TORRES Cherishes Her Emotional Space on “What an Enormous Room”

After the lively “Thirstier”, TORRES will release her new album “What an Enormous Room” this week. When Mackenzie Scott, aka TORRES, started working on this sixth album, she had no idea what kind of record this would be. As always, she followed her inner feelings. Resulting in an enormous diversity of emotions. TORRES cherishes her emotional space in “What an Enormous Room”.

A sunny morning in Brooklyn, NY. ‘Coffee?’ ‘I had that until I dropped my cup.’ Fortunately, Mackenzie Scott can laugh about it herself. For a conversation about her new album “What an Enormous Room”. And about her life. Although in her case the two are difficult to separate. ‘I do well,’ she says hesitantly and shyly when I ask how she is doing. Not the over-enthusiastic (and insincere) ‘I am fine!’ that you would expect from an average American in response. Mackenzie is sincere, but we already knew that.

We also spoke together about the release of her previous album “Thirstier”. She was looking forward to it: ‘With this title, I want to express my hunger and thirst for life. I always want more, and to do something with my unique life. I want to grow for myself, for others, together with my audience.’ Now two and a half years have passed and the successor has been released. ‘”What an Enormous Room” has become a different album. In the beginning, I had no idea what direction it would take. What I had, for example, was with “Silver Tongue” (2020). That was my ‘love album’. When the new record was almost ready, I only started to see the bigger picture. “What an Enormous Room” is mainly about uncertainty. And finding joy and light, no matter how sad and dark your life seems right now.’ The 33-year-old Mackenzie weighs her sentences well and regularly pauses.

‘Uncertainty can make people very unhappy, I know from my own experience. On this album, I want to emphasize the bright spots in difficult times.’ She doesn’t sound very cheerful when she says this, and she notices it herself… ‘But I’m happy! And I am becoming happier every day…But it took me a lot of effort to feel happy….’ She laughs about it herself now, cautiously. ‘Happiness is something you have to look for. It has to come from within you, within. But it also seems as if the world wants to make us feel miserable, with wars and other problems.’ After which she shifts the image to her environment. ‘I am very committed to my parents. They are now elderly and are developing health problems. Or some friends have problems, and I take them to heart. So even when I feel happy, there are always people around me, or in the world, who are unhappy. And he also wants to help with my music.’

She also refers to her new album. It can be described as one ‘big rollercoaster of emotions: anger, love, fear, and whatnot. ‘Those emotions are just inside me, often at the same time. But other people will have that too. That’s what makes life so interesting.’ But not everyone converts it so cleverly into music, music that touches you, straight away. ‘I worked separately on the arrangements and lyrics on this record. And later joined them together.’ When asked about the importance of her lyrics, she is very clear: ‘They are very important, as always.’ But even if there were no lyrics, or you didn’t speak the language, you can still sense in her music what the songs are about, and what emotions are expressed. ‘That’s a big compliment because that’s exactly what I want. That people understand my message, whether they understand English or not. And it is indeed a record with a lot of feelings. You can feel delighted, but it’s also okay to get angry. Then the record has touched you, and that’s what matters to me.’ She is very clear in her message: ‘Ya, Don’t give up! And try to see life from a different perspective.’

And she will soon bring that message live, including a European tour. Unfortunately, she had to cancel the previous one due to Corona. ‘But I was able to do some concerts in America. And I am satisfied with that. I think I was able to give people a message of hope during those difficult times. But of course, I want to bring my music to everyone. But if that doesn’t work, well…’ Then you need something different. ‘I went on a wonderful trip with my wife. I have also given some intimate living room concerts.’ And laughing: ‘And we have a puppy! Yes, I can enjoy home life.’

While “What an Enormous Room” sounds anything but homely. A title with a symbolic meaning. ‘Yes, I want everyone to look at their options. Come on, take your chance, no matter how much you feel trapped in your own life, in your person. No matter how much you think there are no other options. There are more possible than you might think right now.’ The album title is also reflected in the song “Jerk into Joy”:

‘What an enormous room

Look at all the dancing I can do’

‘The enormous room is freedom. And the dance, that is life. Dancing, living, the way you want…’

Meanwhile, howling puppy sounds drown out our conversation and the perpetrator is gently removed. ‘Sorry for that.’ But the owner immediately picks up the question again. ‘What are the two most characteristic songs on the album? Then I choose “Jerk for Joy”. Precisely because of that message: See the light at the end of the tunnel, find your freedom! And then I also choose “Artificial Limits”. The title says it all: everything is possible. That can be a terrible thing, but it can also be a wonderful thing. And everything in between. That people realize that when terrible things happen, great things will happen again.’

A clear and justified choice by the maker herself. I fell for “Songbird Forever,” the closing track of the album. With a soft piano, like the sound of church bells, while the birds twinkle around your head…

‘(…) I am your king

I am your queen

I am everything in between

I can sell you anything

You’ll believe anything I sing

I am a songbird forever (…)’

‘Yes, I think that’s a beautiful song too.’ Mackenzie Scott, aka TORRES, smiles shyly, but also proudly and sincerely. ‘Here I show that I will continue to do this forever: making music and sharing it with the world. The song is a kind of seal of my faith… And that songbird in the title is me: Songbird Forever.’ A dignified and reassuring conclusion to a turbulent album, and a pleasant conversation. TORRES Cherishes Her Emotional Space on “What an Enormous Room”.

To share this article:

Don't forget to follow our Spotify Playlist: