In the spotlight – Dusty Grant

In the spotlight – Dusty Grant

In the spotlight – Dusty Grant: Dusty Grant is a 39 year old singer-songwriter from Wichita (USA), who plays dark acoustic rock music. His full name is Dustin, but he’s been called Dusty for as long as he can remember. He grew up in the suburbs of Omaha.

“My mom and older sister listened to a lot of music while I was growing up. I really started loving music when I became a teenager and could start exploring music and artists that were more to my tastes.”

What kind of music do you like?

“I like a little bit of everything. Anything that is well written and authentic. I would say I mostly listen to metal, hard rock and country. Real country, not the watered down pop stuff. As I get older, I appreciate different types of music much more.”

Dusty has been a musician for around 20 years. He picked up singing at a party at his senior year in high school.

“I had friends that had a live music setup in their basement. They started playing some covers and I picked up the microphone. People seemed to be into what I was doing and the rest is history. I started playing guitar about 6-7 years ago. For the most part, I am self-taught. I picked up some tips and tricks from friends on guitar when I started out. I had a handful of vocal lessons, but they never seemed to stick.”

Before going solo you played in a metal band. When did you decide to go solo and why? 

“I decided to go solo in 2017. I had just had my twins. They were born premature and spent 7 weeks in the NICU. Once we got them home and things started to become a little more normal for us, I finally picked up my acoustic guitar and started fooling around and writing my own songs. I made a video of one song I wrote and the feedback I got from it was excellent. I then decided to start recording and performing as a solo artist. I’ve been solo ever since.”

Where do you draw influences from?

“My biggest influence in my writing is personal experience and relationships. I try to steer clear of politics and religion in my writing. I think people get enough of that in their everyday lives. There is a possibility that I would write something politically charged, I just haven’t yet. I try not to limit myself creatively.

Are there any social issues that you’re passionate about? 

“Mental health is a huge one for me as a guy that has his own issues with anxiety and depression.”

Do you have any hobbies that contribute to your musicality?

“Absolutely. I am a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and also train in kickboxing. These things keep me mentally and physically sharp. They also give me a lot of humility. All of those things really benefit me. Being an indie artist is no easy task. It never hurts to build some toughness.”

Like many indie artists Dusty isn’t making a profitable living off music. He has to work 55 hours a week to support his family. How do you balance all your obligations?

“I am happily married and have twin 4 year olds, a daughter who is 10 and a step-daughter who is 15. Balancing music with my other obligations is a huge challenge for me. I work and also train in martial arts. Instead of balance, I would say it’s sacrifice. I sleep less and have to burn the candle at both ends to make things work and continue to build. My biggest challenge is the lack of free time to complete all of the tasks I need to and want to complete.”

What do you enjoy most as a musician? 

“I really love to perform live.  But, I would say what I enjoy most is hearing that one of my songs actually really meant something to someone or helped them through a tough time.”

Your song ‘Up from Here‘ is currently #1 in our Cool Top 20 chart. What’s the song about? 

“I started writing ‘Up From Here’ at the end of my first tour as a solo act. I fell asleep on a wooden floor on an air mattress. I woke up a couple hours later only to find that there was a hole in the mattress and I spent the rest of the night laying on a wood floor. That night I started to write ‘Up From Here’. The premise of the song is basically, I am starting at the bottom doing the hard work. If I stay focused and keep building, I can only go ‘Up From Here’.”

When I approached you, you mentioned you were working in the studio. What are you currently working on? 

“I just wrapped tracking on two new singles. I will release them after the first of the year, once I have them back from mixing and mastering and get all the design and promotional work completed. I do pretty much everything myself, so it’s a process.”

What are your goals for the next 12 months? 

“I would like to release at least three quality singles in 2021 and return to playing live gigs. I am also putting a heavy emphasis on building my Twitch channel and creating quality live streaming content. A huge goal would be for one of my songs to receive sync placement. I signed a licensing deal in 2020, so I have my fingers crossed that someone will want to use one of my songs!”

What’s your favourite song in the Cool Top 20?

“I would have to go with ‘Sad Song‘ by Diddie Hair right now. It’s a very emotional and powerful song. I heard it at just the right time and I really enjoyed it. I am blown away by all of the talent making the list though. Seems every week there are new and awesome releases coming out.”

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