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Studio CarryOnHarry : An interview with Country Singer Songwriter Gary Pratt on New Album Release , “Something Worth Remembering”. Having started at early part of his life , he got opportunity to work and learn from seasoned artists. Here in this interview Gary will share with us things from his life that made him grow as well as introduce his new album “Something Worth Remembering”.
Tell us about yourself ?
My name is Gary Pratt. I am a Country Singer/Songwriter from the United States, Pittsburgh area. I grew up in the small old coal mining town of SLICKVILLE. Some people around here call people from SlickVille .”Slickers”. So I guess I am a Slicker. My goal in life is to let those people who are important to me know they are loved, to help and be good to others but most of all sing until I die!
How long you been in performing arts ?
I have been performing in bands since I was 16. Most of my bandmates were much older than me. This was a benefit because I was able to play in many clubs and bars. My parents have always believed in me and always were taking me from gig to gig. They are a very important part of my life on a daily basis. I am so blessed to have such wonderful parents. I believe that if I would have been in bands with kids my own age I would have just been stuck singing in garage or basement bands. Being in groups with older members gave me the opportunity to work on my stage presence and gain gig experience from an early age.
What was most attractive part for you to be in this industry ?
Being on stage and interacting with the audience. Sharing emotions through songs and connecting with the Audience. The best compliment a singer can get is the sound of silence when a song is being sung and the sound of clapping when it is done.
Share some experiences ( good or bad ) any that made you grow in life or profession ?
As a kid I was very insecure. I was not always the first kid to be picked to be on a team at School, if you know what I mean. I was backward and was always worried about not fitting in. Later in life I come to realize that this made me grow into a better person. The other benefit was that it made me grow musically. I spent all my time singing, playing in bands and writing as a teenager.
My friends were my band members. I had a few good friends my own age, but not many. I was more of a loaner. I went to college and then tried my luck in Nashville. I played all the main venues, including the Tennessee State Fair and the pre CMA fest stages. I must say I got discouraged with all the playing for free and nothing really happening. I moved back home to the Pittsburgh area to get a “Real Job” and I quit singing for about a year and I was miserable. It was like I lost 1/2 of me. I lost my identity. It was then I decided I didn’t care if I sang in the basement or dive bars forever.
Music was part of who I am. This brought me to today and my new music. I lost my Brother about 3 years ago and I decided to do an album in his memory. Losing my Brother was the most devastating life event that has happened to me, however, this new album has been the best thing that has happened to me musically in my life.
Who inspired you ? How do you work on creating your own signature style ?
Like all singers and musicians, we all strive to be better everyday. I have listened and still listen to all kinds of music, including classical to rock and have sang all styles, however, country is my passion. I have a unique voice, at least that’s what I have been told. My influences have come from Garth, Toby Keith, Dwight Yoakum and even Elvis
What do you want to convey through your music?
This is a loaded question. I think …the word is “Hope”. We all have good and bad experiences in our lives. We have to believe that God is in control and will make a way for us. We all have dreams and we should not be afraid of failure or to go for what we want in life. Of course many people have that American Dream of a white picket fence etc…… but it’s ok to live outside that box and be different. Always do good for others. Always strive to be the best person you can be. We all have obstacles in life- for example some people may have an addiction —it’s ok to get help. No one is perfect. Always strive to do things that are good because once you are gone -people will remember the good things you did. Most of all, we only live once so spend it with the people you love the most. Tell the people who you love, that you love them. You may not be able to do that tomorrow.
Story behind making of your New Album Release ?
The New Album, “Something Worth Remembering” is actually a journey from the beginning to the end. When I was recording the project, I knew I wanted it to be dedicated to memory of my Brother. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this so that it would make sense. I just didn’t want his name to be listed on the album. I wanted it to mean something. When we had most of the songs picked out and started, I was still puzzled on the project. Something was missing. I was uncomfortable with it until my producer, Bryan Cole, brought me the song “Something Worth Remembering”.
This song was written by Tony Arata who wrote “The Dance” for Garth Brooks. I knew immediately this song was the key that would unleash what I wanted to express. I knew right then what song would be first on the project, what song would be last and what song would be the title song for the project. This song made the album complete. It made sense. A journey through one’s life with things we all experience no matter who you are. This includes growing up and going for what you want in life, not being afraid of failure, living through the good and the bad, the heartbreaks and the true loves, to drinking and the celebration of family and friends, or drinking to forget, to making life’s decisions, to overcoming obstacles in life to doing what’s right and good for others and most of all to the belief in God and that he holds the plan. This is all expressed throughout the Album.
Any interesting trivia about making of song ?
One of the songs I wrote on the album, “Number One Fan” has a unique story behind it. When we were in the studio, my Engineer, Douglas Kasper, asked me if I had any older songs that I could bring in for everyone to hear and decide if we could also use on the project. I brought a few in and the one that caught my my friend and instrumentalist, Adam Ernst’s ear was “Number One Fan”. With his help this song got a new life. I re-wrote the lyrics and we changed the whole meaning and music of the song. It is now a very contemporary love song and a song I am very proud of.
People who you would like to thank ?
My fans, family and friends. Without their support, I would have nothing. I love them all so much. I also need to thank the key people who made this album a reality and I am also blessed to call them my friends: Doug Kasper, the Owner and Engineer at Tonic Recording Studios, Bryan Cole, my Producer, Adam Ernst, a very talented Musician, Artist and Writer, Michael Stover of MTS Records, Savannah Nider for her participation on the duet on the Album, Matt Westin for his background vocals, Joe Munroe for his piano talents, JK Northrop for the Mastering, Sherill Blackman for helping to find some awesome songs.
People who you would like to work with and people you idolize to be like professionally ?
I am big on duets,. I’d love to sing a duet with Carly Peirce, Ashley Monroe, Dolly, Pam Tillis or Tanya Tucker. I did open for Pam Tillis once and she is such a wonderful person. She really made me feel part of her show and we got to hang out together throughout the night. I’d love to share the stage with Blake Shelton, (I have the perfect duet for him and Gwen), Garth, or Chris Young. I idolize Dolly Parton for her continued success and for her ambition in re-creating herself. She continues to use her status in her music career to help others. Her involvement in today’s Christian Music is also impressive. She is definitely one to be idolized.
Where do you see your music 3 years from now ?
I’d like to be performing at larger events, recording new material, co-writing with known writers and the list goes on. My main goal is to have a song hit the mainstream country charts.
How would you like to stretch your boundaries of genre in future projects ?
My new album has opened a few more doors for me that were not possible before. I’d like to write some Christian Songs actually. I have a few ideas. Maybe a Christian Album in the future.
Message for Fans and listeners
I want my fans to know they are the most important part of my music. They give me reason. I want to thank everyone who has be following, listening, voting, calling and sharing my information and music. I love each and everyone of you. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat awhile!