Editor’s Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Raleigh Keegan’s path to success hasn’t been easy, but to him, it’s been worth it. He was born in prison and adopted three days later. He went on to play college football and became a personal trainer, only now to finally be doing what he loves: creating music.
After moving to Nashville, TN and working with other amazing artists, Keegan is geared up to consistently release new singles leading up to a full EP in October of this year. The first in his line-up of hit songs, “Don’t Take Time.”
Over the years, the singer/songwriter was proactive in teaching himself the ins and outs of the music industry, like how to book his own shows, hire a band, and grow his socials. Now, his hard work has paid off. I had the opportunity to chat with Raleigh Keegan about his most recent single, “Don’t Take Time”, and his dedication to music.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the inspiration behind your new single, “Don’t Take Time”.
Raleigh Keegan: It’s about how my wife and I basically met and fell in love in like a week. It seems silly but some good things don’t take time!
Are there parts of your childhood/upbringing that you pull from for inspiration? How so?
Absolutely. I am adopted so that’s a big part of who I am. My parents are both awesome and I have so many memories and stories that have shaped me into who I am. In fact, it seems like recently my writing has been focused on thinking about my past and my life so far.
Tell me about your time as a college football player at Georgetown College. Was music a big part of your life at that time, or were you more focused on athletics?
I hated football, haha! It just paid the bills for my school so I did it. I couldn’t wait to get done with practice so I could go to the piano practice rooms by myself and play.
Talk a little bit about the role music has played in your life, not only from a career standpoint but also how it’s influenced you as a person.
Music has basically been my life since I was a kid, whether I was cognitively aware of it or not. I had no idea the effect that listening to John Mayer records and really getting lost in them as a 13-year-old was having on me at the time. I got lost in the way certain music made me feel, and I always wanted to be able to do that.
You’ve talked before about listening to Zac Brown Band’s Uncaged album. Tell me how it impacted you and what you learned from it.
It was my introduction to the country genre. I was obsessed and knew that I wanted to do country music. Something about it made it click in my mind for me… there was basically nothing at that point that was going to stop me from pursuing this dream.
Talk a little about your choice to shift your career path from being a trainer to pursuing music! Have you ever doubted your decision? If so, what inspired you to keep going?
I have never doubted my decision to quit personal training because I was honestly no good at it. If someone is paying you money, you should really care about the service you are providing, and I promise I tried, but I didn’t have it in me. I couldn’t wait to get on my lunch break so I could write songs.
Would you consider Nashville home now?
Yes. It’s hard not to feel like Lexington, KY isn’t still home because my best friends in the world are still there, but I do feel at home in Nashville.
Explain the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered in the music industry thus far. How have they molded you?
When you first get to town, you think you are great, and you quickly find out that you aren’t that great. Dealing with the fact that I had to develop was good for me and really made me put my nose to the ground and continue trying to get better.
On the other hand, what moment in your career so far has left you the most satisfied or proud?
I’ve gotten to write with some of the best songwriters in Nashville who have written some of my favorite songs of all time. I go into those writing sessions and try not to fanboy.
Who’s your biggest support system?
My family and my team. When I’m doubting myself, they keep me going. When I am celebrating a little victory, they celebrate with me. Without these people, I probably wouldn’t be here doing this!
Are you working on any other exciting, forthcoming projects that you want people to know about?
I just recorded an EP that I am ecstatic to get out there. We will be releasing a song every few months and then the full EP in October!
Do you have any advice for young aspiring artists?
Write until you drop, and be yourself! Write the stuff you think is good and the stuff you think might not be so good, and develop. I’m still doing that, and every good writer that I know is still doing that too.
Feature image courtesy of Raleigh Keegan