Country Music Singer, Raleigh Keegan Talks to Seele
Raleigh Keegan is a singer-songwriter whose dynamic performances mix country, rock and soul in a laid-back style which can be attributed to his Ohio upbringing by adoptive parents after being “born in a jail cell” as one of his songs states. He has come a long way since those humble beginnings, establishing himself as a proud Kentucky resident and performing in 20 states across the Midwest, South, Northeast and Southwest.
Seele Magazine: How did you know you were good at singing?
Raleigh Keegan: Well thank you for thinking I'm good at singing, first of all! Haha. I first started singing when I was 17 and remember trying to sing "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain and failing big time. I sang a ton in my car and shower but didn't sing in front of people until I was 18. Someone told me I was pretty good, so I kept trying to get better and better. I'm still doing this!
Radio is supporting Keegan in the double digits and he looks to increase his presence at key events such as Country Radio Seminar, CMA Fest and Summer NAMM in Nashville. Keegan has been added to over two thousand Spotify playlists and looks forward to continued success by entertaining his list of over 222,000 listeners worldwide. He kicks off his first performance of 2018 in St Louis, MO and circles back through his home state of Kentucky before heading out on the road. Keegan has performed in 26 states already, including being selected by Keith Urban to join him on his first mainstage festival in Florida.
Seele Magazine: Why Country Music and not another genre?
RK: Country Music is a space for honest songwriters, and that's what moves me, so that's what I try to do. I like feeling the sincerity and vulnerability in my favorite songs. That's what draws me in. There have been so many artists that have influenced me in the country genre and after listening to their records I thought, "this is what I want to do".
Seele Magazine: What was it like growing up in Kentucky? How has the state and your roots inspired your music career?
RK: I was actually born in Ohio, but I lived in Kentucky most of my life. The mountains, the horse farms, the rivers, the unique sense of community are all inspiring. Kentucky has given me my roots. I am grateful for my experiences there and how they translate to living here, in Nashville, now.
Seele Magazine: Why do you think that Country Music has stayed relevant over the years, rising in the hearts of Americans. Why do you think it's also growing in the hearts of Europeans and Asians as well?
RK: No matter how technology changes, how the music industry changes, or what happens in the world, the one thing that still moves people are good stories, real experiences, real love, real heartache and that will never change. It's in the heartbeat of men and women regardless of age, ethnicity, or gender.
Country music has always been a collection of stories set to music about the real, raw feelings of people. "Real recognizes real" is a true statement and applies to my music more than you know.
Seele Magazine: Who inspires your music?
RK: People, experiences, random things I see in nature, my parents, cultural events, and many other things. It's hard to say what sparks a trigger for a song idea because sometimes it's well thought out and sometimes they come out of thin air.
My most recent EP, One of These Days, that releases January 26th is a collection of feelings and experiences about relationships. The good, the bad and the ugly of them. I like to think it also touches on the importance of staying with the person you love through thick and thin. My wife, Shelby, is an inspiration beyond belief.
Seele Magazine: What other music genres (not Country) inspires your music?
RK: I love singer/songwriters like Ryan Adams, but you can also catch me listening to Eminem or Kendrick Lamar. I am inspired by all genres of music. I feel like I can sense when something is for show or if it was written from the heart. There are a lot of different artists in other genres being real, just with different backdrops. I appreciate most things if it feels genuine to me.
Seele Magazine: To kids that aspire to be music artists, what your advice to them?
RK: Two words - Google it. Every single question I had prior to management most likely was answered by Google. It sounds simple, but how bad do you want it? If you want this bad enough, you will figure it out on your own and then surround yourself with a team of people that will work just as hard for you. Google it and work hard every day.
Seele Magazine: If you could have a beer with any music artists to date, who would it be and why?
RK: Johnny Cash. I would LOVE to sit down and learn from him and hear his stories.
Seele Magazine: If you weren't singing what would you be doing with your life?
RK: I'd be in a deep dark depression haha! Just kidding, but seriously, I can't imagine my life any other way right now.
Seele Magazine: Does faith or a spiritual practice help guide you in life? If so, how?
RK: Yes! I became a Christian when I was 20 and it changed my life. It was simple for me, I realized I wasn't making the best choices and that I needed Jesus. Since then it's been a process of understanding that truth in my life and applying it. I am not even close to perfect, but I try to listen to what God says before listening to myself.
Seele Magazine: What does the future hold for you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
RK: I see myself continuing to make new fans and friends in 5 years. I hope to keep making honest music and winning people over that way. It's my aim to keep enjoying life, having good times, helping others and spreading my music worldwide!