Guitar Hero enthusiast Jared Minnix is taking the Indie-Pop world of Nashville by storm with the release of his newest single, “Might As Well,” which dropped not even two weeks ago. Minnix released his debut EP “Virginia Rose” just last year, and is on the move to keep the momentum going.
Originally from a small town right outside Roanoke, Virginia, Minnix moved to Nashville four years ago with hopes to pursue music in whatever way he could. He spent his first few years on national Billboard tours as a lead guitarist, and had the opportunity to share the stage with seasoned performers Lee Ann Womack and Chase Rice.
Focusing more on creating in the last couple years, Minnix has found happiness in songwriting and artistry. With Pop/R&B as his main musical influence, Minnix is on a mission to write and play songs that are meaningful and personal, and perhaps most of all, danceable.
Here at Music Mecca we had the pleasure to sit down with Jared and ask him a few questions about his musical journey thus far.
Music Mecca: So you just released your latest single, “Might As Well.” What was the inspiration behind the song?
Jared Minnix: So “Might As Well,” is about my wife. I’m recently married, for about 6 months now. She was going out of town for a friend’s wedding. Thankfully I’m married to someone who I really enjoy being around. She’s just my best friend. So she was going to this wedding in Ohio with her sister it had been about to two days since she left and I really missed her just after two days. The main idea of the song talks about how when she isn’t with me physically, whether that’s out of town or just at work for the day, it can tend to feel like someone you really care about is so far away, even further than they are. One of the lines is “You might as well be half across the world right now cause I’m missing half my world right now.” And then I compared it to different places like Chicago and LA to emphasize the distance of it all.
MM: How did you feel about the response the release has been getting in the last week?
JM: It’s been great! Everyone has really been digging it. The other EP I put out was definitely sadder and had a heartbreak theme to it so I knew going forward that I’m married now, I’m happy and I don’t want to write sad stuff anymore because I just don’t feel sad anymore. There is definitely beauty to be found in sad songs and it helped to capture that moment in my life, but now it’s a new season and I’m happy so I want to do that. Everyone has been super pumped about it. It’s been really cool seeing videos people having been sending me of them dancing along to it. It’s cool having something upbeat that people can jam out to.
MM: How would you say your music or writing style has evolved and progressed from your first single, “Virginia Rose,” in 2018?
JM: Definitely happier, wanting to write more encouraging things, but I still write sad stuff all the time. It’s really hard to not write relational things. If you’re going to write, you should be as authentic and personal as possible. It’s hard singing about a breakup and it was very real and harsh things I went through that I was very specific about and I still try to be authentic now even on the positive side. I think my new single has been a slight change in direction even from a production standpoint because I do want the focus to be a little more Top 40, a little more mainstream. It’s less band and a little more track heavy which is really cool. I like the new sound and the way it’s going.
MM: What have you learned from playing and touring with acts like Lee Ann Womack and Chase Rice?
JM: I’ve been playing guitar my whole life and when I got to Nashville I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. I’m still not entirely sure, but I did the touring thing for a little while. I played for a specific artist who was kind of opening for Lee Ann Womack and Chase Rice. We did a radio tour and were out of the road 5 days a week for 5 months straight. We’d fly home, do laundry and fly back out. It was a great experience and it gave me a good work ethic, but it also taught me that I didn’t want to be a touring musician. It was the first time I ever played on a professional level and it was quote unquote “The Dream,” playing professionally and traveling the world, which was awesome, but I learned it wasn’t for me. It led me to think more about how I could use my passion for music, but not be gone so much. That’s where I kind of started the whole writing thing. After that I wrote for a whole year and kind of never stopped.
MM: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and how you got started with your music and playing guitar?
JM: Guitar Hero 1 *Laughing* Seriously.
MM: What age was that?
JM: 12 years old. So Guitar Hero 1 came out and it rocked my world. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and I still think it’s pretty awesome. My cousin got the game because we never had it. It was my first exposure to classic rock because that’s kind of the majority of the game. So from 12 to 16 all I listened to was classic rock. Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, honestly anything that was on the game, I just loved. I felt the first spark for a genre of music that I’d want to do for real. I wanted to play the real guitar around 12, and I couldn’t play it. I couldn’t play the songs that were on the game and I was pissed! There were no buttons and more strings. I’m 25 now so it’s been 13 years of playing guitar, but I just remember playing at 12 and being really, really bad and not being able to play songs or chords, to now, and the 12 years in between are all a blur. I just fell in love with the instrument which really got me into the music scene. And then all the girls liked it when I would sing *laughing* so then the writing and singing came next. I had always been interested in music, but no one in my family did it. I’m not sure exactly what it was. Honestly it was seriously Guitar Hero 1.
MM: Do you plan on staying in Nashville throughout your career as a musician, or could you see yourself relocating to LA which is typically more Pop-focused when it comes to music?
JM: For now, and the older I get I think it’s important to establish your roots, especially now that I’m married. There are such awesome things about Nashville. I’ve seen it bloom in four years. My wife and I came here at the top of the wave when everyone was moving. Especially the pop music scene here, everyone knows each other, so you quickly realize how small of a town this is. I definitely think I have another year or two here, but that being said I did live in California outside LA and when the time comes that we want kinds, I want little blonde surfing babies. We also really love New York. We go several times a year and love the city. Maybe we’ll move out there first. Ideally, I’d love to try New York out for a short term and then eventually go out to La to start a family, but I’d always want to keep Nashville involved in my life for working out of it for sessions, writing and recording. The community is hard to beat.
MM: Do you have plans for an EP, album, or tour lined up for?
JM: I do have a really cool song that I’m stoked to put out. It’s in the works right now. Lucas Arens is amazing and has been the producer on all of my songs in the past. He was recently signed to Downtown Publishing which is so great. He’s been getting really busy, so I’ve been thinking it may be time to branch out and to start working with some more people. I’m talking to some people now and hoping to put out this single soon. I also have another EP in the works.
MM: Who are your current favorite artists so far in 2019?
JM: Lauv is definitely the biggest current inspiration for overall songwriting and production. He’s my favorite and there is literally nothing he has released that I haven’t liked. I’m also a huge Chelsea Cutler fan right now. Those are my two go-to artists right now. I think they are the guy and girl version of each other, both great writers and similar producers. They’re huge influences for me. I’m also the biggest John Mayor fan ever. As a guitarist he will always have a spot on my heart.
MM: What advice might you have for artists seeking to move to Nashville in hopes to make a name for themselves as a pop artist?
JM: You have to get involved in the pop community. You have to actively plug yourself into the pop world and meet key players like Noreen Prunier or Lucas Arens, or anyone of the people who are really hustling. The pop world here in Nashville is drastically different than it was 4 years ago when I got here, but it’s still a tight knit community. Publishers are opening pop locations here and there are more and more artists who are crossing over in genres. Start booking sessions. Instagram is a game changer. The amount of people I have been able to meet with, write with, and play with just from sending them a direct message is incredible. The ability to reach out to that many people on social media and be connected almost instantly is a gift.
For more info on Jared and his music, check out his website HERE.