Raleigh Keegan grew up playing many instruments, which led him to pursue a career in country music. With some catchy lyrics and a great relationship with fans, we’ve certainly got him down as one to watch this year! We caught up with the country singer to talk influences, new music and a possible trip to the UK…
What is it that made you want to do country music?
So many of my musical heroes are country singers. Something about country music has drawn me in for years. The stories, the honesty in the writing and the some of the best memories I have in life have country music as a backdrop. It made complete sense to me to pursue a career in country, as compared to any other genre.
We see that you are great at playing both the guitar and the piano, how long have you been playing these instruments and are there any others you are able to play?
I have been playing mainly piano since I was a kid. My mom wouldn’t let me eat dinner until I practiced 30 minutes per day, and if you know me you know that eating is a big deal to me! I just picked up guitar a couple of years ago and I wouldn’t call myself great at it. I can get by enough to write songs and play rhythm at my shows though, so now I love the guitar. A lot of people don’t know this, but I can also play the trombone. In high school I was 1st chair All-State Jazz Trombone. I haven’t played it in forever though, so I might be a tad rusty!
You have a great mix of upbeat, fun songs and some slower, emotional ones… where is it that you usually draw inspiration for writing your music?
Great question! It could be anything from the weather, to a feeling, to a thought, to a life event. My new EP coming out January 26th One of These Days has a definite relationship vibe to it though. The truth is, most good songwriters I know can be inspired by almost anything. I’m most inspired by the things I see, feel or experience.
Your song ‘Wanderin’ Eyes’ has some funky old school vibes to it, especially the opening. Do any other artists play a part in the making of your music and can you tell us who some of your musical inspirations are?
Oh for sure. I love old school guys. Some of my big influences are Tom Petty, The Band, The Eagles, Ryan Adams, John Mayer…. there are so many. My decision to give the music industry a try was after a Zac Brown Band concert. I left the show thinking “This is something I would love to do!” So far, so good!
Who would you say is owning it in the country music scene right now?
Chris Stapleton and Brothers Osborne. Both of them are just badass and killing it.
If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Probably Billy Joel. I’ve always wanted to sit down and play piano with him. He’s amazing on the keys, so I’d just want to watch him up close. That would be so incredible!
What is your favourite song lyric from any song and why?
“If this has to end in tears, I hope it’s in 60 years.” – Pushin’ Time by Miranda Lambert
This line is beautiful and always hits me. She, Natalie Hemby and Foy Vance nailed that lyric. I don’t know which one is responsible for that line in particular, but it makes me want to write with them!
Do you have a favourite song to perform live whether it’s your own or a cover, if so what is it?
I like to perform my new song “Lookin’ Like That” live. It’s so fun to play and gets everyone moving. Anytime you can make a crowd of people dance and smile, that’s a good time.
You’re extremely interactive with fans via social media, how important is it for you to have that kind of relationship with them?
It’s really important to me. Social media interaction and playing live shows are how I’ve built my fan base. I love to interact with people that enjoy what I’m doing and the fans like when I spend some of my time to interact with them! I owe it all to them. They deserve it!
We absolutely love your latest single ‘Lookin’ Like That’. Can we expect some more great tunes like this in 2018?
You can expect my new EP to drop on January 26th! There are six songs on it, all different tempos. I hope people attach to all of them, but I think offering different music from different times in my journey in my own relationship will help people relate to me and my music. It’s real. I think you’ll like it!
What would you like to achieve this year with your music?
My team and I want to just keep pushing forward. I am so proud of the work that we have already accomplished and I’m even more excited for what lies ahead. You can expect us to make some waves this year though and hopefully for years afterward. That would be great!
Do you have any plans to come over to the UK any time soon?
We have been contacted about a few festivals, so crossing the pond would be amazing! I’m so excited to see my music being loved and appreciated overseas in so many countries. I’m currently looking for a reputable agent in the UK, so stay tuned!