Country singer Michael Dean Church is aiming to make it big in Nashville — a long way from his hometown of Welch, W.Va. This 30-year-old is smart enough to figure out a way to buck the machine that is Music City. He has reached No. 5 of “Top Artists” on MySpace and is getting radio play. He’s gotten callbacks from “America’s Got Talent” and “Nashville Star.” To listen to song samples and see more pics, check out www.michaeldeanchurch.com and www.myspace.com/michaeldchurch.
Graffiti: What are your latest projects?
Dean Church: I’ve got my new single put there, “Why Can’t You Forgive Me?” I’ve got my MySpace site cranking up. Plus, I’ve been doing interviews and phone interviews.
Graffiti: You are from Welch. Your bio speaks of not getting radio reception as a kid. What kind of music did you listen to?
Dean Church: My whole life, I’ve been listening to country music as long as I can remember. I also listened to everything from rock, to jazz to R&B. I’m not too big on rap, though.
Graffiti: Where have you performed in West Virginia?
Dean Church: I’ve performed at the Fireworks Fair and also, the Music Jamboree.
Graffiti: Who are your musical influences?
Dean Church: For me, it’s people like Garth Brooks, Hank Williams and Ronnie Milsap.
Graffiti: Are your parents musical?
Dean Church: Not really. Sometimes, they sing ... but they can’t hold a tune in a 5-gallon bucket!
Graffiti: How old were you when you started singing?
Dean Church: My grandparents have a tape of me singing when I was 18 months old: the Dukes of Hazzard theme and also, “9 to 5.”
Graffiti: What are you listening to these days?
Dean Church: I don’t listen to the radio; I ain’t impressed with what’s out there. I love Sugarland, though.
Graffiti: What are some of the biggest gigs you’ve played?
Dean Church: I played in Atlanta at the Georgia State Fair; there were 6,000 – 8,000 people in the audience. I’ve opened for Tracy Lawrence.
Graffiti: Do you have any advice for the people from home trying to make it in Nashville?
Dean Church: Unfortunately, you have to come with the resources to do what you need to do. The days when you could be discovered in a bar are over. Labels aren’t developing artists. You have to come ready to go from day one. You have to have money to record, to play. The thing about Nashville is, they don’t pay you! They expect you to play for free. I’m not paying to play, though. I want to take it to the next level and get a record deal.
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