Gary Stanton, a junior recording industry management major, is just an ordinary college student doing extraordinary things in the local music scene. Stanton is a musician who enjoys writing country music and performing at local venues. “The American Dream,” one of Stanton’s original songs, has been viewed over 17,000 times on YouTube and also caught the eyes and ears of many students on campus.
The Student Printz sat down for an interview with Stanton to get some in-depth information about his music career and to shed light on balancing the responsibilities of being a college student and an aspiring musician.
Tell me a little bit about what exactly you’re doing with your music career at this time?
Stanton: Right at this moment I’m really just writing a lot. That’s really what I want to do. I was actually in the studio yesterday working on my part of the acoustic compilation CD for South City Records. I also play acoustic shows here and there at different venues here in Hattiesburg, in Mobile, Pensacola, Jackson and that circuit.
What got you interested in singing and writing music?
Stanton: I started playing guitar in second grade when my best friend started playing and I decided I would play too. He realized it wasn’t really for him but I kind of had a gift for it. So I just kept playing and went on to play for youth groups and church events. I didn’t start writing until I was about 16 years old and even then I didn’t write country music until I was about 18.
Would you say that country is your genre?
Stanton: Yeah I would definitely say so.
From where do you draw inspiration?
Stanton: The reason I write country music is because it tells a story. It’s not really the vocal aspects or the sound of it that I like so much but the storytelling aspect. I mostly get inspiration from the older country music instead of the pop country that you hear on the radio today because of the stories they tell, whether it is about grieving a death in the family or political issues.
Is it difficult balancing being a normal college guy, going to school, participating with your fraternity, and working on your music career?
Stanton: There’s not a lot of free time. My free time really is just writing music. I’m a student first but I like staying busy so it’s not that bad. I’d rather be busy doing what I love than doing nothing.
What kind of tactics do you use to keep your life organized and balanced?
Stanton: I have to have a schedule. I’m a routine kind of guy. I used to be really unorganized but I had no choice but to get organized because I started having mishaps and forgetting to do things.
What advice would you offer students that are aspiring musicians?
Stanton: What I would say is do what you love and keep striving for that dream, whatever it is. Just don’t quit on what you love.
You can find out more about Gary Stanton by visiting Facebook or YouTube and searching “Gary Stanton” on each site. You can hear the original “American Dream” tune at garystanton.bandcamp.com.