The Fort Thomas “Budding Journalist” Column in Sponsored by Fort Thomas Subway
|Nicholas Crawford with his mother, Lori, and Carter New. FTM file..|
He is a fifth grader at Johnson Elementary School and enjoys magic, basketball and baseball. He is a junior leader black belt in taekwondo and is currently testing for his second-degree black belt in December.
He also wants to learn how to play the guitar, so Nicholas interviewed recent Highlands graduate, Carter New, who recently tried to make music his career.
Interview by Nicholas Crawford
Nicholas Crawford: What was your inspiration when you first began to play music?
Carter New: I was born into a family where there was a lot of athletic talent, but not much talent when it came to music, but my uncle could play and sing a bit and when I was really young, I used to enjoy that. When I was really little, I could play tunes on the keyboard, by ear.
I would always ask my teachers in school to teach us how to make my own music. I would write songs myself before I knew how to play an instrument. I loved it from young age because if you really pay attention to music, you can hear it, feel it, see it.
NC: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
CN: I like country music. A lot of the stuff I write kind of mimics the stuff I listen to or write, but ever since I’ve performed live, I try and play as many different genres as possible because I want to make everyone happy. Some people out there might not like country music. I can get into everything except for hardcore rapping, but if there is a melody or chord progression, I can appreciate the talent.
I sang in the choir at Highlands and NKU, so I began to even enjoy classical music. That’s where music originated; they are the godfathers of music in general.
NC: When did you start playing music?
CN: I started taking piano lessons in second second grade and I always recommend to try and play piano before the guitar, that. In the fifth grade, my mom asked me if I wanted to play guitar too and I told her yes. Wednesdays after school for two hours, I learned the guitar and I loved it.
NC: What was Nashville like when you tried to make a career of music?
CN: Nashville was so much different than northern Kentucky. Everyone in Nashville wants to make it in music and it’s not just country music, like you’d think. It’s blues, rock, pop, R&B. Even the rappers come to Nashville to record because the studios are some of the best in the world.
It was a really neat experience, but it was very hard. When I played in northern Kentucky people would pay me money to play. When I went down to Nashville, you have to fight for your spot. People don’t come to you and you usually don’t get paid. I might make some tips, and I was having fun,, but eventually it started to feel like a job more than a passion.
For me that was the point that I had to backup and ask myself if this is what I wanted.
That would be the best advice I’d give to anyone: Never let playing music become a burden because it’s something that you should love.
I’m not done down there, I just look at it like I took a break to work. I’ll make more money and go back there. There are guys that are down there for ten years and have no luck and there are guys down there a week and get signed.
NC: How do you feel when you go on stage?
CN: There first time that I appeared on stage was in 8th grade at St. Catherine. I was excited because I knew it would be fun. I was also a little nervous because I wanted to play up to the level I knew I could. I didn’t want to mess up or look dumb, so I definitely tried my hardest to keep my emotions under school.
A year later, I graduated at St. Catherine. No one at Highlands knew I played, but by the end of the year, the principal asked me to play guitar and sing in front of the whole school.
I was so nervous because I was so young, but that’s when everything really started to roll for me because kids my age where enjoying the music. Its’ easy to let yourself get nervous at that level, but I wouldn’t worry about that too much because at the end of the day, someone asked you to play. You have to believe in yourself. That’s what keeps me playing.