Travel Love's Various Avenues With John McLaren and Stephanie Heitz



Toronto-based composer/guitarist John McLaren has collaborated with R&B songstress Stephanie Heitz on their latest single, "Any Other Way."

The 2019 release of Stephanie Heitz's debut EP, "Dark to Light," culminated her lifelong pursuit of songwriting. With a focus on encouraging, inspiring, and uplifting listeners, her artistic talents collide profoundly with John Mclaren's extensive experience in the music industry. John began his musical journey at the age of seven.

The soothing spirit of "Any Other Way," as conceived by John McLaren, filters through your speakers in a comforting manner as the rhythmic vibrations of his guitar riffs pierce through the barricades of mundane monotony. This soundtrack is enhanced by subtle complexities that enhance this soundscape in a way that draws your ear to the finer details buried within the therapeutic framework.


Stephanie Heitz’s smoldering vocal performance speaks into your soul as you interlock your thoughts with each word that she sheds. A particular charm is found in the brilliant use of timing and spatial techniques, as well as the structured lyrical motifs throughout the entire arrangement. “Any Other Way,” casts out descriptive wording that is performed in a prevalent manner with lyrics such as, ‘Have I been wasting all these tears? Feels like I’ve known you. For a thousand years, I can’t imagine any other way,’ tugging on your inner emotions.


As both John McLaren and Stephanie Heitz bring their dynamism to the surface, there is a sense of magically captivating tenors that flourish in the realm of love and adoration. Creating a lifelike narrative that practically leaps out to your ears, "Any Other Way" provides all the emotion you need.



Welcome to BuzzMusic, John McLaren, and Stephanie Heitz. This collaboration between you two is so well thought out! It brings out the best in both of you as artists and individuals. How did this collaborative project come to be? Was there a particular moment inspiring the narrative?

John: Stephanie and I started out as fans of each other's music on Instagram. We became fast friends and began cheering each other on with their craft. Both of us had been listening to the other's work on Spotify, and one day I reached out to Stephanie inviting her to join me in collaboration. I had solely been an instrumental guitarist up to this point, so Stephanie jumped at the idea of being my first songwriting collab!


Could you please share a glimpse into what the creative process entailed when bringing this song to life? What was it like working with one another to bring something so intimate to the ears of your audience?

Stephanie: From the moment I listened to John's beautiful composition, I connected with it on an emotional level, and just knew it felt like a love song. John is a newlywed, and I have been happily married for quite a few years, so this concept seemed very fitting, and the lyrics fell easily into place.


What does the overall quintessence of “Any Other Way,” say about you both as artists?

John: Being that we live 1477 miles apart, we engaged in a series of video chats in order to bring their project to life. Stephanie started feeling lyrics from the first moment she listened to the moving instrumental. I suggested that she sing them live over a video chat, so I could get a better grasp on the vision for the song. We quickly found out that we are like-minded in many ways, so communication came very easily. It only took two video chats to get the lyrics just the way we had both envisioned, and in no time at all, "Any Other Way" was on its way to be mixed and mastered in the studio.


What are you hoping that your audience takes away from the themes and emotion delivered?

We both want to bring a sense of hope to the world. We are very passionate about what we write and want to have a positive influence on our audience.


What is your mission statement as an artist?

John: I want my guitar to convey emotions that ignite a response in people.

Stephanie: I aspire to pour encouragement into my listeners with every lyric I writes. We believe our creative collaboration has accomplished both of these goals.


JohnMclaren Instagram

Stephanie Heitz Instagram