Where were you and what were you doing when you were 17? Going to high school, trying to keep your grades up, working a part-time job at a pizzeria on the weekends? Most likely.
Thirty years ago, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany blazed trails for teenage singers. Now 17-year-old Mahkenna Tyson – just call her Mahkenna – is center stage.
Born in Ireland and raised in Southern California, Mahkenna is a recording artist, DJ and actress all rolled into one. She has numerous awards to go along with it: an LA Music Award winner in 2013 and 2014, The Face of Europe 2013, and Artist in Music Award Winner 2014.
Next up is her new pumped-up dance single, “One More Time” (Face of USA Productions), which is making its premiere on Pauseandplay.com.
Mahkenna developed a love for singing at an even younger age: When she was 5, she took her first formal vocal training under the direction of Francis Monachelli, and she’s continuing training today with one of the top vocal coaches, Seth Riggs.
It’s all hard work, but she’s determined to make it on her own terms.
“Some challenges I have faced is getting over my doubts and what people have told me is the ‘right thing,’ ” she says. “What I have learned is nobody is going to make an artist into a star, they can turn you into a puppet, but that does not make you an artist. An artist works for themselves and doesn’t bow to what people say because an artist knows what’s best for their craft.”
As for “One More Time,” she says: “How it came about is my writer, Alicia Madison, had lost someone she loved very much and spilled lyrics of her loss, although the song sounds like a break-up song, it has a deeper meaning.”