Kristen McNamara’s gypsy vibe, golden locks and musical influence brings to mind talented, and entrancing, artists such as Stevie Nicks, Adele, and Katy Perry. “Free spirit” describes this unique young lady. She has been on TV performing live to tens of millions of viewers, and she’s been homeless. She has experienced fairytale-like love stories, and she has been heartbroken. The highs and lows in her life have made her the artist she has become.
KMAC is a northern California native. She’s a countrified beach hippie at heart, who wears paint like perfume and, at times, creates abstract artwork on canvas while on stage performing her music. She grew up on a small ranch where fishing, hunting and selling chicken eggs was a big part of her life. But at age 9, she started performing and writing. By the time she was 15 years old, she had been offered major label recording contracts, and at age 16, moved out of her family home to pursue her music career.
KMAC started singing at funerals and small venues, such as the Blue Bird Café. She has also performed at a 68,000-seat stadium in front of both San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants fans. In 2003, she became a Top 3 finalist on CBS’s Star Search.
Kristen honed her skills by performing 2 shows daily 6 days a week in Branson, MO on a Disney-produced show, “Country Tonite.” She has opened for acts such as, Kenny Chesney, Lonestar, Glenn Campbell, Diamond Rio, Wynnona Judd, Chris Young, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson, Adam Lambert, Collin Ray, Montgomery Gentry, Sara Evans, and Big n’ Rich.
Kristen spent several years in Nashville, and has held underground songwriter music nights with singer/songwriter Nathan Lee in an industrial building on 8th Ave.
Kristen’s singing experiences continued when she was selected as one of the Top 6 finalist on USA’s Nashville Star in 2006, and also Top 15 on FOX’s American Idol Season 8 in 2009.
Kristen has spent a majority of her life on stage, on TV, in the press/media, or inside a recording studio. She has recorded 5 albums, and has sold over 10,000 records from the trunk of her car. She wrote over 200 songs in the past year, and often composes productions and vocals for artists in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York. Cher has personally requested Kristen to do guide vocal work for the motion picture, “Burlesque.”
Recently, Kristen has been working with music producer Mikal Blue, who describes her as a rare talent. New York production team, Peter Macchia and David Andronico have also taken Kristen under their wing, and have helped guide her as she constantly experiments with her unique sound. Her vocal range spans 4 octaves, she plays guitar and piano, and she is a prolific songwriter, with over 1,000 songs in her repertoire.
Kristen collaborates with various writers, including Kasia Livingston (Britney Spears’ “Circus” & “Womanzier”), and Brian Kennedy of the Underdogs (Rihanna’s “Disturbia” & Chris Brown’s “Forever”). Kristen also enjoys writing movie and television scripts, filming an occasional pilot, and finds video editing remarkably intriguing. Always seeking surroundings that inspire her artistically, she has moved to Key West, FL to continue her writing, and she performs live 3-4 times per week to appreciative audiences.
Kristen self-released her latest CD, “P!RATE,” on which she recorded and edited all of her own vocals. Her Irish name, McNamara, means “Man of the Sea” – and she has connected with the ocean since her father put her in a backpack and took her sea fishing when she was less than a week old. “P!RATE” is ocean themed, taking listeners to a level of sophisticated beat-driven music. It’s a metaphorical fantasy involving ships, pirates, and water.
Kristen was born and raised to entertain. She and her teddy bear, “Ophelia,” currently live out of a suitcase and travel to where inspiration, music and art take them.