11 November is Veterans Day in the USA. We’re honoring current and past serving members of military forces worldwide with a spotlight on Anita Mac, an active member of the Service. She uses BandLab to express her artistry and stay connected with other musicians.

Listen to Anita’s winning song for Tracklanta above. Anita couldn’t join us at A3C as she’s currently deployed, but we loved her attitude and energy on the track.

How did you get into making music?

I’ve been making music since I was little. I was an only child and not much of a talker, but when it comes to music: I’m as loud as my heart will allow.

I grew up in a lot of bad situations, acting as if life was amazing. Those situations are what got me to really express myself through my music.

As a kid, I remember my cousins and I used to write songs like “I wanna be a star when I grow up”! But I think rap battles with my stepdad is really what popped it off. He would rap about me and then tell me, your turn, go. I’d always lose!

Anita as a child, with her stepfather

The rap battles were one way we connected. He would talk about me and everything he [that] passed [his mind]. It wasn’t often, but that was the first thing about rapping I remember. Although my stepdad isn’t walking this earth anymore, he’ll always live through my music. 

You’re a current serving member of the US military. What’s something that people might not know about active tour?

Being on duty can have a lot of surprises, but there’s a lot of downtime too. It’s a normal day until it’s not.

Having more than one goal, like making music on BandLab, makes time fly by. I usually get on BandLab when I have time to listen to new music, and it’s nice to connect with my band members about new songs.

How did you discover BandLab?

I was really just searching through apps to find somewhere to record my songs until I got my equipment. I wasn’t expecting it to allow me to do as much as it did – BandLab is what made me get creative.

When you’re on Base, how does BandLab help you stay connected?

BandLab lets me release the things I’m not able release physically. Music is my way out. It’s the only way I know how to express [my feelings]. The community’s also very uplifting and helpful when it comes to making new music.

Let’s talk about process. How do you begin writing lyrics and making songs?

I usually write [based] off of my feelings. Whether it’s old or new, but sometimes I can listen to a beat and just go from there. It depends on the moment.

Every song I put out on BandLab is special to me, but the biggest moment is being recognized for my music during Tracklanta. Winning that gave me [the motivational] push when I was giving up on my music, while being away.

In Life Taught Me, you say: ‘Life taught me to go to war/ everytime they want to go/ don’t let up / you are what you can’t control /and when your god take you high just keep your life on the low’. What do these words mean to you?

Life has broken me down so many times. Past situations made me feel as if I was at war, not only with myself but the people that were around me.

God knows what we can and can’t deal with. This song was me telling myself that those situations and those people in my life made me stronger. Instead of announcing my blessings, let them see it for themselves.

What/Who are you inspired by?

My mom is my biggest motivator. She’s my number one fan. I always want to make her proud no matter what I’m doing, but life is what inspires me to keep going.

What’s one music essential you’d take with you to a desert island, and why?

Something to write on and something to write with. Music is the way I express my feelings. So if I have that, I’m able to release my frustration by writing it out.

Any general advice for other musicians in the community?

Never let pain make you fear. Express yourself with your music.

Anita on a rare break off base

What’s next for Anita Mac?

Once I’m back from tour, I’m getting in the studio. I have a project that I’m working on currently that I plan to release once I’m back and fully functional.

Keep in touch with Anita Mac on BandLab.

Feeling extra inspired? Show her some support and like/fork one of her tracks!