The question that 10-year-old Mackenzie “Kenzie” Kaylin Connolly gets asked most frequently is about when she started playing music.
The answer? Before she could even walk she was pulling herself up to her mother’s piano and banging on the keys. When she got older, her mother, Amy Connolly, convinced her to start playing the guitar. She quickly got bored with that and started playing the ukulele last February.
“She picked up the ukulele really quickly,” Amy Connolly said. “I showed her some chords and she went from there. I tried to get her to play the guitar but she didn’t want any part of it.”
Kenzie maintains an active YouTube channel, “Kenzie Kaylin Sings,” where she “sings and plays music and all that jazz.” She’s also writing some of her own music.
“I want people to hear my music and hopefully enjoy it,” she said. “My favorite kind of music is indie music. It’s not super upbeat or super gentle. It’s kind of in the middle. It’s iconic, really, but that’s the kind of music I like to listen to and play.”
Her favorite artist is Twenty One Pilots and her favorite song is “Car Radio.”
While she hopes to make records one day, she realizes that “nobody can be so sure” because she’s “just 10 years old, but hopefully one day” she will.
This fifth-grader at Lincoln Charter School is starting to get attention throughout Lincoln County and has been playing at various locations including the Lincoln County Apple Festival and Lincolnton Antique & Vintage Market Day. On Saturday, Jan. 26, she’ll be playing at the Meating Place in Lincolnton.
“I would love for her talent to be seen but at the same time I want to keep her grounded,” Amy Connolly said. “I don’t want her to lose herself in it.”