CHORD is happy to feature another amazingly talented artist this month. Meet AJ Gatio. A Cincinnati, Ohio native who has been living in Nashville for 5 years pursuing his dreams of making it in the Music Industry. We sat down with AJ to learn a little more about him and hear his music. We instantly fell in love with his engaging personality, talent, and those can't get out of your head melodies. AJ told us how he got his start and some of his greatest moments along the way.
What first got you into music?
Listening to music. I used to write songs that were just lyrics and melodies in my head cause I didn't know how to play guitar. Then I started playing guitar in high school and that was what really got me started.
Who has inspired you the most in your career?
I started writing because of John Mayer. I heard his song called ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room’ while I was sitting in a cubicle during a summer internship, and the imagery and emotions in that moment struck something in me that inspired me to want to really start doing this. Aside from someone famous, I am inspired by seeing so many of my talented friends go out and do this, chasing their dreams, too.
Where and when was your first show?
My first show was in 2012 in Columbus, Ohio at The Shrunken Head ‘Battle of the Bands’. I was not good at stage presence at all and had my eyes closed pretty much the whole time. I had literally never played outside my bedroom. We played with a three-piece band that had no bass. I had no idea what I was doing!
What does your day to day look like living in Nashville?
Every day is different. But normally I write about 3 times a week which takes about half a day. I do lots of demo sessions, meetings, and help run a weekly writers round at Dawghouse. I book aspiring songwriters to come in weekly and play their original music. I really enjoy helping other artists get opportunities to showcase their talent in this town.
What is your favorite part of performing?
Right now, it's the rush of being on stage and being in my happy place. I have come a long way since that first show and I get so excited to just be able to do what I do.
If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?
Dierks Bentley because he has so many different musical influences plus doesn't take himself too seriously. He is one of those dudes who values his family and goes out of his way to spend time with them and make it a priority even with touring. That's cool to me.
What's your favorite song you have written and why?
‘Make a Hometown’ because it's about everyone having their own journey and whether you stay home or go and start a new life in a different city or country, that's your own choice and journey. Putting down your roots and finding who you are is a journey that's different for everyone but also kinda the same. I think everyone can relate to it.
If you weren't a musician what would you be doing right now?
I would be teaching and coaching high school football.
What is your 5-year goal?
To be consistently touring and putting out music and living a happy life.
We can't wait to see AJ’s dreams come true! Be sure to give him a follow and check out his music below.