‘Sometimes we feel like throwing in the towel’ | Mackenzy Mackay gives us a track-by-track breakdown of Life, Love & Upsets

From ‘Every Last Detail’ to ‘Home’, singer-songwriter Mackenzy Mackay shares a track-by-track breakdown of his latest EP, ‘Life, Love & Upsets’.

Mackenzy Mackay

For all intents and purposes, Mackenzy Mackay’s life has been going pretty well of late. The London-based Yorkshireman recently wrapped-up a sold-out tour across Europe and the UK, which weaved through the likes of Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin and Glasgow, before concluding at Electric Ballroom in Camden – the last show neatly coinciding with the release of his brand-new EP, ‘Life, Love & Upsets’.

But beneath the heady highs, there have also been times of emotional angst and internal tugs-of-war, questioning his own artistry, his place in the world and holding onto the relationships around him – the sort we all, deep down, experience.

As its title suggests, ‘Life, Love & Upsets’ captures all of that in abundance, and embodies precisely the sort of relatable lyricism that has seen Mackenzy heading towards the million follower mark across his Instagram and TikTok accounts. Here, he gives us a breakdown of writing the songs for his latest project and their sonic and lyrical inspirations.

Every Last Detail

I started writing this chorus and it came so easy. I wrote it so fast. However, the rest of it took a little longer to fit right for me. I wrote the full song but the verses weren’t fitting right. 

I left the song alone for a couple months and when it came to reopening the project, I think I’d had a bit more time to really process what my mind has been through in the past year and the feelings just fell straight onto paper. 

The meaning, reason and motivation behind this song is super important to me. I wanted it to be in a place where I was happy with it, I didn’t rush it and I’m so glad about that.

Bruised one

This song goes on about having a huge heart, basically. I love with all I have and I’m just a guy in love. I have heaps of love to give, whether that’s friends, family, my partner – even strangers deserve love. Sometimes, I think I love a little too much and it’s a bit of a weakness of mine, and some occasions maybe it’s not for my own good. 

It touches on over-thinking, painting up scenarios that don’t exist – I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve had loads of people messaging me telling how much they relate to my music, that’s one of the reasons I’m here. Sometimes trying to explain something in the way you feel in a song or in general is quite difficult but with this song it felt so natural when writing it.

Cold Stare

I actually started writing this song like two years ago. I was at the pub and a friend of mine had come in after going out for a smoke; he said to me, “I’ve just lost the flint to my clipper on the sidewalk” and I just loved that sentence and I swore to him I’d put it in a song! 

I just had the first verse written down and I decided to revisit it a while later and tease it, and it seemed like people were rocking with it. Again, this one took a little while to finish but only because I wanted it to be right. The crux of it is that you can go through some rough patches in life but just know you’ll be fine and you’ll get through it. 

Don’t Quit Trying

I wanted to write a song from my own experience in life, trying for something for so long and sometimes feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle. As long as you don’t give up, you’ll never fail. 

Sometimes we feel like throwing in the towel, but if you persist and keep cracking on you’ll be so grateful to yourself that you didn’t give up. Sometimes, things don’t turn out how we planned, but that’s exactly how it should be in that moment so that will take you to where you need to go from there (if that makes sense…).

Looking Like That

This is about explaining to that special someone they are the core inspiration to writing these love songs – the reason my pages are full. 

That one person you feel like you could take on the world with and you could never settle for anyone else. The world’s burning and buildings are collapsing but you know you’ll be fine and get through it with that person.


I wanted people to listen to this and just hear the truth in my love; where that person just brings you home, keeps you grounded, keeps you in your safe space. Picture this: you’re on a boat out at sea, all on your own, waves are crashing, thunder and lighting going crazy, it’s chucking it down, and is windy as hell… you see a light in the distance and this light starts to pull you towards the shore, like a huge lighthouse pulling you into safety… that lighthouse is her. My love.

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