ sound is both constantly evolving yet instantly recognizable. With Living in My Head, the starlet has recorded a collection of songs which will leave a lasting impression on every listener.

Band Members