Living the life of a country singer and newly-graduated 18-year-old is not easy.
But Matt Hicks is doing just that as he attempts to become a successful singer and stay grounded at the same time.
On June 6, Hicks and his grandfather Randall Parker boarded the Dixie Chopper jet airplane with Nashville, Tenn., as their destination. In the country music capital, Hicks was scheduled to begin cutting a country/western album with recording company Lowman Records.
"When we got to Nashville, David Lowman picked us up from the airport and drove us to the studio in a Cadillac," the singer said of his musical journey, "The band recorded the music first, then I did the vocals after that."
The singer's journey to stardom began earlier this year when Hick's grandfather contacted a branch of Lowman Records in Martinsville called Big Country. The recording studio assisted Parker in sending Lowman Records in Nashville a copy of Hicks' demo CD. The company liked what they heard, so Hicks received two songs to practice for recording titled, "Somebody Stole the Sun" and "Loose Change." Along with the two original songs, Hicks recorded a song called "Country Cruise" on his trip to Tennessee.
"David Lowman expects this song to top the charts. I worked with Gretchen Wilson's fiddle player, George Strait's guitar player, and the song writer for Hank Williams Jr. on 'Country Cruise'," Hicks said.
Though he may be collaborating with nationally known musicians, the difference between Hicks and most other country artists is he just graduated from high school. Unlike the country music stars he looks up to, Hicks still plays high school baseball. His recording session was supposed to produce four or five songs, but his team's regional baseball game created a time constraint.
"It took four or five hours to record those three songs. I had to get back to play in my baseball game, so we couldn't do everything we wanted," the South Putnam graduate said.
The album does not have an expected release date yet, but Hicks hopes to have the songs recorded in the next six months. As of now, he is waiting for a call from Lowman Records to schedule shooting a music video for the song "Country Cruise."
Hicks' career is just beginning, but he, along with his family, has high hopes for the future.
"My goals are to record an album and have a number one song. My family and friends have the same hopes for me, I just do all the work," Hicks joked.
The singer's talent not only entertains his family, but also benefits the community. Hicks recently participated in a benefit concert at Central Elementary. He showcased his singing talent in order to raise money for the Ogborn family, whose daughter was severely injured in a car accident. Though he does not have a scheduled show in the near future, Hicks is a regular performer around Putnam County.