Now for some authentic, fresh acoustic country music: We're having a listen to Nashville's AJ Gatio and his debut release entitled "Music City Mixtape: Vol. 1", which contains five original songs recorded with producer Taylor Mack. The lead track "Roll With It" was released in July and was the first glimpse of AJ's singing and songwriting talents. The overall sound is an eclectic mix of "new country" with upbeat, sing-along songs ("Roll With It", "Soak It In", "Press Play"), combined with those that are more sentimental ("Kerosene") and folk-oriented ("Groove On Over"). SoundThread's favorite track on this EP is "Kerosene".
SoundThread asked AJ about the origins of the EP and the resulting sound. He tells us: "The whole thing started as a way to catalogue songs and have good demos to pitch for publishers. When I moved to Nashville, becoming a professional songwriter was the goal, but the more I started playing the songwriters circuit, the more I really started to believe in myself as an artist. So when we started recording, Taylor Mack (producer) and I got so into it that instead of an acoustic thing, we just went all out. We did the whole thing ourselves."
Writing his own songs since 2010, AJ shares with us some of the inspiration for becoming a singer-songwriter: "I grew up listening to 90's music and alternative music, but it was John Mayer that wrecked me. Specifically a song like "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room", he just changed the way I THOUGHT about music."
What else is in the works for AJ? There are plans for a future music video to accompany one of his songs, as well as a "Vol. 2" of Music City Mixtapes, which AJ tells us is already half completed.