Country Music Explosion:Thanks for doing this interview,Let's first start off by giving us a little background of your life,then we can proceed to the rest of the interview

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Background Q & A

Country Music Explosion:Did you live in a small town or big city?

Drake King:My hometown is Fort Towson, OK. It’s a very small town with a population of about 1,200 people.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you attend church?

Drake King:I did when I was younger, but as I got older, we just stopped going as much.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you have any brothers or sisters? If so, are you the oldest, middle, youngest child?

Drake King:I am the oldest of three. I have a little sister and a little brother.
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Country Music Explosion: Where did you and your friends like to hang out the most on weekends>

Drake King:Most of my extra time was either spent at the baseball field or in my room playing my guitar.
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Country Music Explosion: Did you finish school?

Drake King:Sure did. I had the honor of being a Co-Valedictorian.
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Country Music Explosion: What were your fondest memories in school?

Drake King:Baseball was my first love, so the best memories I have would include hitting my first homer as a freshman and experiencing the state playoffs the few times we went.
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Country Music Explosion: When it comes to friends at school, do you still stay in contact with them?what kind of things did you all like to do together?

Drake King:I have a few high school friends that I’m still in contact with. We just drove around out in the country making up things to do to have fun. Where I’m from, there’s not much to do, so we had to create our fun.
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Country Music Explosion: Did you ever get in trouble with your friends?

Drake King:I was never really the one getting in trouble, I was usually the one trying to get my friends out of trouble. I think that’s where I got my quick wit.
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Country Music Explosion: What's the hardest thing you have learned in life?

Drake King:No matter how much you try, you will never be the best, people will dislike you, and you can’t change someone without their consent.
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Country Music Explosion: What is your favorite food?

Drake King:That’s tough because I absolutely love food, but if I had to pick one, it would be a good ol’ cheeseburger.
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Country Music Explosion: What is your favorite drink?

Drake King:Sweet tea. There’s no comparison.
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Country Music Explosion: What is your favorite season of the year?

Drake King:Summer is my favorite season. It’s just easier to be happy when the sun is out and people have fewer clothes on.
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Country Music Explosion: What is one moment in your life that you will never forget?

Drake King:The day I got a girl’s phone number while driving down the highway in my mustang. She’s now my wife.
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Country Music Explosion: If you were able to have a superpower, which would you rather have?

Drake King:I would want to read people’s minds. Psychology has always interested me, which is why my degree is in psychology. I think it would be fascinating to delve into another’s mind just to see how much different their thoughts are to my own.
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Country Music Explosion: If you’re allowed to drink alcohol, which is your favorite?

Drake King:I don’t drink. Fun fact: I’ve never been drunk or high in my life. I aim to keep it that way.
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Country Music Explosion: Is there anything you can't live without?

Drake King:I couldn’t live without sound. I know there are many people who go through life never knowing what sounds the earth produces, but it would be very difficult to know and then have that taken away.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you have any animals?if so what kind?

Drake King:I have a Husky named Koda.
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Country Music Explosion: What else can we expect from you in the future?

Drake King:I hope to make music that helps people.Maybe my music will extend into acting,as some other celebrities have been known to do,but I also have a passion for flying so you can expect me to become a professional pilot as well.
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Country Music Explosion: What did you like to do growing up?

Drake King:My life before I graduated high school consisted of nothing but baseball.We practiced for hours after school, and when I got home, I would hit rocks from our dirt road into the night.
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Country Music Explosion: What kind of hobbies did you have growing up and have right now?

Drake King:My hobbies now are consolidated into one: modifying my car.
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Country Music Explosion: What is your biggest goal in life?

Drake King:My biggest goal in life is to be able to say that I did the best I could when I could,I helped as much as I could,loved as much as much as I could,and was as grateful as I could be for the things that I had.I don’t care for objects or wealth.I just want to make a positive impact on each person I encounter.
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Country Music Explosion: Name three of your biggest weaknesses.

Drake King:It’s hard for me to narrow my interests:I’m intrigued by so many things,it makes it difficult for me to decide on one thing for the rest of my life.I fly by the seat of my pants most times;it’s done me well because I have a pretty reliable gut,but I’m aware that it’s bound to come back and bite me.I often find it hard to abide by the advice I give to others about self-esteem and things of that nature.
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Country Music Explosion: What hidden talents do you have?

Drake King:I don’t know if I have any hidden talents.I’m generally pretty good at anything I try to do,and I do my best not to take that for granted.
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Country Music Explosion: When & where were you born?Did you grow up to adulthood there?

Drake King:I was born in Las Vegas, NM. My parents were on a trip to the lake, so I was only there for a short while.
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Country Music Explosion: Did you grow up at this location?

Drake King:No. I grew up in multiple states in the south.
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Country Music Explosion: Where have you lived? What section?

Drake King:I’ve lived in about three different places in Texas, one in Florida, and around six places in Oklahoma, and I’m currently on my fourth place in Ohio.
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Country Music Explosion: What year were you born?

Drake King:I was born in 1993.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you go to college,if so What is your major? How supportive were they about you going away to college?Did you get along with your roommate?Why did you go into that major?

Drake King:I went to The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology.My roommate was one of my best friends from high school,so we got along great.I chose that major as a way to improve my songwriting.I figured by know why and how people behave the way they do,I could write songs that better relate to others and their experiences.
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Country Music Explosion: How far back can you trace your ancestors?

Drake King:I have no idea.I know my aunt mentioned something about us being related to royalty in Europe,which makes sense when looking at my last name.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you know if your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents were the ones to migrate to the US?

Drake King:As far as I know, no.
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Country Music Explosion: What was a typical weekend like growing up?

Drake King:Baseball,work on the farm,more baseball,cookouts every night if it’s summertime,and usually my dad’s friends drinking beer around a campfire every night.
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Country Music Explosion: Were you or your family members involved in the community?What kind of things?

Drake King:Not really. We lived out in the country so we kind of just stayed to ourselves.
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Country Music Explosion: What role did your parents play in your education?

Drake King:They didn’t really come into play with my education. School came pretty easily to me so I never needed their help. My good grades and scores in high school landed me a full-ride scholarship, so I didn’t need any assistance with college either; which is very lucky because, without it, we couldn’t have afforded to put me through college at all.
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Country Music Explosion: What language(s) do you speak?

Drake King:Just English. I can understand rudimentary Spanish, but that’s about it.
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Country Music Explosion: If you speak Spanish? Did you grow up speaking Spanish? When did you learn it? Has it ever been an issue? Education In general?

Drake King:My mother’s side of the family is Hispanic, so I grew up listening to them speak Spanish. That’s how I developed a basic understanding.
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Country Music Explosion: How was your educational experience from K-12?

Drake King:I would say it was pretty easy-going. Education was always something my parents prioritized, so it naturally became a priority for me as well.
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Country Music Explosion: What schools did you attend? Where located?

Drake King:I went to Farwell Elementary school in Farwell,TX.Swink Public School in Swink,OK.Bell Junior High in Bell, FL.Hugo Middle School in Hugo,Oklahoma.Fort Towson High School in Fort Towson,OK.and to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, OK.
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Country Music Explosion: Compare your junior high to high school involvement?

Drake King:I was highly involved in both periods of my education.
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Country Music Explosion: What kind of activities or organizations were you a part of?

Drake King:I was in FFA, FCCLA, Student Council, Baseball, and Basketball.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you and/or band have social media accounts where fans can reach out to you? If so, what is the URL for them?

Drake King:Yes! I can be found at the following

My website is
www.drakeking.com

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/drakekingmusic

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/drake__king

YouTube:
www.youtube.com/drakekingmusic

Instagram:
www.instagram. com/drake__king

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Music Q&A

Country Music Explosion: What role did your parents play in your Music Career?

Drake King:They played a very large one.A lot of my earlier songs were written about them.My dad is the one who introduced me to the guitar in the first place.Not to mention they never complained when I got home from baseball games around midnight and then played my guitar for hours afterward.
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Country Music Explosion: What did your parents and friends say when you told them you wanted to be a singer?

Drake King:They have all been very supportive. They believe in my talent and abilities.
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Country Music Explosion: Some Artists sing part time, like a hobby. Are you making this a Career or Hobby?

Drake King:Career.
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Country Music Explosion: What's your most favorite thing about singing?

Drake King:When I sing, I’m able to go away. It’s almost as if I don’t exist for a while. It’s a very personal and freeing feeling.
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Country Music Explosion: What's the first concert you attended?

Drake King:The first concert I went to was a Toby Keith concert in Indianapolis, IN.
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Country Music Explosion: What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?

Drake King:I love all genres of music, and that’s why I write and create all genres as well.
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Country Music Explosion: If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?

Drake King:I write songs in country,rock,R&B,rap,and pop.So I guess if I were to dabble it would be in a big band or classical type of music.
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Country Music Explosion: What kind of music do you listen to today?

Drake King:I listen to country, rap, R&B, pop, rock, blues..just about everything.
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Country Music Explosion: What embarrassing songs might we find on your MP3 player?

Drake King:None. My playlist is solid gold.
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Country Music Explosion: When it comes to your music, do you have one that you're most proud of? If so what is the name of it?

Drake King:I would say the best song I’ve written is called What Would You Say, but the best one I’ve produced is called Love’s A Ride Around.
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Country Music Explosion: Can you tell us if there is a story behind the song?

Drake King:All of my songs have stories behind them,otherwise,there’s no point in writing them.What Would You Say is about a person wanting to know the honest answer of how they are viewed in the eyes of the world.Love’s A Ride Around is about how the act of loving someone has all kinds of peaks and valleys,but in the end,they all provide a perspective that could never be attained had you not loved someone.
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Country Music Explosion: Which of your song's do you feel most people can relate to?Can you tell us the story behind the song

Drake King:I can’t choose one song in particular. I write songs that people relate to differently so that one is up in the air.
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Country Music Explosion: What message are you trying to send with your music?

Drake King:A real one. I try to write with the intention of relating to my listeners in the most honest, raw, and real way.
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Country Music Explosion: What age group is your music aimed towards?

Drake King:There’s no age distinction with my music.
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Country Music Explosion: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

Drake King:Most of my work has been in the country and alternative genres.My main influences are John Mayer,Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Greg Laswell, Aaron Lewis, Matt Kearney, and George Straight.
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Country Music Explosion: What are your songs about?(What specific themes do they cover?)

Drake King:They mostly all in some way or another relate to love; it could be about the loss of love, a new love, the love of memories, etc.
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Country Music Explosion: What image do you think your music conveys?

Drake King:I think the image is one of transparency.
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Country Music Explosion: Music-sharing sites and blogs, as well as a flood of releases in general, are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today?

Drake King:Well,I believe that the current setup has music valued at less than what it should be.Music is integral in every aspect of modern day life from advertisements to childhood memories.Streaming services and internet radio are all great improvements in technology,but when integrating that with music,there hasn’t been a very fair reciprocity of value.This is all based on my experience as an independent artist.The major artists get different percentages of royalties from the same services,so it makes sense in a way,but it makes it hard for the indie artist to feel as if their music will ever be valued.
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Country Music Explosion: Which instruments do you play?

Drake King:I play guitar and piano.
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Country Music Explosion: What was the first tune(s) you learned?

Drake King:La Bamba was the first song I learned on guitar, and Stand By Me was the first song on the piano.
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Country Music Explosion: Is your family musical?

Drake King:Yes. My dad can play a few basic chords on the guitar, and my mother played the clarinet in high school. My little brother is a better guitar player than I am, and my sister sings a little as well.
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Country Music Explosion: Describe your family member's musical interests and abilities.

Drake King:My brother is the only of my relatives who has a real interest in playing music as a profession. The others just enjoy music as a hobby.
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Country Music Explosion: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Drake King:I admire John Mayer probably the most because he writes his own music, he is a phenomenal guitar player, and he sings with a soulful passion. Those are all things I strive to do as a musician.
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Country Music Explosion: Which famous musicians have you learned from?

Drake King:I have personally learned from Joe Settlemires.He’s a famous Blues and Jazz guitarist,and I’ve also learned from Harold Bradley who is in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
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Country Music Explosion: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

Drake King:The best musical memory is when I sang at the Grand Ole Opry.The best memory in my household is when my dad got thrown out of our Jeep while we were mudding.
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Country Music Explosion: Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

Drake King:Yes, very much so. There was an old cassette tape that had a mix of popular rock songs from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Wango Tango was one of my favorites.
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Country Music Explosion: Who are your favorite musicians? Groups?

Drake King:Staind is my all time favorite group.My favorite musicians would include Jimi Hendrix,John Mayer,and Jimmy Page.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?

Drake King:I don’t currently. I just practice when I can.
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Country Music Explosion: How often and for how long do you practice?

Drake King:I try to practice at least four times a week for at least an hour each time.
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Country Music Explosion: What do you practice - exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?

Drake King:This is where I lack. My practice sessions don’t have any kind of organization. They usually just turn into songwriting sessions.
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Country Music Explosion: How do you balance your music with other obligations - friends, family, job?

Drake King:I usually just play my music when my ol’ lady is working or sleeping.
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Country Music Explosion: Are you currently looking to be signed to a label?If you’re signed, can you give us a little insight into how you see the way things are done? Is it like a big family?

Drake King:No, I’m not. Hopefully, I will be soon.
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Country Music Explosion: Have you been in competitions? Any prizes?

Drake King:I tried out for Amercian Idol when I was 17. It was an eye-opening experience for sure. I will never do those again.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you have any new releases coming out soon?if so, what is the name of the song, album and is it available now for pre-order?

Drake King:My most recent album was released a few years back."Better Man"can be found on iTunes,Spotify,iHeartRadio, GooglePlay,and anywhere else you can find your favorite artists.I am currently working on a new album that will be a little different compared to its predecessor.
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Country Music Explosion: Where can your music be purchased?

Drake King:You can purchase my music directly on my website www.drakeking.com, or on iTunes and GooglePlay.
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Country Music Explosion: Have you released any albums, CDs..if so can you tell us about them and the process you did to complete it (length of time, favorite song)?

Drake King:Yes. It took me about four months total to complete my album "Better Man".I booked a studio in Nashville for two days.We recorded 8 full songs on one day and then mixed them all the next day.It took a couple weeks to get them mastered And then I used DiscMakers to create the actual physical copiesMy favorite song from the album is "I’ll Be Here In The Morning".The best thing about the album is that Harold Bradley (Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee) produced and played on the album. It is now a part of history.
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Songwriting Q&A

Country Music Explosion: Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

Drake King:I write all of my songs. The topics cover experiences I encounter in real life. I’m sure they will change over time because if they don’t, I haven’t done much living.
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Country Music Explosion: Is there a certain time you set or a certain place to write songs?

Drake King:Nope, I just get urges to write at random times. Most of the time it’s the middle of the night.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you find songwriting to be difficult and need some sort of help or do they come to you very easy?

Drake King:Songs usually come very easy to me. If they don’t I usually just give up on the idea. I like my songs to come as naturally as possible.
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Country Music Explosion: When it comes to writing your songs, do the songs just come to you, then you write them or do you have to meet with a publisher and/or other songwriters?

Drake King:Usually what happens is that I will be playing my guitar, and I will play something that sounds really good. Then, I’ll try to expand on whatever I played to get an idea of what the song is telling me it will be about. Once I start humming along to the guitar, the melody arrives, and then the words follow shortly after. From there, I go wherever the words take me.
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Country Music Explosion: How would you describe and rate the music scene of the city/state you are currently living in and how important is it in terms of what you're actually writing about?

Drake King:I’m not actually sure. Cleveland is known as a very musical city. I just haven’t started playing here. Most of my time here has been spent writing and recording.
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Country Music Explosion: What are your main impulses to write music?

Drake King:My emotions.
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Country Music Explosion: What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments and pieces in your songwriting and/or career?

Drake King:There was a performance one time at my college that changed me forever.I played a two-song set as part of a battle of the bands challenge.The first song I played was a cover,and the crowd really loved it.The second song was an original.The moment I started playing,the crowd went absolutely silent,it was as if I had the attention of every person there;there was no talking no sniffling,coughing,you could almost hear them breathing.That was the most incisive moment yet.
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Country Music Explosion: When it comes to songwriting, what are your criteria for quality? What are currently your main challenges and ambitions as a writer?

Drake King:For a song to be good by my standards, it has to have a unique sound, tell a story in a different way, and I have to “feel” it.
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Country Music Explosion: What do you usually start with when working on a new Music?

Drake King:I usually start on the music.
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Country Music Explosion: Tell us about the selection process for deciding on what to write about, please. What sources will you draw from for research purposes and how much time goes into research, information gathering and fact-checking in general?

Drake King:I don’t go in with a preconceived idea of what the song will be about. I let the music guide me.
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Country Music Explosion: How do you see the role of a songwriter in the creative process? Should it amplify public taste, distinguish the good from the bad, inform, promote artists, or, “illuminate, educate and entertain” fans? Do you feel that, as part of your work, music needs to be explained or should it retain its “inexplicable nature”?

Drake King:I think it should do all of the above. It should be understood to a certain extent, but there should always be moments of depth that can only be realized when you listen to a song in the right mood.
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Country Music Explosion: In which way does writing and reading about music change the way it is perceived by the public?

Drake King:Well,these days,media is a strong persuader whether it is truthful or not.“Image” is very important in today’s society, and publications about music can directly impact that image.
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Country Music Explosion: Whom do you feel your obligation is to.. other artists or the fans, and how much do you feel is songwriting restricted by external factors?

Drake King:My obligation is to myself firstly because music is a type of therapy for me.If my music can help others the way it helps me,then I guess my listeners become a close second to my own needs.My songwriting is restricted to a point,but that just creates challenges to create underlying points in ways that aren’t so easily restricted.I love challenges like that.
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Country Music Explosion: Songwriting has changed considerably over the past century.What, do you feel, could – or should - be new forms and formats for songwriting?

Drake King:I don’t feel there should be a format for anything when it comes to music. That imposes limits on creativity that could very well create a song you might like more than the conventional format of what a song should be.
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Country Music Explosion: When and why did you start writing songs?

Drake King:I started writing songs at the age of fifteen. I need a way to express myself without actually having to talk to someone. Writing songs was the perfect outlet.
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Touring,Concert,Performing Q&A

Country Music Explosion: Have you been on tour?If so, what's the longest tour you have been involved in?

Drake King:No, not yet. We are currently planning one though!
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Country Music Explosion: What're the most gigs you do a year?

Drake King:The most I’ve done in a year was about 40.
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Country Music Explosion: Where would you most like to perform?

Drake King:I would love to perform at a Super Bowl.
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Country Music Explosion: Who would you most like to open for?

Drake King:Aaron Lewis, John Mayer, or Tim Mcgraw.
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Country Music Explosion: Are you currently doing gigs?if so where?

Drake King:I’m currently setting up a few gigs here in the Ohio area.
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Country Music Explosion: Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?

Drake King:I’ve only performed at a few festivals, restaurants, and bars. But my favorite of them all was an event in Truscott for my CD release party.
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Country Music Explosion: Tell us about the selection process you go through when doing a gig or in the studio. How do you decide which song to perform or record first?

Drake King:I usually have the same approach to both. I choose a song that’s a little easier to sing to start off with and place the ones that are more vocally challenging towards the middle or end. In between, I try to keep a good mix of slow and fast songs to vary up the pace.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV, online?

Drake King:I’ve currently started doing a scheduled Facebook Live every Saturday. That’s all we have for the moment.
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Country Music Explosion: What do you think about when you're performing?

Drake King:I don’t think about anything. That’s the beauty of it.
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Country Music Explosion: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Drake King:I just let them slide. If it’s a big one I just make it into a joke, and the fans seem to like that pretty well.
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Country Music Explosion: Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?

Drake King:I usually get a little nervous right before I sing the first song, but after I do that, it all goes away.
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Country Music Explosion: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Drake King:I would say being nervous is good! It means you care about your craft. Just use it to your advantage; lean into it.
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This Concludes the interview,We hope you enjoyed it.