Wé Ani McDonald: Lending her Voice to a new musical

Wé Ani McDonald Interview by Jen Bush

Wé Ani McDonald is a cast member of an exciting new production called Relapse.  Some people turn heads.  We McDonald turns chairs.  She brought down the house with her  blind audition on The Voice and had all 4 judges whip around. 

With a name that means diligent her hard work paid off and she has already graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Apollo and Lincoln Center, just to name a few.   When you interact with Wé McDonald, you’re going to get a genuine and authentic experience.  “I am a singer/songwriter and performer. I’d love to think of myself as an honest artist. I want to show my talents and express my artistry through whatever I do. Even when I transform into a different person on stage, I have a small bit of myself in there. I live to create music and perform. My main goal is to inspire as much as I can whether that’s through singing, dancing, acting, writing, or just talking. You’d be surprised how much the world opens up for you when you start to be real with yourself and others.”

It was the story that drew Ms. McDonald to this piece as well as the opportunity to work with other luminaries in the industry.  “I loved how unorthodox the story was. It touches on mental health, addiction, and understanding your inner child. I believe those are great things to tackle not just in a musical but in life. Also, to work with notable professionals in the industry is a plus. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow!”

Ms. McDonald’s creative process varies depending on the project, but she is true to her name and diligent about it all.   “My creative process depends on what I’m doing! If I’m preparing for a role, I try to do character development. This helps me feel truly connected to the project as a whole. Becoming someone new is a funny concept. It requires you to really step out of yourself while finding relatability within the character. If I’m creating music, I normally write down whatever comes into my head and edit once I get the idea out of my brain. If the melody comes first, then I record as much of that as I can and then work on the lyrics. It’s like finding the ingredients to a new recipe and then figuring out how to cook it. Outside of that, it really happens when inspiration strikes (and lots of tea)!”

Ms. McDonald recognizes that taking on a project with serious subject matter can give an artist an added sense of responsibility.   It’s important for Ms. McDonald to honor the sensitive topics and  provide a genuine experience for the audience.  “There’s always a small amount of pressure when there are heavier topics being discussed. So much of what we’re talking about is happening with the world currently. You can’t help but feel like you’re telling someone’s very personal story. We want to make sure it’s relatable, honest, and sensitive without it being cheesy, triggering, and preachy. I think Joey, Louis, Mark, and Justin do a great job at that.”

With projects in the works and many more sure to follow, Wé Mcdonald’s voice will be heard for a long time to come.  “What’s next is whatever opportunities God throws my way. I’m ready for it all! I have music that I’m creating and performances I’m getting ready for. I can’t wait for everyone to see, hear, and feel what’s next.”

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