Meet Brock Young - Lonely Busker
Three years ago Brock bought his first guitar at Costco in Kingston. This past August he was recording in Nashville. In between, it has been a pretty incredible journey.
Brock is 13 years old and in grade 8. He has already played at various “open mic nights” around Kingston, as well as the Blue Martini, Musiikki, the Mansion and other venues. Over the past couple of summers, he has been a regular busker at Market Square. And most recently he has recorded his original song “Lonely Busker” at the Lattitude Studios South in Leipers Fork Tennessee.
He was born in Ottawa and moved to Kingston when he was two years old, but in many ways, he grew up in Simcoe where his grandparents live. He has two older sisters, Kara and Brittany.
Before he got started with music, Brock was a pretty quiet kid. He had picked up his sister’s guitar several times but his musical career really didn’t start until he was in grade 5 at Rideau Heights Public School. It was the beginning of the school year and the music teacher, Mr. Marshall, had put together a new music program.
This program turned out to be way more interesting than Brock had imagined. The teacher had the students playing popular rock tunes and within a couple of weeks, Brock was asking if he could learn guitar. Mr. Marshall showed him a few chords and that very same day he was in Costco with his parents when he spotted a George Washburn Limited electric guitar. It came with a mini amp and he just couldn’t resist, he had to buy it and did so with his grandfather’s inheritance.
He remembers being excited to tell his teacher that he had a guitar and that he wanted to learn to play it. He also remembers the first song he learned, it was called “Last Kiss” written by Wayne Cochrane in 1961.
Joe’s MILL had a big influence on Brock. Two years ago he played his first-ever gig, an open mic session organized by Joe’s MILL. That same summer he started busking downtown on Market Square. He would go down to find a spot and start playing his acoustic guitar. In the beginning, he had no amplification.
His mom or dad would keep an eye on things but they stayed very much out of the spotlight. People liked his singing and he found that busking was a good way to earn a few extra dollars, which he reinvested to upgrade his equipment. Better equipment made it easier for people to hear him. This past summer he was playing using two 1100 watt 15” speakers. His reputation was starting to grow.
He was now playing gigs around Kingston on a fairly regular basis. In the music world, word travels fast and soon this caught the attention of a Nashville studio that reached out to Brock and invited him down for a visit. This was a big step forward but Brock and his parents felt he was ready.
In May they travelled to Nashville and spent 6 days there talking to different studios and just starting to get a sense of how the music industry works.
Brock loves playing. Even in Nashville, he would play whenever he got the chance. One day he and his parents visited a club called Tootsies and Brock asked if he could go on stage and play. The crowd really liked him. That very same day they were walking down the street when someone called him into another club called Redneck Riviera and asked him to play. This is how it was in Nashville. Everyone was down to earth and there was music everywhere.
The studios he was talking to are big studios, they are well connected, and they record the big names in the music business. They spoke with Brock and gave him lots of good advice. They also thought Brock was ready to record. In August Brock went back to Nashville and he recorded his first song.
Recording a song is interesting. Songs are recorded track by track, instrument by instrument. Brock went down with five or six songs ready to go. After talking to the producer it was decided to go with one of his brand new songs, something he had just written called “Lonely Busker”. He recorded a “scratch” version of the vocals. Over the next few days, the studio had various musicians help out with the backup tracks. One by one the other instruments were added separately. The studio lined up the backup musicians and in Brock’s case, many of these backup musicians are well known in the music business.
Plans are to release “Lonely Busker” to radio by early December. Brock and his producer are putting a marketing plan in place now.
He calls himself a country musician. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his idols such as Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson, Luke Combs and Dean Brody.
Kingston is an interesting city to be a musician in. All of the musicians know each other. A musician can get lost in a city like Toronto but Kingston is a perfect size and all the musicians help one another. For Brock, Kingston is the music capital of Canada.
You might think that music is exciting enough for Brock, but he tries hard to keep himself grounded. He is part of air cadets in Kingston where he plays bagpipes in a pipe and drum band.
Music is a big part of Brock’s life. His goal is to be a professional musician, and by the looks of it, he is going to make it.
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