In the overcrowded and fast-paced music scene, it is hard to find artists who still believe in their releases. While most artists now focus more on the numbers their music achieve, real artists like Gary Pratt remind us what is really important. By putting all his talent and passion into his songs, Gary reaches the heart of the listeners from the very first notes, catapulting them towards new soundscapes. Today, at Planet Singer, we have the great pleasure of listening to his latest releases and discovering more about this talented artist with this exclusive interview!
Hi Gary, it is a pleasure having you with us today! Your artistic path is incredible, and your sound is truly unique! Let’s start from the beginning. How did you discover your love for music?
I was born with music in my blood. I was told when I was a child, I could dance before I could talk, and once I could talk, I started singing; the rest is history (lol), let’s put it that way. It’s a God-given passion and love. I started singing in a band when I was about 15.
All the musicians were in their 20’s and up. We practiced in my parents’ basement, and my parents would go to all the gigs because I was underage. I remember one club they use to make us go outside during the break because I couldn’t be in the bar area. Nothing like sending a 15-year-old out on the streets, in the dark (lol). I was involved in music in High School and bands through College. After College, I lived in Nashville for a year and played all the major venues but then moved back to the Pittsburgh area. I actually stopped singing when I came home. I was so depressed about the music scene.
After some time, I realized that I was miserable without music and performing. It was like a lost part of me. I decided to never stop singing. I didn’t care if it only went as far a singing in my basement; I was going to keep doing what makes me the happiest and helps make me the person I am.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I have always watched music artists live, on TV, and video performances. I have learned from other singers and entertainers. Now my inspirations for songwriting come from various sources. I am a creative person. That’s how my brain works. I find inspiration from what people say. They can say the best hooks or titles, and they don’t even know what they said. To me, it’s like finding a treasure. It can also come from something a friend may be going through in life or what I’m going through personally. Sometimes it’s just a God-given idea in my head.
How do you write your songs? Can you reveal your creative process?
After I get an idea- from whatever source, I fool around with the Lyrics/Melody. Sometimes it comes easy and sometimes not. A melody may just pop in my head even before an idea of lyrics or vice-versa. I get ideas in my sleep, and I have to get up and record a little bit of it, and then I check it out later. I don’t play piano or guitar very well. I usually will do somewhat of the music on the computer and then have seasoned musicians come up with music.
Your latest album, “Something Worth Remembering,” which sees your collaboration with some Hit Nashville songwriters, is an album that means a lot to you. Can you tell us more about this project?
I lost my brother three years ago. I have wanted to do something to honor him. When this album was being recorded, I wanted to dedicate it to him. However, I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the tribute to him to make sense. In addition to my songs, I thought it would benefit the project to include known Nashville writers. After recording the first ten songs, I still felt uncomfortable with the idea of the project being in memory of my brother. My producer, Bryan Cole, introduced me to the song “Something Worth Remembering’, written by Grammy Nominee Tony Arata. I loved it, and it completed the whole idea. It was so amazing. The light came on. This one song brought the entire album together. This album is a life story. We only have one life to live. It’s about overcoming weaknesses, addictions, and being brave. “You Gotta Jump In” and step out of your comfort zone to get what you want. It’s about growing up and going through life’s situations and heartbreaks. It’s about drinking in good times and bad times. It’s about celebrating with friends and family. It’s about doing the right thing toward others. It’s about finding the love of your life and believing that God had that planned for you. It’s about prayers being answered. It’s about being there for family, friends, and strangers when they need help. My brother was that guy. He made his mark on this earth and was always there for me and others. Looking back, I realize that now and I appreciate and miss him. His life is and was “Something Worth Remembering.”. This album could be my brother’s life story, my life story, and I’m sure someone else’s life story. I feel many people will be able to relate to the songs, and I am so proud of this project! I also want to take this time to thank Tonic Studio and Engineer Douglas Kasper in Mckeesport, PA, Omni Studios in Nashville, Adam Ernst for his talent in playing all the instruments and help arranging the songs, and my wonderful Producer Bryan Cole.
You opened act for such greats as Dwight Yoakum, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, and many more. How important is it for you to share your passion with other great artists? Do you feel like opening big acts, sharing the stage with other incredible musicians is something the new “Digital” generation misses a bit?
This is a great question. First of all, it’s an honor when you can open for such greats. It’s a rush, and it validates your talent. It gave me more confidence. Meeting these Artists above and others gave me insight. How they treated their fans and fellow entertainers, such as me, made a great impact on me. I learned from them on a one-to-one close-up basis. I learned what to do and what not to do when it comes to how you treat your valued fans and fellow entertainers sharing the stage. I feel the “Digital” generation will miss out on the one-on-one experiences. It is invaluable! They will also miss out on the reactions of fans at concerts. When I am on stage, I feel nervous at first, but then this “Super-power” sets in. After the show, I am on this high that is hard to explain. This is something that an entertainer can only experience with live performances.
“Something Worth Remembering,” the title track of your album, written by incredible Tony Arata, is a memorable song. How did this collaboration start? Can you tell us more about this song?
I think I sort of explained a part of this in a previous question. However, this song conveys that people can change through life, and we should not give up. It is never too late. What we should do is strive to be the best person we can be. Do good for others. Change your life to be better and be remembered for the good things you did with your life. Many times, a person can be there for a friend or family member, and we forget about the good tasks a person did. We, as people, will let one bad experience wipe out all the good a person has done. I am not sure what that is. We should look for the good in people, and we should learn to forgive.
In your album, you collaborate with such incredible singers, musicians, and songwriters; one example of this perfect chemistry is your duet with talented Savanna Nider, “To Find Us,” such a brilliant track. Can you tell us how more about this track, and your other collaborations in the album?
The duet with Savannah came about with the song I wrote, “To Find Us'” When I wrote the song, I thought it should be a duet. We recorded it as a solo at first. I brought it up to my producer, “I really feel this song would benefit if it was a duet. I have always been a sucker for duets”. I was pretty sure that MTS, Michael Stover, would be promoting the album. I wanted to surprise him by having a female singer from his label as my duet partner. I didn’t even have to think about it. I wanted Savannah. She is so incredible. We contacted Savannah and sent her the song. I was so honored she was on-board with recording it. Byran Cole and I drove to Nashville, and I met Savannah for the first time. We recorded the vocals at Omni Studios. Due to the pandemic, I could not really enjoy the Nashville nightlife at that time; however, I enjoyed a great dinner with Savannah and her Husband. What a fantastic couple. Savannah and I are planning on writing together in the future. I also wanted the talented Matt Westin, another MTS label mate, to help out on background vocals on several songs. He is amazing. I am so honored to have both Savannah and Matt on this project. Getting to know them has been a wonderful experience, and I thank them both for their talent.
Your talent, your gift, is also guided by your faith. Is there a song among those of your discography you feel represents your spirituality the most?
I like to write songs that have a reference to God. Two songs on the album that I wrote show the belief in God. “To Find Us” and “Number One Fan.” Out of those two, I have to say “To Find Us”…The lyrics tell it all:
We found strength and we found hope,
We found peace like we’ve never known,
We found true and we found trust,
We found faith and we found love,
We know this was meant to be,
I found you and you found me,
We understand God had it in his plan
That you had to lose him and I had to lose her,
To Find Us.
What are your plans for the future?
Of course, like all musicians and entertainers, no matter how good you are, you always want to get better and learn more. I’d like to do some co-writing. I am also interested in writing a few Christian songs. There is so much more life in this album. I want to concentrate on getting it out there for people to hear. I am working on plans on hosting an hour radio show per week featuring New Music and Artists from the Streets of Nashville and the Pittsburgh area. I am also interested in doing an actual video of at least one of the songs from this album.
Gary, it was such a pleasure chatting with you today! We wish you all the best with your music, and we can’t wait for your next release! Is there something you would like to say to our readers?
I want to invite everyone to visit my website www.garyprattmusic.com and feel free to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know you listened to my music and what you think. My music is available on all the music media sites, including Spotify, Itunes, Youtube, etc. I’d love to see your readers join my Gary Pratt Fans Facebook Group. Above all, thank you all for your support, and thank you, Planet Singer, for taking the time with me. God Bless You All!
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