Instead of going to tertiary education after graduating senior school in 1986, Sheena joined original Brit-pop band Astique and was on national television in less than a year.
Soon she was touring with Pink Floyd concept show Floyd the Concept (later Beyond the Darkside) from Queensland, Australia, singing the challenging vocal piece, Great Gig in the Sky.
“Back-up vocalist Sheena Mackie went within a breath of outshining the lighting show with a spine-tingling encore, Great Gig In The Sky…” (The Daily Mirror 1993, Feb 5).
Sheena also worked as a professional singer in duos, trios & bands on the live circuit, and as a studio session singer for over 20 years, whilst pursuing her original work.
From 1995 to 2005, Sheena sang in the later edition of The Australian Meatloaf Tribute Show (and Bonnie Tyler Tribute) with Rick Szabo (now Director of Q-Live).
Sheena performed in two concert/workshops with Phil Emmanuel at Cooroy, QLD from 1995 -96.
“As if brilliant guitar playing wasn’t enough we were then treated to the beautiful voice of Sheena Mackie.”
“…the voice and stage presence was such that all in the audience must have agreed that she did indeed have a stunning voice.”
“Cooroy certainly was fortunate that Sheena came from Brisbane to perform for us in such an intimate atmosphere.”
Crichton, V 1995, ‘A taste of guitarists heaven with Phil Emmanuel and friends’, The Hinterland Herald, December.
Photos by Murray Studios Gympie, QLD, Australia.
More recently, Sheena worked in a trio with Lee Novak (Savage Garden) in 2003.
She performed lead and backing vocals with Frankie J Holden (2004-6). Around this time, she also sang with corporate rock band, Hi Octane and provided a support act for Glenn Shorrock.
Having had some time off from live performance, she has some projects in the wings, and is currently performing in a duo called ‘2 Much’ with Robby Fry.
In the Studio
In the studio, Sheena worked with engineers and producers such as Stewart Day (Transvision Vamp, Morrissey, Kylie Minogue), Stuart Stuart (Chartsong productions, Analog Heart Records: Sheppard), and Phil Scorgie (composer, arranger, producer – previously of Songs & Themes, Sydney NSW).
Sheena recorded 9 original songs with Paul Cheeseman at Planet Music from 1989-1991.
In 1993, Sheena co-wrote and sang the theme song for Australian B-Grade horror film ‘The Toolman’, which was recorded at West End studios, Brisbane, QLD, Australia where she had sung on the Mark James Project (1992), and also with Gezebel Dinosaur (1993).
During these years, she was a studio session singer with Picturebook Studios, Brisbane, QLD, Australia (Emilijo Mihatov & Steve Horvat).
“The work you’ve done with us has always been exceptional and you’re also a joy to work with. I want to say thanks for all the times you’ve sung on our tracks…”
Emilijo Mihatov 2016
Sheena also sang for songwriters, Bob Milne (co-writer of ‘Tex Morton’ on Slim Dusty’s Coming Home album), Allan Gilmore (Technical Producer, ABC television), and Stuart Stuart (Chartsong) from 1993 to 2000.
As a songwriter, Sheena co-wrote with various other talented people over the years, including Geoff Williams, who she had met during the recording of The Toolman soundtrack. In 1994, Geoff performed live-to-air on local TV (Bris31) in an acoustic trio with Sheena (Sheena’s song ‘Closed Doors’).
In 1996, Sheena recorded another version of ‘Closed Doors’ with Sean Mackenzie, who did wonders with the arrangement and put together a band to record at Tracking Station Studios in Sydney. Sheena & Sean worked on and recorded two songs at Tracking Station.
From 1996 to 1997, Sheena recorded an original song ‘Reflections’ with Martin Cilia (also of The Atlantics, Mental as Anything, Dave Warner). Martin created a fantastic arrangement, playing or programming most of the instruments, also engineering and producing.
The song also featured Brendan St Ledger (Swoop, Wendy Matthews) on keys.
Reflections was featured on a compilation CD by B&M Music, Australia in 1997.
During the years 1998 – 2000, Sheena worked on several projects with Stuart at Chartsong studios. The most significant of these was an experimental new age CD, ‘The Prophecy‘, released in August 2000, and featured on the cover of a national magazine.
Some great responses to tracks from The Prophecy
– – “Unique Talent, wonderful positive songs ♥” – –
*New Life: “Great vocal performance and harmonies. I also like the Latin vibe.”
*The Treasure: “Excellent vocal performance, harmonies and guitar solo!”
*Going Home: “Very nice urban groove intro and beautiful voice!”
Sheena wrote and recorded experimental dance music with local Brisbane group ‘Soberphobia’ in the mid 2000’s, but no album was released. She mainly recorded (unreleased) cover versions of songs, including operatic arias, from 2005 to 2010.
Following this, she continued songwriting and singing, but withdrew from the music industry to focus upon her growing career as a writer and other interests.
Most recently, Sheena has been collaborating and feeling out new musical directions…