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Ullapool teenaged musician Leah 'Mackenzie' Cunningham releases debut album titled 'Mix 11'

By Iona M.J. MacDonald

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Mackenzie's new album: Mix 11
Mackenzie's new album: Mix 11

A YOUNG musician from Ullapool has dropped her debut album after more than a year of hard work to realise her dream.

Leah Cunningham (18), who uses the stage name 'Mackenzie', recently released her self-financed record Mix 11.

The album, which features ten different tracks including 'iPad Lover' and 'Is it True?', has been in the making for the last year as she worked to produce it at The Wee Studio in Stornoway.

Leah, who is currently based in Ullapool, said: "I would jokingly write songs as a kid, but I was probably 14 when I was like 'maybe I should take this seriously'.

"I spent a lot of time writing songs just for me, but then I thought maybe I should share them. So I started doing covers on YouTube and then I posted some of my own songs. And then I found the studio in Stornoway.

"I always wrote songs with ideas of what to add, but I never had the equipment for it. I had a gap year and just thought 'why not make an album?'

"A lot of the songs I wrote two years ago and are inspired by the singers I would listen to when I was younger, like Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Dodie.

Leah 'Mackenzie' Cunningham, photo: Wilson Pirie
Leah 'Mackenzie' Cunningham, photo: Wilson Pirie

"The title of the album – 'Mix 11' actually came from a joke. My song iPad Lover, took 11 mixes to get it right and how I wanted it to sound, so the title was kind of an inside joke.

"'Five Letter Word' is my favourite song on the album, it's so funny, I also did a music video for that one too. But I also really like 'Arrogance' as well, it came out exactly as i wanted it to, which was really cool.

"On my gap year, as well as making the album I’ve also been travelling. I've been to Sicily, Morocco and then I went to Paris, and I'm also planning on going to Barcelona soon.

"It was a good balance between doing exciting things, making music, and then also working. I started the album a year ago in July, on and off going into the studio. I was paying for it all myself, so I would do a session, work, then do a session."

Leah 'Mackenzie' Cunningham, photo: Wilson Pirie
Leah 'Mackenzie' Cunningham, photo: Wilson Pirie

'Mix 11' is available to stream on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and SoundCloud.

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