“I remember telling my sister when I was very young, ‘I either want to be like Alvin and the Chipmunks or Garth Brooks.’”
That is my favorite quote from my interview with Brent Rupard.
Brent is a proud Kentuckian who took the leap of faith and headed to Nashville in 2010 to pursue his dream and passion – music.
Rupard (pronounced Rooperd he jokingly noted) is from the small town of Shepherdsville, Kentucky. He took a liking to music early in his childhood. After his dad taught him his first guitar chord at age 10, an artist was born as they say and he started writing songs a few years later.
After he made the move to Nashville to pursue his dream career, he soon found a home for his songwriting. With the help of Leann Phelan (ASCAP), he signed a publishing deal with Sea Gayle Music Publishing which is owned by Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois and Frank Rogers.
After about a year of focusing on his writing, he started and is currently working on his debut album. He is hoping for it to be released sometime this year. When asked about his album, he says: “Working on this record has been the highlight of my life. This is a record I’ve always wanted to make. I’ve been fortunate to work on this album with Bryan Simpson and Justin Niebank producing. This record will have the elements of a “rootsy” back porch style with a big ol’ slice of Rock n’ Roll. According to my producer Bryan Simpson, ‘It’s kind of like Garth Brooks meets Levon Helm.’ I have really poured my soul into this project and I hope people get a clear picture of who Brent Rupard is from this debut album.”
Songwriting has always been therapeutic for Brent. His writing process has changed a bit over the years. Where he used to write by himself, he now mostly co-writes. He shares, “If you find writers that understand you as an artist, it is a very fun, creative process. Sometimes it’s just me and someone else. And other times, there are 3 of us. I usually start with some type of melodic or lyric idea and we just run with it. Very laid back. We have fun while writing and hopefully that attitude is heard on the record.”
In between working on his album, he opened for some major tours on select dates in 2013 including The Band Perry, Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch, and Josh Thompson. When I asked him about The Band Perry shows, he responded, “I loved opening for them. They are amazingly talented and great people. Their band and crew were very nice to us. The TBP fans are amazing as well. The crowd was killer, both shows!” He also had the opportunity to play the Buckle Stage at CMA Fest in June of last year. He loved the experience and proclaims that “country music fans are the best in the world.” We tend to agree.
Though it’s an admittedly tough question for Brent, at the top of his list with whom he most wants to tour is Dierks Bentley. He also names Bentley as his current favorite artist; and with a particular affinity for his bluegrass album, he admires Bentley’s musical risk-taking.
As you can tell from the opening quote, one of Brent’s biggest inspirations growing up and his dream collaboration is Garth Brooks. A self-proclaimed old soul, his other inspirations include the likes of Buck Owens, The Band, The Eagles, Tom Petty, George Jones, and Merle Haggard.
Brent is so appreciative to be living his dream, and that gratitude really shines through. “I now get to write songs for a living and get my shot at becoming a recognized artist. It’s been a long journey up to now, but it’s all worth it when your dream starts to slowly unfold. I am excited for what’s to come. Very thankful!” shares Brent.
While the pinnacle of his career is undoubtedly making his upcoming record, he also adds meeting great and talented people in Nashville as a definite high point. “When you love your job and the people you work with, everyday becomes a highlight.” I think that was perfectly stated, and we can all agree that is a universal feeling for which we all strive.
We want to thank Brent for taking the time to answer questions for us and being so great! We can’t wait for his album to be released, and we are sure it is going to be a success. We will keep you all posted this year with updates.
Brent also took the time to answer some fun questions for us!
All-time favorite country song: “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley
Album you’re currently listening to: Levon Helm – Dirt Farmer
Current favorite song on the radio: “Drunk Last Night” By Eli Young Band
Favorite non-musical hobby: Golf
Current favorite TV show: Breaking Bad, but my all-time favorite is The Andy Griffith Show.
Favorite thing about living in Nashville: I get to do what I love here, make music. Great restaurants too!!