Q: Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, you somehow gravitated toward country music. This certainly did not happen by chance! What or who was it that drove and inspired you toward that genre in a state know for giving birth to acts like John Legend, Marilyn Manson, and the Black Keys?
A: Well, Ohio gave birth to more musicians than those you mention. I cover The Pretenders single “Don’t Get Me Wrong” on my last album Let It Go, and Chrissie Hynde came from Ohio as well. I didn’t grow up listening to Country music alone, although artists like Patsy Cline and Keith Urban always interested me, but it wasn’t until a radio promoter named Gene Kennedy came to me about my first released version of “That Town” which was making some headway on pop radio, and told me my music belonged on Country radio. I have never looked back since. It seems like my career has come full circle with being named AC/Hot AC Breakthrough Artist of 2019 by the New Music Weekly.
Q: Your musical beginnings did not manifest through singing, piano, or guitar; but rather via the drums! Please explain! Tell us about the first moment you picked up those sticks!
A: Magical! I had been tapping, no banging (lol) on tables and counters, anything you could bang on. I was always keeping time, so my father finally just bought me this little drum set, and as I just said it was a magical experience.
Q: Some may not be aware of the fact that you walked away from music for a time to pursue an acting career, which ultimately landed you roles in Hoffa, Basic Instinct, Batman, and even the Ray Charles soda commercials! Good lord, you must have some great stories about being on those sets. Willing to share one?
A: On making the movie Basic Instinct, Michael Douglas took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me.
Q: You’ve got a small library of music out in the world, which includes the albums, Let It Go, Movin’ On, Hearts Of Time, and so much more. Looking back, tell us who you were during each of those albums? What do they mean to you today?
A: I haven’t changed who I am much, though I do, of course, respond to what is all around me and navigate the changing realities in my life; but my core values, tastes and even the message in my music are all basically the same. Of course I have learned so much in the course of my music career. And have grown my talent by hard work and experience, but I confront things the way I always have, just as I say in my new single “Meet Me Halfway.” I pay attention to what is in front of me. Truth is I came to Los Angeles to make films even though an entry job with the Sheraton in Pasadena, CA actually brought me out West. That is how I came to sing for a career. I worked my way up.
Q: What new music are you currently working on? What is your current inspiration?
A: I have been inspired a great deal by what is happening between people these days. It seems like everyone is moving to their most extreme positions in life, and we have become less civilized with each other. That is the theme of my new single “Meet Me Halfway.” One of the songs I am currently recording actually talks about accepting oneself for what one is. I just want to be me.
Q: Who is on your CD player / record player / streaming device right now!?
A: Jonas Boys “I Want To Be Cool”
Q: Perhaps in some unspecified amount of time, your musical career explodes in the best of ways…what does that look like for you?
A: I win multiple Grammys! I am always trying to expand my music. Fine tuning my craft, and learning more every day. In the last couple years I have been opening for some of the great music acts of the past. Each of them taught me something that I could use. I guess for a music lifer my ultimate goal would be to make better music and art and reach more people with my gift. Hoping to see my music in films and on television, acquire a few new sponsors and see my music used in commercials or for political candidates I support.
Q: You get to collaborate with anyone of your choosing. Who is it?
A: Keith Urban
Q: Your favorite album of all time?
A. A Beatles Hit Compilation.
Q: Your favorite song of all time?
A: That is way too hard a question to answer, but if I have to, it would be Elton John’s song “Harmony.”
Q: What would you like fans to know about you that they’re most likely unaware of?
A: I am a trained kickboxer. Been training for the past 15 years. It has been very helpful in developing my ability to focus and to execute my performances.
Q: Any shout-outs you wanna make?
A: Just want to thank all my fans for supporting me throughout my music career.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Come on out and visit me. My upcoming show dates include, June 6, 2019 at 4:30 PM at The San Diego County Fair, Wednesday August 7th at 3:30 PM at the Orange County Fair, Saturday night, August 17 at the Rose with The Grass Roots, BB Kings, Nashville on the 22nd of September, and the Sync Summit in Westwood, California, at 11 AM, December 2, 2019.