While his current project Honest Love is still going strong, Mackey is working on his first follow-up, full-length album, due out in February 2014. “My next album is about putting aside all fears of saying the wrong thing,” he explains. “It’s about putting the rose colored glasses on the floor and smashing them with your foot, and feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable." Early standouts on the project include "Maintenance Man,” "Philadelphia", "Are You Listening","The Day" and "Rich Hearts Lullaby."
Mackey is busy recording his first full-length album, "Broken Heartstrins" in Nashville, TN with his long-time producer Sam Ashworth, who produced his Honest Love EP, as well as several other songs on his "Red EP".
Some of Music City’s finest singer/songwriter/musicians have joined Brian on his projects: producer/singer/songwriter Sam Ashworth, son of songwriter and producer Charlie Peacock (Civil Wars, Switchfoot, Amy Grant) and Six Pence None The Richer’s guitarist Matt Slocum. On his upcoming album, "Broken Heartstrings", famed guitarist Jeff King (Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood) and bass player, Mark Hill (Keith Urban, Reba McEntire) both recorded with Mackey.
Honest Love is Mackey’s third EP. His first EP, Feng Shui for Slobs, was released in 2008 and the second was Brian Mackey Red released in 2009. Brian's first EP, Feng Shui for Slobs, garnered the placement of "Painted Red" on the Disney TV show, Naturally Sadie, a milestone achievement for his first EP.
According to Mackey’s manager Beth Slocum, “Brian’s new songs are about going somewhere he hasn't really gone before publicly, saying the truth that others are afraid to say, and all the while, sharing his own life experiences.”
“Honest Love gave me a little spark that lit the fuse that's blowing up into something that I really feel this time around,” elaborates Mackey. “When you strike a balance between thought and emotion, then you have something that translates to others.”
Honest Love was so well received that songs from the project were featured on Viso Music, US Airways In-Flight Radio, and the Songs of Love for Japan compilation, alongside stars like Sara Bareilles and Ani DiFranco. Mackey was also recently selected as a SuperCuts® Rock the Cut Artist Ambassador.
Mackey’s songs, including “Color Blue” and “Honest Love,” have also been sought out for use in motion pictures The Boys of Abu Ghraib, starring Sara Paxton (Last House on the Left) and Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings); 29,000 Wishes, 1 Regret, directed by Oliver Robins (Poltergeist); Fake; and Fathoms Deep. "Honest Love" also garnered some advertising and TV placements: Unicef's "Live Below the Line" campaign, and "Out on the Road" in Travel Channel's, "The Layover" with Anthony Bourdain.
“'Color Blue’ was written in a few different places,” says Mackey. “It started out as a guitar song, after the basic idea came from looking out my car window in the wintertime. I brought the idea back into the house, worked on it there, and then put it out of my mind. Later I went down to Nashville to record a different set of songs. On my break I noticed a grand piano in the church, which was converted into a studio, and finished the rest of the song on the piano and ended up recording it.”
Whether it is a winter view through a car window or a morning sunrise, Mackey finds inspiration everywhere. “There are so many experiences in life that you use to paint your picture. It could be the smell of the air, or a look in the eyes of somebody that you meet along the way. It could be a conversation with an old friend. It could be a TV show. It could be a powerful romantic thing or something funny. It could be somebody dying or somebody being born.”
The Florida native’s influences are as varied as his inspirations. Mackey, a classical pianist, loves modern masters Bob Dylan, Jim Croce and The Beatles as much as composers Mozart and Beethoven.
In between studio sessions, Mackey feeds fan frenzy with a heavy touring schedule and a steady string of music videos. His itinerary lists performances at famed venues across the country: NYC favorites Highline Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, L.A.’s Hotel Café and Austin's SXSW Music Festival, The Bitter End, Gavin DeGraw's National Underground NYC + Nashville, and frequents Nashville’s famous Bluebird Cafe.
He recently released the video for "Sunshower," a follow up to the moving video for “Honest Love.” The story behind the title track video gives an insightful look into what inspires his artistry.
“I was shooting in Chicago with director Nick Cavalier,” he recalls, “and we saw some homeless people, and we noticed that a lot of them stayed together as family, particularly mother and daughter, because they had an emotional connection that couldn’t be broken. They stayed alive on love. We were really touched by it. We talked to them for hours and ate a meal with them. We played ‘Honest Love’ for them and they were amazed and said they'd love to be in the video. I was really honored. It really was a strong message of love and how things change. The transition of cars going by, lights going by, people with different problems, and different situations, but the common theme was that love brings everything and everyone together.”