What was the first song you learnt?

Wild Thing was the first song I learnt on guitar. My Uncle Rob showed me how to play it one year at Christmas. He now gets me to teach it to him again every McKinnon Christmas, as well as The Guns of Brixton by The Clash.

What’s your favourite memory of your early musical life?

When I was in year 5 I wrote my first song for a songwriting competition that the local radio played on air for votes. My song was called 'Imagination'. At the time I spelt it 'Amagination', mum corrected that for me. I won the competition and got an amazing pottery trophy and a $50 voucher from toy world. 

What made you want to play music in the first place?

My mum always played piano in the house and at Church. My younger brothers and I would sing along. Much like The von Trapps. My dad also let us ride our bikes in the house to Meatloaf (when mum was at work). He'd make tunnels out of the curtains by drapping them over the back of the lounges. We'd ride round and round the house to 'Bat out of Hell'. I always wanted to play music because it made me feel wild, home, and free.

How old were you when you started playing?

I started playing Piano when I was 5. Alto Saxophone when I was around 8. I started Guitar at 10. 

Who were your music heroes/idols back then? Who are they now?

My music heroes back then and now are my Mum, my Aunty Nancy, and my cousin Josh. The posters on my bedroom walls were The Beatles, John Butler, Missy Higgins, Jose Gonzalez. I also admired Kaki King, St Vincent, Sarah Blasko, Lior and many more.

What was the name of your first band?

My first band was called the McDooKleins. It was made up of my cousins, Josh, Emma and Hannah Doolan, a family friend Janita Klein , and my brothers Rowan and Clayton, and I. We played Bob the Builder, and Uptown Girl (along with many other Coonabarabran crowd favourites). 


Annie McKinnon is a Sydney/Canberra-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, designer and gadget-maker.