Welcome to another edition of the Fast Five by SGN Scoops! Today we meet the McKay Project. Dennis and Leslie McKay are from Columbus, Mississippi. They occasionally bring onstage their daughter, Mary Katherine, who is ten years old. With a style described as a mix of Southern Gospel, Blues, and Country Gospel, the McKay Project presents musical program that touches the hearts of all ages.
With only four years of traveling to their credit, this lively couple have several nominations and charting songs to their credit. Read more about Dennis and Leslie and their current missions project!
SGN: Tell us about how McKay Project came about and how long the group has been together.
MP: We married in 2010 and the Holy Spirit began doing a work in our lives by bringing about a lot of changes. It wasn’t long until we felt His leading into some kind of music ministry. At the time we didn’t know if it would be writing songs, doing more in the recording studio, starting a record label, or traveling and performing Gospel music. As it turned out, it has become all of the above. We started traveling and getting bookings in churches and other venues in 2011. As far as our name, we decided on McKay Project because we will always be a work in progress as far as God’s plan for our lives.
SGN: I see that you guys wear many hats. Other than music ministry and traveling, what else are you guys involved in?
MP: Dennis has been a full time music instructor since 2003. He has a teaching studio in Columbus where he teaches various stringed instruments and gives vocal lessons. In 2011, we revived a record label previously owned by Dennis’ dad called M.A.C. Records (McKay Audio Company Records). Of course, the first artist on the label was McKay Project. We now have five artists on the label and it is exclusively a Gospel/Christian record label. In February of 2015, M.A.C. artists, The Reed Brothers, had the number one song in Cashbox Christian Country, and four of our artists have had songs in the Top 100 Charts. Also, going hand in hand with the record label is our recording studio called Studio 115A which keeps us extremely busy with label and non-label artists alike.
SGN: Tell us a funny road story.
MP: We purchased our 40’ diesel motor coach in the summer of 2014. On the day we got it, we were getting ready to head out to a singing in northeast Georgia. As Dennis backed the coach out of the driveway for the first time, he miscalculated and backed into the neighbor’s yard. We had had a LOT of rain and guess what? We were stuck. Dennis made a couple of attempts to drive out but the more he tried the deeper the tires and the back end sunk into the ground. Needless to say ALL of our neighbors came out to see what was going on. It was like a block party. Two of our neighbors quickly got their 4-wheel drive Ford tractor and 4-wheel drive Dodge truck and it took both of them hooked to the bus to pull us out of the yard. This was quite a blow to Dennis’ ego because he grew up driving his family’s bus to singings and later spent several years as an over the road truck driver.
SGN: How did the two of you meet?
MP: I (Leslie) was one of Dennis’ guitar students. Dennis broke one of his hard and fast rules about not dating students. We just knew it was meant to be from the beginning and two years later we were married.
SGN: What are some goals you have for McKay Project for the upcoming year?
MP: McKay Project will be starting on their third CD soon. We are also making plans to film our first video project in the fall. This year, we have become involved in mission work and one of our projects is called Socks-N-Souls. Our goal is to deliver at least 500 pairs of new socks to Church on the Street America, which is a ministry to the homeless community. We will be making our delivery in October when we return to Branson, MO for an engagement.
Thanks so much to the McKay Project for their participation in the SGN Scoops’ Fast Five! We hope that all of our readers will go to hear this couple in concert and bring them many new socks!
Please visit the McKay Project’s Facebook page for more information or call Dennis and Leslie at 662.889.2829.