At only twenty-three years old, Adam Gregory has been performing for ten years in his native Canada. After arriving in Nashville in 2007, he signed a recording contract with Midas Records, who then reformed last year under indie powerhouse Big Machine Records. Earlier this year, Gregory reached the Top 40 with his first single, “Crazy Days,” and last month he released his second single, “What It Takes.” His yet-untitled debut album in the United States is slated for release in Spring 2009. Gregory called Country Universe earlier this week to provide a glimpse into the life and career of the Nashville newcomer.
Who is Adam Gregory as an artist? And which artists have inspired this direction?
I consider myself as just a guy who sticks to his roots and follows his own path and tries to find meaning in every song. I’ve co-written a lot of songs on the album, so I hope to put my own imprint and give it that extra attention because it’s coming from me and who I am. We think it’s a refreshing sound. We have something new to offer. It’s not a country twang. It’s more of a modern-day sounding music. But I grew up listening to Vince Gill. He’s such a great singer, and so humble. And of course, Garth Brooks and George Strait. He (Strait) has maintained a personal life and family and still had a great career. That’s what I aspire to do.
You’ve formed a team of songwriters, including Lee Brice and Kyle Jacobs, that have assisted you on this project. How do they contribute to the concept and the sound?
They’re all great writers. They’ve hone in on their craft and they honor their art. I know them all well and it’s cool to take that all in and learn from them and bring my own experience. Eight or nine of the songs on the album are going to be co-written by me, and I just want to put my own life into the music. But they work so hard to help make that happen.
How did your experiences in Canada influence you when you arrived in Nashville?
I take it all as experience under my belt. I know what’s going to take place having been in the business. I’ve done the touring and the recording before. It doesn’t scare me now. Now, there’s just more people to meet and more places to go to get the music heard. We’re just having fun and living on little sleep right now, but it’s worth it. We’re doing a lot of promotions and an artist showcase next week for CMA week in Nashville and just getting to talk to a lot of people in the industry.
Recently, you finished a video shoot for second single, “What It Takes.” What was it like working with Roman White on this particular song?
Roman is a great guy, great director. The whole shoot was stress-free. You know, I’ve done videos in the past, and you always felt like you were rushing, everyone was stressing, and they could get kind of mean, but Roman’s whole crew was incredible. They got some great shots of the performance and the whole story. He captured the reality and the emotion of the song well.
There’s a growing youth brigade in country music, one of which you play a part. In your opinion, what about your music connects to the audience and do you sense this shift in the genre?
Yeah, there’s a lot of younger people now listening. When I was singing in Canada, there was a younger crowd. Every night after the shows, people come up to me and say that they hadn’t listened to country music before, but they really like the music. And now there are new artists coming in from pop, like Jessica Simpson and Darius Rucker, and they bring in a new audience who may not have known about what we do. It’s really good to see new people coming in to country music.