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HelloBeautiful.com’s “Base Level” column features the hottest new artists we’re buzzing about. Before they make it to the summit of superstardom, we spot them at base level–the beginning of their hopeful journey to the top. This week’ enjoy the youthful vocals from Mackey.

When you first hear Mackey speak, he seems shy and timid but when the Philly native sings, he embodies the confidence of an entertainer twice his age and twice his experience. The youngster caught the eye of super producer Vince Herbert who signed him to a publishing deal. Since then, he has been working tirelessly to re-brand himself as a vocalist. With a fresh EP “Sober Thoughts,” the Philadelphia native is doing just that!

Read the basics on Mackey, below:

Age: 22

Birthplace: North Philly

Musical Influences: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Usher, Ginuwine, Jay-Z and Kanye West. One that is not so common–Earth, Wind & Fire. The whole thing they represent is just making music and really touching people in a time when the world wasn’t ‘oh so happy.’ The things I take from them is the passion in music. No matter what song I’m listening to by them, I feel it. When Michael used to perform, I hate to use this word, it was like magical. I used to watch him all the time when I was little. When I was on punishment, my mom used to take my Michael Jackson tapes and I would be messed up.

When did you know that you wanted to be a singer?

I was 15, in High School when I realized singing to girls raised hairs and made people go ‘who dat?’ That’s when I was like ‘OK.’ It became a popularity thing at first. I would imitate people, like Michael Jackson, just to get laughs, that became my thing. People would be like, ‘You could really sing, if you really did it.’ When I’m doing music is when I’m most confident…That and when I’m in bed…

What was your big break thus far?

Just getting together with my management team and production team Platoons. I’ve always been known as a good writer, now it’s at the point that I’m being noticed by Vincent Herbert and Universal Music Publishing. He [Vince] signed me. I’m a signed writer right now. So I’m Independent as far as records go. I’m still under publishing with Universal.

Watch his live performance of “Incredible” right here:

Download Mackey’s EP “Sober Thoughts” here:

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