-James Osborne, News Editor
“Someone once said to me, ‘Man, you just go there to escape reality,’ but actually he got it wrong. I go there to get back to reality. It’s one of those places where I can get away from everything, but it is in that moment that I am reminded of who I am, what I am capable of, and who I belong to. It’s very refreshing,” said Chad Perry of where he grew up in Henleyfield, Miss. Perry is a singer/song-writer and gets much of his inspiration for his music, like his song “Pearl River County Blues,” from memories of growing up in Henleyfield and time with family.
Perry, 23, is a senior from Brandon, Miss., majoring in Business Administration. He is a 2009 graduate of Brandon High School. Before attending Mississippi College, he attended Hinds Community College. Perry is a serious musician who hopes for a career as a singer and song-writer. He also hopes to encourage and help promote other musicians and continue to express himself through song-writing and help his audience through music.
Perry started performing when he was 15 in the band Vertical Ascent and started performing solo at age 18 but said that music has always been in his blood. One of his earliest memories is playing along on a tennis racket while his uncle played his Gibson electric guitar. His father was in a touring Christian band and Chad would perform with them sometimes on stage at his home church when he was 6. Perry has been playing guitar since he was 12 but has been playing it seriously since age 16.
This past summer, Perry performed at least one show every weekend, sometimes more, and sometimes shows during the week. Perry has performed over 20 shows in the last 5 months.
“It’s definitely beneficial and I love it,” said Perry. “It has helped me with my productivity, to be more punctual and professional. It gets tiresome at times but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I feel I have learned a lot in the past 4 months as an artist and as a person,” said Perry.
Perry describes his music style as “an eclectic mix of soft rock, folk, pop sensibility, elements of Blues and R&B, and some country.” His influences of Dave Barnes, Gavin Degraw, and John Mayer are clearly heard in his music.
“John Mayer is a big influence, with his style and his writing…I feel I can relate to it, and that’s how I want people to relate to my writing,” said Perry.
Perry performed on campus on September 5 at “Party on the Patio.” He was excited to debut some of his new original work.
Perry has received some heart-felt and interesting compliments on his original music. “At Shucker’s the other day, I had someone come up and tell me, ‘Man those covers are good but I like your originals so much better. Do you have any more?’ That meant a lot.” said Perry.
Another time, Perry was taken aback when a stranger said that he heard one of his songs on Soundcloud, and now he sings it in the shower.
“I thought it was awkward…but at the same time that’s so awesome. In all fairness it is a good shower song,” said Perry with a laugh.
One of his original songs that he gets the most compliments from is his song “Sweet Serenity.”
“That song is my baby,” said Perry. “It’s just a song about letting go of the past. It started out as a sappy love song but took on a whole new meaning as the years went on. It’s about letting go of what used to define you, and forsaking all you have and learning your true self-worth. That’s where I feel I am in my life right now,” said Perry
Later this year Perry will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for his first EP. The campaign will last 30 days and he hopes to have the 5 song EP released by early winter or early next year on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon. The EP will be titled “The Past Under Our Heels,” based on a line from “Sweet Serenity.” The EP will be produced by Jason Turner with additional production and recording by Casey Combest of Blue Sky Studios.
Because of his love of music and first-hand experience as a musician, Perry is very passionate about supporting local musicians.
“There is so much potential here in Jackson. So many great artists. But not enough support. The support system is the problem.” said Perry.
After graduating Perry hopes to move to Nashville to pursue his music career or work in the business side of the music industry while still writing and performing on the side.
“I’d love to help promote other artists, maybe after my music career has run its course. Maybe writing for other artists and learning more about the different aspects of the industry and bring that knowledge back to Jackson.” said Perry.
Perry’s advice to other artists is to follow your dreams.
“Go after it. Pursue your passion, not your pocket book. If it is in you, and God has put that in you, He will provide a way for you. Don’t give up no matter what, and take a leap of faith.”