Fiona Mackenzie: Singer Songwriter

Fiona is a singer songwriter.

For me, someone who cannot sing a note and has been banned by my family from dancing in public, this seems like a very glamourous life and so I was really interested in hearing Fiona’s story.

“I am not yet fully professional but with my debut album due for release at the end of March, this is a really exciting time. At the moment my day job is as an engineer and it is really hard work combining the two lives.”

“Most lunchtimes are spent contacting, or trying to contact, venues for gigs. Lunchtimes are the only times I have free to do this but lunchtimes are typically a busy time for most venues and so it can be difficult to contact the person you need to speak to. It can take many phone calls just to make the right connection and more to confirm a booking. All of this takes time. And finding new venues is time-consuming too, even with access to the internet.”

“I have to be really, really well-organised, just like in running any other business. I keep contact sheets so that I know who I have spoken to, when I spoke to them, what the outcome was and when I need to contact them again.”

“Venues can be very different. In some I book the space and pay a fee. It is then up to me to produce and sell tickets, do any publicity that is needed and engage musicians. I always use professional musicians and so they too have to be booked and paid.”

“Other venues will engage musicians to play at particular events or on particular days. I get work this way as I am now pretty well known and respected as a musician but gigs rarely land in your lap. I have to be in regular contact with these venues to make sure that they know that I am available and when I am available.”

“Access to good venues is the key to success and traditional venues like The Jazz Bar that book and pay musicians are getting harder to find. And while I can sing acoustic sets, with just me and my guitar, most bookings are for me and a group of musicians so that restricts the venues too. I tend to go for Arts Centres and the like where there is plenty of room for both musicians and audience.”

Fiona’s album is entitled “Shoebox Memories” and will be released by Cadiz Music on the 28th March. The album launch party is on 9th April at The Bongo Club in Edinburgh. Her website address is and while this isn’t fully running yet it will be really soon so please drop by.

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