For anyone stumbling around in disillusion as one teen queen of pop/country after another defiles their image, let me give you a little faith, McKenna Faith.
The 18-year-old dimpled phenom from Ukiah, Calif., who just released her album “We Like Trucks” has been singing since she was little, starting with the potentially career-ending solos of the National Anthem at rodeos. The champion barrel racer made it to the World Finals and was one-tenth of a second shy of winning a Dodge truck when she decided that she would buy her own through singing.
She began pursuing country music as a profession since she was about 13. She got a band together and started doing shows after hitting Nashville, and by 16 had written her own album of original songs, “Sugar & Spice.”
Faith will be performing at Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum on Saturday, June 15, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5.
Last year’s 64-date tour included stage time with Kellie Pickler and Scotty McCreery and a Caribbean cruise on the Blake Shelton & Friends Cruise with Shelton, Trace Adkins, Neal McCoy, Lee Brice, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann, Frankie Ballard and others.
Faith’s stone is gathering no moss, but she took a break in the action to answer a few questions.
Where are you performing now?
Right now I’m in Nashville playing at the CMA Music Festival. It’s so awesome, there are so many incredible performers and it’s all about the fans so it’s great to be able to bring my show to Nashville.
Has the new album dropped? Are you playing it for audiences?
Yes, I’m playing songs from the new album. It’s released everywhere on June 11 and you can pre-order it on iTunes and through my website at www.McKenna-faith.com.
How do you come up with your material? An emotion/experience first, writing the chorus first, hearing the tune in your head first?
I write when I’m inspired about something through life experience, and I love trying new writing methods. If it’s the lyrics that come to me first, then I come up with the music, or if I get an idea for a melody, I’ll write the words to fit it.
In someone so young, there’s always a challenge growing up in the spotlight. How are you going to do it better than others? What do you think happens?
I’m going to stay true to myself. People judge you no matter what you do, so you might as well live your life how you want to. I’ve always said that what other people think of me is none of my business.
I think they’re just like every other kid and they make mistakes—it’s just a bigger deal because they’re out there in the spotlight and they’re supposed to be perfect, but that’s just not reality.
What was your first song about?
It was called “Sugar & Spice.” It was about this boy I knew when I was younger and he would always get me in trouble and how when I saw him five years later and he was a hottie. (Laughs)
What is the story arc on this album?
If I had to pick one overall theme I would have to say it’s about having fun, being young and just letting go and doing your thing.
How was prom?
Prom was so awesome! I loved it. I actually got to go to two! They were so fun and the boys I went with were my really good friends, so it was a good time.
Do you have to give up a lot in pursuit of your dream?
I don’t feel like I give up a lot at all. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I’m doing. I get to meet so many amazing people and travel the world and go on so many adventures. I truly love it.
What defined for you that this was more than just a desire or hobby and indeed the real deal for you?
It just always felt right to me. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I love being on stage and seeing people having a good time. I just love it.
Can you describe your live performance style? Lots of costume changes? Furniture flying?
I’d have to say it’s fun crazy and we love dancing and getting the crowd wild.
What does the typical audience for you look like?
All ages. I see a little bit of every walk of life.
What do you see when you’re a household name? What is the mental image of that?
I want to have CMA awards in my house, platinum records hanging on my walls and be headlining my own tour.