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...

Erick Florence:One part of my journey was that three years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.My doctors caught it quickly and by way of surgery the cancer was removed.While taking out my thyroid the surgeon also had to scrape my vocal chords because the cancer had moved along them as well.When I was in recovery the doctors explained this to me and said I would probably never get my voice to sound the same.At this point in my life I didn't sing in public, so it wasn't that big of a deal to me.But my voice came back as strong as ever within 2 weeks.I believe in God and I believe he sends us messages.That told me that he still had plans for my voice,but I didn't know what it was.3 years later here I am ready to release my first single.God is good all the time!
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                                                              BACKGROUND Q & A

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

Erick Florence:I grew up in a small town,Sumter,SC.Town is about an hour south of Columbia, SC.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you attend church?

Erick Florence:I did attend church growing up and still do.Grew up a few houses down from a Nazarene Church that my family attended and cared for.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you have any brothers or sisters,?if so,Are you the oldest?middle?youngest child

Erick Florence:I was an only child.However,I had several cousins my age and we all acted like brothers and sisters.
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Country Music Explosion:Where did you and your friends like to hang out the most on weekends>

Erick Florence:We would find somewhere to listen to music,shoot pool,play video games,and play some baseball,
basketball, or football outside.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you finish school?

Erick Florence:I did
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Country Music Explosion:What were your fondest memories in school?

Erick Florence:My best memories were going through hanging out with my buddies in class or different events.We had a good time wherever we were!
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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?

Erick Florence:I still stay in contact with most of them.I moved away,but still try to catch up with them when I am in town.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you ever get in trouble with your friends?

Erick Florence:We did get in some trouble,probably should have been in more,but you have to get caught to get in trouble.
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Country Music Explosion:What's the hardest thing you have learned in life?

Erick Florence:That life really isn’t fair.Bad things happen to good people,but it is all our attitude and outlook that determine who we are.
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Country Music Explosion:What is your favorite food?

Erick Florence:I’m a fan of hot chicken wings!
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Country Music Explosion:What is your favorite drink?

Erick Florence:Iced cold Dr. Pepper here!
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Country Music Explosion:What is your favorite season of the year?

Erick Florence:Favorite season has got to be fall.College football is going on,cooler weather…love that time of year,
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Country Music Explosion:What is one moment in your life that you will never forget?

Erick Florence:There are a few I will never forget.The moment I walked off the stage holding my bride’s hand is one I will always cherish the most.
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Country Music Explosion:If you were able to have a super power,which would you rather have?

Erick Florence:If I had a super power,it would be something to do with speed of travel.I don’t like how long it takes to get places,so if I could just zip over there and save the time that would be awesome
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Country Music Explosion:If your allowed to drink alcohol,which is your favorite?

Erick Florence:Jack Daniels on the rocks,without a doubt!
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Country Music Explosion:Is there anything you cant live without?

Erick Florence:I don’t think I could live without music…hearing it and singing to it is one of the things I love most
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Country Music Explosion:Do you have any animals?if so what kind?

Erick Florence:I’ve had lots of pets,I mean close to 100 through my life. Currently I have two cats. Had to give my dog to my parents as my apartment complex I moved in after I got married didn’t allow animals,but she is still my baby!
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Country Music Explosion:What else can we expect from you in the future?

Erick Florence:You will be hopefully hearing lots of the new songs that I have written already and continue to write. At this point I have about 20 songs. ___________________________________________________
Country Music Explosion:What did you like to do growing up?

Erick Florence:I was a sports kid.Always playing baseball.Anything to do with it I loved it.
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Country Music Explosion:What kind of hobbies did you have growing up and have right now?

Erick Florence:Baseball was my childhood sport,along with video games.My last year playing competitive slow pitch softball.I won two world series this year with my team,Killman Heating & Air.But injuries throughout the years made it stop being as fun for me.Music has become my passion.Started playing guitar and writing songs in March of this year, and will be releasing my first single in December.
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Country Music Explosion:What is your biggest goal in life? Name three of your biggest weaknesses.

Erick Florence:My biggest goal is to love Jesus everyday and have Him guide my steps.Too often we try to do stuff on our own and fail.My biggest failures are being a perfectionist,being too tough of a critic on myself,and not spending enough time with my family!
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Country Music Explosion:What hidden talents do you have?

Erick Florence:I was a video game player on Twitch for a bit.That’s where you play video games online and allow others to watch and listen to you as you broadcast your play.During that time I was ranked among the top 100 Call of Duty Players online.
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Country Music Explosion:When & where were you born?Did you grow up to adulthood there?

Erick Florence:I grew up in Sumter,SC.I lived my life there until college when I moved to Nashville.After that I moved to Lexington,SC just outside of Columbia.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you grow up at this location?

Erick Florence:You could call it growing up.I really grew up once I was living on my own in Nashville.
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Country Music Explosion:Where have you lived? What section?

Erick Florence:Lived in SC and in Nashville, TN.
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Country Music Explosion:What year were you born?

Erick Florence:I was born back in 1981.
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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?

Erick Florence:I did go to college.I attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.My major was Communications. I figured it was broad enough to cover whatever career I ended up with. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but it has helped get me into the door in several opportunities.
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Country Music Explosion:How far back can you trace your ancestors?

Erick Florence:I can trace back to my grandparents, far as I know.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you know if your parents,grand-parents,great-grandparents were the ones to migrate to the US?

Erick Florence:My grandmother was German.My granddad was in the Army.He met her there,got married,had my dad,and then came back to the states.
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Country Music Explosion:Where did they come from?

Erick Florence:Kaiserslautern, Germany
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Country Music Explosion:What was a typical weekend like growing up?

Erick Florence:Shooting pool, riding 4 wheelers, or going with my Dad to a softball tournament somewhere.
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Country Music Explosion:Were you or your family members involved in the community?What kind of things?

Erick Florence:My family was all law enforcement.They gave everyday of their working career to the community.My Dad, and two uncles served as officers for decades each.
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Country Music Explosion:What role did your parents play in your education?

Erick Florence:My parents were determined I was going to be a college grad.They took care of paying the bills and making sure I was doing what needed to be done to get my degree.
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Country Music Explosion:What language(s) do you speak?

Erick Florence:Just English
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Country Music Explosion:How was your educational experience from K-12?

Erick Florence:It was good. Made great friends with both students and teachers and got along with everyone.
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Country Music Explosion:What schools did you attend? Where located?

Erick Florence:I went to Lakewood High School in Sumter,SC.Few other music folks were there as well.Lee Brice was a couple years ahead of me and his brother Lewis Brice graduated with me.
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Country Music Explosion:Compare your junior high to high school involvement?

Erick Florence:I was playing sports and involved in tons of stuff in both.Those years really kind of ran together for me.
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Country Music Explosion:What kind of activities or organizations were you a part of?

Erick Florence:Beta Club, Varsity baseball to name a few. I know there were more, but I don’t remember to be honest.
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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?

Erick Florence:I can be found at the following....

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/efloscountryshow/

Twitter: florence8814

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC28nhuhF4J1CbPHVHY4JXKw

Instagram: efloscountryshow
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                                                                 Music Q & A

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

Erick Florence:My Dad sang in a Southern Gospel Quartet at church. I loved to sing at a young age, but didn’t pursue to until recently.
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Country Music Explosion:What did your parents and friends say when you told them you wanted to be a singer?

Erick Florence:They knew I could sing just from riding with me in the car, but I think they were skeptical.
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Country Music Explosion:Some Artist sing part time,like a hobby,are you making this a Career or Hobby?

Erick Florence:I’d love to do it full time, but at this point I have to work a day job to pay the bills.
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Country Music Explosion:What's your most favorite thing about singing?

Erick Florence:I love seeing the crowd get into it.You can direct them how to feel by your song.You can make them happy, sad, and more all in one set.
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Country Music Explosion:What's the first concert you attended?

Erick Florence:My first concert I can remember was Diamond Rio and Aaron Tippin.
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Country Music Explosion:What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?

Erick Florence:I guess it would have to be classical. I can handle listening to about everything else.
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Country Music Explosion:If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?

Erick Florence:Probably rock.
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Country Music Explosion:What kind of music do you listen to today?

Erick Florence:I listen to country for the most part. There are some indie artists that I enjoy as well.
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Country Music Explosion:What embarrassing songs might we find on your MP3 player?

Erick Florence:Nothing I’d be embarrassed to tell you about…now…new phone so I lost a good bit of my music.
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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?

Erick Florence:My favorite song to this point that I have written is "Front Porch Dancin".
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Country Music Explosion:Can you tell us if there is a story behind the song?

Erick Florence:I have grown tired of pop country and want to bring traditional country music back to the front where it belongs.This is just a story about life.Hanging out with your girl and you hear a song on the radio and you get her to come slow dance with you.One thing leads to another.It’s a song about real life.
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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

Erick Florence:If not "Front Porch Dancin",then I would say "Somewhere Out Here".This song is about the world today and how crazy its been getting. We need to worry about the big things and not the little things people try to make seem so big.
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Country Music Explosion:What message are you trying to send with your music?

Erick Florence:I think my music revolves around crying,loving,or leavin. We all do one or more of those things.So I want my music to be relatable to multitudes of people. I know there are songs out now that are hits,but what do the words really say? I want my words to tell a story and have a point or bring a memory to my listener.
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Country Music Explosion:What age group is your music aimed towards?

Erick Florence:I think it could be enjoyed by any age group.But I seem to have a larger following from the 30 and up age that grew up on traditional country.
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Country Music Explosion:What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

Erick Florence:My music is definitely country.I think there are lots of influences,but Garth,George Strait,Keith Whitley,Lee Brice,and Chris Stapleton really influenced who I want to be as a writer and singer.
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Country Music Explosion:What are your songs about?(What specific themes do they cover?)

Erick Florence:Cryin,Loving,and Leavin.
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Country Music Explosion:What image do you think your music conveys?

Erick Florence:I think it covers the real life in the country. How we feel, how we act, things we say.
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Country Music Explosion:How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a singer?At the time did you know what Genre you wanted to sing ?

Erick Florence:I started singing in church around 6-7 years old.I didn’t really realize this is what I wanted to do until I was 35 years old.I wish I had figured it out sooner.But here I am and ready to give it all I’ve got.I think I needed more life experiences to help mold me which molds my music.
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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?

Erick Florence:I’m not sure.I know there are a ton of artists and anyone can make it happen,I decided to work with a producer,Prevo Rodgers,at 308 Productions and put in the work there.I think music still has value today,but consumers have a much harder time finding the new talent because they are digging through tons of new potential artists.
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Country Music Explosion:Which instruments do you play?

Erick Florence:I play guitar.I’ve only been playing since March,but have been putting lots of time in it.I want to learn it the right way and be able to play a song how it should be played.
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Country Music Explosion:What was the first tune(s) you learned?

Erick Florence:Damn Good Friends by Tyler Farr was the first song I learned.Shortly after that was Hurricane by Luke Combs.
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Country Music Explosion:Is your family musical?

Erick Florence:My Dad sang in a Southern Gospel Quartet. But none of my family plays any instruments.
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Country Music Explosion:Describe your family member's musical interests and abilities.

Erick Florence:My family likes all different types of music. Oldies, contemporary, and country.
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Country Music Explosion:Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Erick Florence:My favorite artists are Garth Brooks and Chris Stapleton.Garth set the bar.So many number one songs and they all mean something.I listened to these growing up and still sing them today.Stapleton took the long road and showed how hard work can pay off.He wrote for everyone and then finally put out his own music.I’ve seen both guys in concert and they are fantastic.
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Country Music Explosion:Which famous musicians have you learned from?

Erick Florence:I try to learn from listening to Garth and Stapleton and Eric Church.Picking up pieces about singing and writing at the same time.
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Country Music Explosion:What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

Erick Florence:My favorite memory is sad one in a sense.My Uncle Gary was laid to rest earlier this year after battling cancer. My family asked to sing at his funeral.I was nervous,but I chose the right song and I knew he was smiling down and so proud of where I had come and how I had done.I know he is smiling seeing all of the things continuing to happen for me.
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Country Music Explosion:Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

Erick Florence:Not really
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Country Music Explosion:Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? ?

Erick Florence:Garth and Strait for old school.Luke Combs and Stapleton are my current favorites.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?

Erick Florence:No
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Country Music Explosion:How often and for how long do you practice?

Erick Florence:I practice everyday.Could be for an hour,could be for five.I just go until what I am working on feels right.
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Country Music Explosion:What do you practice - exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?

Erick Florence:I practice my originals every day,no one to help back you up on that.Then I practice covers as I need to revisit them.Most I have my own twist to,so I work on those pieces.
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Country Music Explosion:How do you balance your music with other obligations - friends,family, job?

Erick Florence:It’s tough to balance.That is no joke.But I play guitar while my wife is in the room and we stop and talk and she gives feedback.She has been at every show so far and she is my biggest fan and critic.
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Country Music Explosion:Are you currently looking to be signed to a label?If your signed,can you give us a little insight on how you see the way things are done?is it like a big family?

Erick Florence:I have signed a Producer/Artist agreement with 308 Productions.I would love to be signed with a label in either a performing or writing role.
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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?

Erick Florence:Front Porch Dancin will be my first release.It will be a single.It hopefully will be available for purchase on ITunes and CDBaby in December.
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Country Music Explosion:Where can your music be purchased?

Erick Florence:Currently no where,but soon it will be available online in several locations.
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Country Music Explosion:Have you released any albums,cd's..if so can you tell us about them and the process you did to complete it(length of time,favorite song)

Erick Florence:None released at this time.
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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?

Erick Florence:I write my own music.I have collaborated with some friends on some and some are all on my own.My themes cover country life,love,loss,and reflective songs that help you remember where you came from.
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Country Music Explosion:Is there a certain time you set or a certain place to write songs?

Erick Florence:Whenever they come to me I start jotting them down on whatever is available.Napkin,notebook,cell phone…I just hear a phrase or saying or have a memory and it’s off to the races to get it penned out.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you find song writing to be difficult and need some sort of help or do they come to you very easy?

Erick Florence:For me they have come easy to this point.I can always get a chorus together,sometimes the verses take more time,to tell the entire story, but not have a 10 minute song.
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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?

Erick Florence:The songs just come to me.I do work with Prevo Rodgers on some lyrics and have spoken with other writers,but my ideas are just that, my ideas.
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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?

Erick Florence:Columbia,SC the music scene is growing.Not as many country artists as you would think,but there are more artists coming into the light everyday.
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Country Music Explosion:What are your main impulses to write music?

Erick Florence:It really can be anything.A fun time,A saying,A death,A memory,a beat in my head.When the words are ready to come out I just make sure to write them down and get them together.
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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?

Erick Florence:I’m not fully sure yet.I started writing in March when I started learning the guitar.I just write what I feel and hope the words speak to others like they speak to me.
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Country Music Explosion:When it comes to song writing,what are your criteria for quality?What are currently your main challenges and ambitions as a writer?

Erick Florence:The song has to have a purpose.What am I trying to get you to relate to?I want the words to mean something and tell a story,not just have a cool beat and the words don’t make sense.I feel like there is enough of that already.My toughest times come when I know how I want a song to sound,but I haven’t learned how to play those chords on guitar.So I have words written that I feel good about,but can’t share it until I have someone else understand where I am trying to go with it.It may not come out how I had thought at that point.
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Country Music Explosion:What do you usually start with when working on a new Music?

Erick Florence:I usually start with the chorus.It’s the words you hear the most in a song and that should be the focal point.
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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?

Erick Florence:I will write about anything I feel needs to be said.As far as research I will look up info on the internet like anyone if I had a question.Some topics I choose to stay away from.I grew up in the country and have a lot of life experiences.To this point that is what I have chosen to write about.
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Country Music Explosion:How do you see the role of a song writer 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”?

Erick Florence:The song writer is the creator of the song.The take an idea and put it into words.Now don’t get me wrong,the songs can take on a life of their own once the music is added,but I always want the words to be the focus.
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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?

Erick Florence:I’m not sure the public really cares about who wrote a song or why it was written,its all about how it makes them feel.If they are feeling the words from the artist then they will enjoy it.If not,then they are ready to hear something else.
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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?

Erick Florence:At this point I would say it is to both.I know not every song I write is for me. Hopefully another artist will hear them and know it was meant for them.I write music that I enjoy and hope that my fans will enjoy.Things that make you think about your life and where you have come from.Some are more meaningful than others to me for sure.
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Country Music Explosion:Song writing has changed considerably over the past century.What,do you feel,could – or should - be new forms and formats for song writing?

Erick Florence:I’m really not sure. I don’t try to mimic anyone. I use my own style that I enjoy.
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Country Music Explosion:When and why did you start writing songs?

Erick Florence:I started writing songs in March of this year.I’m not really sure of the reason.I was learning to play guitar and I could hear words in my head that I felt went with the chords I was playing.I finally broke down and started writing them down.I felt like the words belonged there and I kept them for myself initially.After others heard the songs,they advised I should share After seeking advice from others in the music industry I chose to record my own songs.

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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?

Erick Florence:At this point I haven’t been on a tour.
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Country Music Explosion:What's the most gigs you do a year?

Erick Florence:July was the first gig of my life. I have already done about 15 shows this year though.
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Country Music Explosion:Where would you most like to perform?

Erick Florence:I spend time at the Ryman. I think it would be awesome to perform there.
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Country Music Explosion:Who would you most like to open for?

Erick Florence:I’d love to open for anyone. If I had to choose a couple I guess Luke Combs, Garth Brooks, or Chris Stapleton would be my choice.
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Country Music Explosion:Are you currently doing gigs?if so where?

Erick Florence:I am currently doing gigs. All have been in the Columbia, SC area thus far.
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Country Music Explosion:Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?

Erick Florence:Mostly smaller bars in the area. I don’t really have a least favorite venue. I’ve been grateful for anywhere that will allow me to play.
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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?

Erick Florence:For a gig I sing what I like to sing.People are coming to hear you so there is no reason not to be you.As far as in the studio I try to pick what I think will do the best.Studio time is money,so I have to selective and make my dollar stretch as far as it can.
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Country Music Explosion:Have you been in competitions? Any prizes?

Erick Florence:I’ve been in a few. Won the local competition I have participated in.They normally have some cash involved.I have not been involved in any major competitions though.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV.online?

Erick Florence:I do perform in public.Mostly in small bars,or events I am asked to play at.
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Country Music Explosion:What do you think about when your preforming?

Erick Florence:I’m thinking about the current song I am playing,the words and what they mean.I want to give each song my all as they deserve.I love to see people get up and dance and have a good time because of what I am doing on stage.
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Country Music Explosion:How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Erick Florence:Mistakes are going to happen.I just roll with the punches.I have a good sense of humor and if you can’t laugh and make fun of yourself you probably won’t last long in my opinion.It happens,so I just keep on moving on.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?

Erick Florence:There are always some nerves.The bigger the venue,I would assume more nerves,but as it gets going through the first song I forget all about it.
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Country Music Explosion:What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Erick Florence:Nerves are human nature.While on stage you are a character,so you have to play it.People don’t care if you had a bad day or you are sick…the show must go on, so give the people what they came for.

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This Concludes the interview,We hope you enjoyed it.