Sunday, 14 January 2018

Living The Dream~ Born to inspire, Leah McKenzie

Leah appearing on X Factor

2018, a new year and with it I've decided to start a new series entitled, 'Living The Dream.' There are so many people who inspire us in different ways, either on a personal level within our daily lives; friends, family, colleagues etc, and then there are those we admire from a distance, appreciating their achievements. 

I'm starting 'Living The Dream,' with one of my personal highlights from 2017. I was thrilled to meet Leah McKenzie at the Thornton Heath Festival, Croydon. Leah had her first glimpse of fame when singing at the live shows during XFactor 2016; a series I followed avidly. Leah is from Croydon and I am very struck by her honest down to earth approach. When we look at inspirational people the ones who inspire us the most usually do so because they are 'real;' people we can relate to and this connection puts achievement within our grasp.

Originally I was going to share this interview shortly after the festival however instinct told me to sit on it for a while and I try to follow my instinct! This is a very short interview as it took place as  Leah left the stage after her performance, yet it teaches us some of the key elements we need to utilize if we wish to be successful. I will break these down after we have read Leah's interview.

Interview with Leah McKenzie at the Thornton Heath Festival Summer 2017

Hello Leah. Can you tell us a little bit about what you have been doing since the XFactor?
Basically I’ve gained the title, ‘Face of Croydon,’ which I’m really proud of.  I’m an artist who was born and bred in Croydon and Croydon hasn’t always had a great representation. So I thought, let’s put Croydon back on the map and show them that we’ve got a lot of cool people here. I’ve been doing gigs and getting into presenting and modelling because I’m an entertainer, not just a singer so it’s exciting times.

I really enjoyed the Reggae song you sang, ‘One Love.’ How did you come to write it?  
I was laying in the park one day thinking about Reggae as it is a large part of my heritage as I was brought up on Reggae music. I thought,’ I want to do something with Reggae, create a different vibe’- so I’m singing my own Reggae song with a British accent. When I’m writing songs it’s always about inspiring people and I’m always spreading the message of love, peace and harmony.

You were talking about your future and how you want to get to America to further your career. How strongly do you believe this will happen and why?
 I feel it’s my destiny. I’m very spiritual and I’m into astrology and that so I believe it’s written in the stars and  that I’m going to go. My intentions are right. I do music and entertain people to bring joy to them for the six or seven minutes they may be watching my show and I’m very positive and confident that I will be in Los Angeles this time next year with my own show, ‘Leah McKenzie Loves Life.’ 

There is a great deal of content in the three key questions that portray Leah's energy and enthusiasm not only with regards to her career but, importantly, her love of life. What exactly can we learn from Leah? Here is a little food for thought:

  •  I have already mentioned the need to be real and this means knowing who you are. Leah is very at home with herself and her mixed heritage.
  •  Following on from that, the ability to identify and use our talents. During this interview Leah outlines different talents all of which move her closer to her goal or dream. 
  • Sharing your dream is important. Leah did this on the XFactor and has taken it a stage further. It's up to us when we decide to do this but once you're on your way it is good to reinforce other people's belief in you. - Believing in yourself is always key but sometimes other people see more in us than we are capable of recognizing- so listen to praise, encouragement and constructive criticism. 
  • Build your public profile. Leah has done this in a way that really suits her, by becoming the 'Face of Croydon.' If you are given opportunities that support your core beliefs give them full consideration. Most people have more than one string to their bow!
  • Draw on your experiences and challenge yourself- Leah writes her own songs and creates music her way.
  • Have a clear understanding of what you are doing and why. If you work from passion, belief and talent the path will open before you.

  •  The most important thing to take away is to enjoy life. I love the show title- :Leah McKenzie Loves Life.' There's a very good reason for this. In 2012 I ran a blogathon (weekly series for the year) called 'Live Life~ Love Life.' When we make an effort to enjoy life, life becomes more enjoyable. Things start to work out for us. Leah has left the XFactor and is forging ahead enjoying all the new challenges that come her way. I am looking forward to hearing more of Leah's music and especially to the day she appears in America. 

    Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

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