New Zealand born singer/songwriter, Fraser MacKenzie, is a self-taught musician
influenced by blues, rock, funk and flamenco.
Read below to trace his story back to the beginning…
Mack returned to Australia for six months, focusing most of his time on a very successful tour in Western Australia.
Time in Australia included several interviews on local radio stations like ABC Radio Midwest & Wheatbelt with 'The Man Under The Hat' and the Spirit 98.1 Geraldton with Tony Turner. Mack also joined 'Dancing Brolgas Music' as a tutor and mentor, supporting aspiring musicians develop skills in building and sustaining a career in the music industry. On return to Aotearoa, he continued as a tutor via online sessions.
Making the most of Western Australia's beautiful environments, he enlisted the help of a close friend to film him singing his originals in various locations, including the beautiful beaches and the historic Oakabella Homestead.
Upon his return to Aotearoa New Zealand, Mack edited and mixed four of the videos (Misty, India, Red to Fade and Can You Play As Good As Me?). They were then released on his YouTube channel - one every month, as well as being uploaded as MP3s to streaming services.
Mack developed a showcase of his performances as word of his unique and captivating performances spread. "Quick Clips" is a playlist of over 30 minute-or-less tasters.
He also took his music to Australia for the first time, entertaining audiences from Brisbane, down to Melbourne and right across to Perth.
He reached his goal of playing over 100 gigs in a year
(achieving it across both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand).
Mack had been part of several bands (as well as playing solo). His finely tuned acoustic playing made for an excellent lead guitar.
However, in 2017, band members moved to different parts of the country or refocused their music priorities. And so did Mack, releasing a self-recorded acoustic EP, Red to Fade, featuring his increasingly popular song, 'Boy from Appalachia'.
This was also the year Mack ventured in to the music scene in the nation's capital, Wellington City.
'The Boss' came to Aotearoa New Zealand this year and Mack was inspired by Bruce Springsteen's live performances and the amazing connection he made with his audiences.
Mack had always loved the relationship between himself, his music and the people he played for, but now really focused on the connections with his audiences - both as an acoustic solo artist and as lead electric and vocalist in his own rock band, BOWYANG.
Comprising of friends Ella on bass, Matty C on drums and brother Rory on rhythm guitar, BOWYANG played a mix of classic rock covers, a few more recent 'hits' and some of Mack's originals.
Local covers band Soul Funkin' What! had a penchant for complex musical arrangements, such as Steely Dan's work and Mack was pleased to be asked to join them as lead guitar and back-up vocals.
Releasing a 30 second teaser on facebook at the start of 2016 helped Mack's online presence to grow.
In his downtime he continued work on his originals.
This was the year that Mack began performing in public on a regular basis. Gigging in a range of places in Hawkes Bay, from dedicated 'live music' venues (like The Common Room and The Cabana) through to cafes and wineries, Mack and his audiences developed a synergy that compelled people to stay for 'just one more song', and made it impossible for Mack to finish with his scheduled last song - often staying on for several encores.
Busking brings a uniquely unpredictable live audience and Mack enjoyed several of these outdoor opportunities too.
Mack worked on his own material and in 2014 released his first EP, Acoustic Equinox. This led to Mack's first radio interview with UK station, Rock Radio. The host, Mike Watkins, had heard his EP, and once time-zones were sorted, Mack, his influences (which vary widely - including Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Katzenjammer and Bruce Cockburn), his thoughts and his music were presented to the UK audience as "New Zealand's best kept secret".
Later in the year, he was also interviewed for a show called "Made in New Zealand" on local radio.
Mack created and released his first YouTube video, which was made in his parents wool-shed in rural Hawkes Bay.
“Feather” was the first original he performed in a public gig of his own later that year.
Mack first picked up a guitar at age 16. Finding his growing passion for acoustic guitars and music defined him, he began his career in the provincial towns of Hastings and Napier in Aotearoa New Zealand. Mack successfully entered a few competitions, with originals 'Stay Here', 'Feather' and 'Dreams of Crying', as well as trying out busking and playing at private functions.