Dana ‘Mackadenice’ Veney was born on Veterans Day, 1985 in Alexandria, Virginia. Mackadenice has been writing and performing since he was a senior in high school. His first stage act was at a teen seminar titled NYSP at James Madison University, where he performed live in front of 5,000 people from all over the east coast. His life experiences and career in the military have fueled his passion for music and have opened up a positive avenue to express his unique trials and successes. A prolific artist, Mackadenice has released seven mix tapes since 2009 including his most recent three-volume collection titled ‘On the House’ (OTH), which features thirty-three tracks detailing his personal struggle to adjust to life outside of the military. Reporter Lily Clark recently caught up with Mackadenice to learn more about this intriguing new artist, his artistic motivations and plans for the future.
LILY: When did you first discover your love of music?
MACKADENICE: In 1997, I was introduced to and influenced by hip-hop/rap. Subsequently, I established a connection with the realness and storytelling of various artists and it was accurate and genuine with the actual things that I observed during that segment of my life. Many artists were touching on situations which I have personally experienced and ultimately, it stuck with me and obviously began to silently grow with me over time.
LILY: Your song 'Someday' has been a big hit on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
MACKADENICE: Simply relieved. It was comparable to a reaction such as passing your midterm or final exam in college. You put in the work, blood, sweat and tears for countless days on end. When the final handiwork is completed, I realize I have established something that I can be proud of and build a foundation on. But the hunger is still there and maybe increased a little because now I am like, OK! This is good! Yet, I feel I can do better.
LILY: What was the inspiration behind 'Someday'?
MACKADENICE: ‘Someday’ was inspired from one of my initial live shows/contests, which took place overseas in the military. I had all the moral support I could ask and hope for, and in addition, a few more years of music composition experience under my belt. But I didn’t win that particular day and it devastated me. I was pretty much in my own world for approximately a month. During that time, I received much encouragement from friends and family. The one constant word that kept resonating in my ear and mind from loved ones was- ‘If not today, one day.’ I began to reflect on my life as well as speaking with others about how they deal with their shortcomings. It became abundantly clear to me that everybody has goals and aspirations they want to accomplish in life. It is a matter of time that must be invested and a passionate pursuit before arriving at that point. Shortly after reality settled in and I finally composed myself, I was searching for instrumentals to incorporate in my genre and came across producer Marco Blyze. That is when I discovered this track with David Ray. I listened to it intensely, fell in love with the hook and made a promise to myself that I would make it my own. It has now blossomed into the song I’ve named ‘Someday. So, here I am a few years later since creating ‘Someday’, presenting it to my audience and it has become a hit on the radio. A dream come true, no doubt.
LILY: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as 'Someday'??
MACKADENICE: Absolutely not. My music can be dubbed as eclectic in every sense. Many of my songs have been produced from inspiration, experience, or something I have heard or witnessed. My emotions have been pulled omni-directionally over the years and as a result, I don’t solely formulate music for a restricted listening audience. I make music to touch all people, of all different cultures and ages who can relate to my lyrics in song. Some of my musicality and themes may appear to be darker than others, but in the end, my arrangements show where I was at any given time in my life and my evolution.
LILY: How would you characterize yourself as a musician? (ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving...)
MACKADENICE: Unpredictable, passionate, graphic and intense. I believe I am overall one of the most versatile artists in this music category that I am seeking and fulfilling. As an artist, I aim for excellence as I have been taught since I was a child. We call ourselves musicians, but I state I am an instrument, because I can be played and appreciated by anyone. My desire is to adapt in any era and continue to let my music permeate from my heart and soul.