Childhood & Early Life
Mac DeMarco was born Vernor Winfield MacBriare Smith IV, on April 30, 1990, in Duncan, British Columbia. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where Mac spent the rest of his adolescence. When he was 5 years old, his father left home. He met Mac rarely.
He had a family with strong roots in music. His grandmother was a popular opera singer, while his grandfather was a saxophone player. His mother and his aunt had also been interested in music briefly in their younger days. Hence, Mac was highly influenced by music while growing up.
However, Mac resisted the urge to become a musician for a long time. He liked music but never aspired to become a musician until he was a teenager. When he started playing music in school, it was mostly just to impress girls. He later became a little more serious about music and joined a few bands in high school.
He first became part of an amateur school band named ‘Meat Cleavers,’ which was, according to Mac, a “jock-rock band.” He then joined another band, ‘Sound of Love,’ which focused on R&B music. Again, the members were amateur and played music just to become popular with the girls in school. Mac then continued to join a few more independent bands but none of them suited him.
Mac then decided to make music independently and began releasing his own music as part of his project, ‘Makeout Videotape.’ Most of the music he made did not become popular. In 2008, Mac graduated high school and moved to Vancouver to concentrate more on his music.
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Vancouver had a bustling music scene. Mac started producing music from his apartment. Mac had an independent approach to music since the beginning and wanted to do something totally extraordinary. The genre he came up with was called “garage-noise/punk rock.” Soon, he released his debut project, ‘Heat Wave,’ which was a collection of songs that he had produced since his move to Vancouver.
During this early phase of struggle, Mac released a number of EPs, such as ‘Eating Like a Kid,’ ‘Bossa Yeye,’ and ‘Weird Meats EP.’ However, he could not attain as much success as he desired.
The album ‘Heat Wave’ was released in 2009. Initially, Mac released five hundred CDs of the album, which were sold out almost immediately. Mac then chose the path less traveled and shot some psychedelic videos to accompany the music.
His debut work, ‘Heat Wave,’ involved local musicians and record labels. Alex Calder and Jen Clement, who were signed to the label ‘Unfamiliar Records,’ approached Mac to work together. He also briefly toured with a band named ‘Japandroids.’ After devoting two years to his new-found associations, Mac moved to Montreal to further his career as a musician.
However during the initial phases of his struggle there, Mac was unable to find decent opportunities and did a number of odd jobs to make ends meet. He worked with a road-paving crew and also participated in some medical experiments.
He got his breakthrough in early 2012, when an independent record label named ‘Captured Tracks’ offered him a record deal. Around the same time, Mac came up with a mini-LP titled ‘Rock and Roll Night Club.’ He experimented a lot with his style and the four-single-long album featured some mellow tracks and skits.
The success of the album gave the label enough confidence to tell Mac to go ahead with his first full-fledged album, ‘2.’ It became an immediate success. ‘Pitchfork’ awarded the album with the ‘Best New Music’ honor. One of the songs from the album, ‘Moving Like Mike,’ was purchased by American retail company ‘Target’ for one of their advertisements.
Mac spent the rest of 2013 touring around with his album. In early 2014, Mac announced the release of his second studio album, ‘Salad Days.’ The album was released in April and earned strong critical acclaim upon its release. The album debuted at the 30th spot on the ‘Billboard 200’ chart. Following the release of the album, Mac set out on a tour across South America, North America, and Europe.
In April 2015, Mac announced that he was working on a mini-album titled ‘Another One.’ The album was released in August. It was a strong diversion from Mac’s usual style and contained love songs. ‘Still in Rock’ ranked the LP as the third-best of 2015.
In July 2015, Mac released an experimental album with only instrumental music played by him. Titled ‘Some Other Ones,’ the album contained nine tracks. He called it a “BBQ Soundtrack” and came up with some strange ways to promote it.
In January 2017, Mac announced the release of his third studio album, ‘This Old Dog.’ On the same day, he released two singles from the album. The album was released in May and received significant critical acclaim.
Mac had garnered a strong fan following by then. He also appeared on several talk shows. In February 2017, he appeared on the ‘YouTube’ show ‘Hot Ones.’ In October, Mac appeared on ‘Charlie Rose,’ where he discussed his future projects and his relationship with his father.
Mac DeMarco always had a strained and complicated relationship with his father. His father left when Mac was quite young and met him rarely in the following years. After Mac became famous, his father came back into his life. However, Mac soon found out that his father was suffering from cancer.
His father has recovered now, but their relationship has not improved. Mac has written a few songs about his complex relationship with his father. He also once stated that he had been trying not to become like his father.
Mac started dating Kiera McNally while in school. After a long-term relationship, they got married in 2013.
His mother, Agnes, has developed a strong fan base on social media.