There are a lot of things that the new duo of Makenna & Brock are stoked about these days. They are watching as their current single, “Burnin’ The Night Down,” continues to gain traction at radio stations across the United States. They have already opened for such acts as the legendary Sheryl Crow, and rising artists Parmalee and Granger Smith.
“We are so excited for everything that is going on,” said Makenna Sullinger. “We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by everything. It’s definitely been a whirlwind.”
The single is a little bit of a departure from what is going on in the format these days, according to Brock Wade.
“We listen to a lot of Country Music, and there’s a lot of songs on the radio that are geared towards helping people. There’s a lot of sad songs, and some happy go lucky ones. We just wanted to find something in the middle. It’s a song that is for people that have been in a bad relationship or a bad situation – where they can just let go of it.”
“It’s a song that says it’s okay to have fun and to be you. To just enjoy life without having to be with that other person. There’s a lot of songs on the radio that are sad, or talk about missing the other person, and it being all my fault, but this is the opposite of that. We see on social media that people are struggling to let go of relationships. We just wanted to make this song for them.”
She says that the song does have a little bit of a personal lean for the duo, who are also involved with each other.
“We did have a rough patch in our relationship early on, as a lot of relationships do. So, coming from that point of view, I think that helped to make the song what it is.”
Wade laughs when asked about the beginning of their relationship – which he admits was far from harmonious.
“We met back in 2007. We’ve known each other for a while. We met at a benefit show for the Children’s Miracle Network. It was a musical version of Oklahoma. We really didn’t like each other very much at first, but you spend that much time together, and you realize that you have some similarities. We both liked country music, and writing music. So, we put a band together, and the rest is history.”
Part of that young history includes opening for one of Sullinger’s heroes in Crow.
“That was a cool experience. That took place at Drury University, where I went to school in Springfield, Missouri. It was really neat to open for her. Her fans are a little different, and not quite as rowdy as we’re used to. They just really appreciate and listen to music.”
The duo also were featured on The X-Factor in 2011, something they say will always be a highlight of their career. Wade explained:
“It was a very surreal feeling being up on stage in front of some of the biggest people in the music world. I don’t think either one of us remembers a lot about our audition. We got our song the night before, and we were trying to get it in the right key. So, by the time the audition was over, there was this sense of relief. We were just so nervous about singing on national television. It was a lot of fun for us. I’ve been watching Simon and Paula on American Idol since I was ten or eleven. SO, to be 20, and singing in front of them was a very nerve wracking experience.”
Sullinger says they still get recognized for their stint on the show.
“At Applebees’ the other day, the waitress wanted to take a picture of us, which was really cool. It’s amazing what an impact radio and television can truly have.”
They have also made a name for themselves at the home of the St. Louis Rams – performing the National Anthem on several occasions. Wade says they always feel the butterflies at Edward Jones Dome.
“We can play in front of 10,000 people and be just fine, but you get up to sing the National Anthem, and you can get really nervous. There are so many things that can go wrong – especially like a stadium like that. There’s 60,000 people, and all kinds of football players around you….it can make you a little nervous.”
Sullinger added that they better bring their A-game when singing the song, because…in her words:
“The National Anthem is definitely not a song that you want to mess up…because people will remember you!”
Wade says they are about halfway done with work on an full-length disc – but are still looking for material.
“We’re still writing and being pitched songs. I think we’ve got about half the album written. We’re still probably a few months out, but are still working towards that goal. We’ll likely put out another single before an album.”
Listen to Burnin’ the Night Down and let us know what you think @Cmchatlive.