For those of you who don’t know me personally, you might not be able to tell just yet, but I am HUGE lover of music. Music is good for the soul & the heart. It can tell a story you can relate to or evoke emotions. I listen to music as a release, or during “me” time, to get me moving in the morning or just to make me feel better & get my in a better place emotionally. I was in choir in school growing up & I’ve taken private lessons at different times in my life. It’s something that is always in my life, even if it isn’t a career, because I connect to it emotionally. Music has given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people & have some amazing experiences.
One of the first local musicians that I met was while I was in school at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University). I was on one of the school’s buses, and I met Rich Karg. At the time was playing as a duo with his brother, Andy & he invited me to hear him play at local Starbucks at the time. He & his entire family have been amazing to me from the very beginning. He was one of the first musicians I remember meeting that I could just tell he had a passion for what he was doing. He’s one of the people I started listening to that started to expose me to more live performances & helped me realize that I LOVED music so much.
Soon after, I started getting into karaoke. I love almost leaving myself & the worries of my every day life for a moment and getting lost in the emotions of the songs that I’m singing. It takes me to a different place, where I connect with the meaning of the lyrics in the song. Karaoke is one of the first things I can remember choosing to do on my own socially that I loved & it really opened up my social circle A LOT… People know me now, and it’s pretty cool to see someone out & they say “Hey! I remember you. You used to sing at Fanatics (or wherever). You’re really good!” Even if I’m not the best singer out there, it’s nice to get complimented. I enjoy doing it. It’s a release for me & I love the feeling when I get positive feedback from a crowd & it gets me out of my comfort zone, which everyone should do at times.
I auditioned for Idol-I didn’t make it through… (That might be another blog for another day though.) but I did end up making it through several rounds of a karaoke show called “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” during my summer in California in 2008. I love competing to help me grow musically, even if nothing else ever comes of it.
Living near Music City has really opened up more opportunities to meet some really amazing people over the years. I’ve met some really fantastic up-and-coming singers, and some AMAZING songwriters that are behind some of the most popular songs in country music.
There was a show called CMT’s Next Superstar. I really loved the show, and I saw that the guy that I was really rooting for, Steven Clawson, was going to be playing downtown the week before the finale, so we decided to go. He has been a wonderful friend to us ever since. He was even the one who came to our house to play a private concert after he found out about my thyroid cancer. Because we have been so supportive to him, he wanted to do something nice for us. It was an unforgettable moment, and one of the most thoughtful things I’ve ever had done for me.
I also follow a band called Radio Romance, that was just recently signed by Sony. They are so talented & genuine musicians. Through their music, I have made so many wonderful, supportive friends… Friends that have really been there for me recently during my whole cancer ordeal. Through that group of friends, I got to meet Gavin DeGraw, who is one of my absolute favorite singers… another moment I will never forget.
Most recently, right after I had my thyroid surgery (about a week after), I found out that one of my absolute favorites on all the seasons of American Idol combined (and one of my favorite singers ever, really now), Johnny Keyser had recently moved to TN in a town near us and was going to be playing at a venue in the area, so I showed up. It was exactly what I needed at the time of my recovery to lift my spirits (another “meant to be” kind of thing). I’ve only gotten the chance to see him play a few of times so far, but I can honestly say that of all of the artists I listen to (and I have 6,000+ songs in my iTunes), he is by far one of the most gifted and humble people in the industry that I have ever met. He’s fairly new in the industry, but you wouldn’t know it by the amazing level of talent that he possesses. Not only is he talented, but he (and his father) are 2 of the sweetest people you will ever meet! I appreciate artists who are humble, and he is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. I genuinely feel like our paths crossed at the perfect time & I have so much respect & adoration for him & have truly enjoyed seeing him grow as a musician, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him!
I am drawn into people who play music, because you can tell they love what they do… but I’m especially drawn in by the ones who are genuine and appreciative of the support that they receive. You can check out these artists on their facebook pages and websites. These musicians are not only talented but they are just wonderful people, and they deserve all the support that they can get!
(2013) Us with 2 of the members of Radio Romance & Gavin DeGraw
(Pic from 2007)