Here to ‘Stay’: Student makes mark on music scene

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Story by Da’Sha Tuck, Staff Writer

 

In the midst of beginning his senior year, Kevin Brost, from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, has not only released his debut single “Stay” but the song has made it up to the No. 12 spot on iTunes.

Growing up in Catholic school, Brost attended church every week with his classmates as well as every Sunday with his parents. This was how Brost began singing.  

“As fidgety as I am, it was really hard for me to sit still through church,” Brost said. “So I tried to get by waiting for each song to come up. My excitement was waiting for the song so I could get something out of it and that’s how I started singing.”

Brost said when he was 13 years old he began playing guitar. His mother had bought the guitar for him thinking Brost would lose interest in playing soon after, but eight years later, Brost has yet to put the guitar down.

At age 14, Brost started a five-piece band. They played classic rock, soft rock and pop throughout high school. Brost said the band performed places legally they weren’t old enough to get into, including bars and clubs. This shows how even at a young age Brost’s musical style appealed to a variety of listeners.

Brost has also played at wedding receptions and with church worship bands.

After coming to Murray State as a freshman, the five-piece band dissolved and Brost put together a three-piece trio. With them, Brost continued to play the same kind of venues, including wineries and bars. Now, he has branched out alone and is starting his solo brand.

“It is intimidating because there is totally nothing to hide behind,” Brost said. “You either got it or you don’t, so every time I play I just have to prove that.”

Brost said he is excited he finally gets to be himself and go with his own sound. He describes his music as “roots music”

“It’s a blend of great American roots music: country, blues, gospel, folk and soul all blended together,” Brost said. “It’s classic vibes with a modern twist to make it new, innovative and unique.”

Brost signed with Gravity Artist Agency (GAA) in Nashville, Tennessee, last spring. Brost said during that time he made several trips to Nashville in order to build relationships with potential agencies, but specifically GAA.

Brost said if he knew Mike Musick, his manager, was going to be at a certain event, he would show up at the same event and casually run into Musick in order to keep building that relationship.

GAA takes care of booking, publicity, branding, social media and talking to venue owners and promoting.

“I was talking with Mike and he said to send him ten of my best originals,” Brost said.

“Stay” stood out to Musick and they decided that was the song they would release for the single.

“Stay” was released on Aug. 13, and the official music video was released earlier this week. In the video, it is apparent the song is about a father speaking to his son. The father is saying he knows he has made mistakes, but this time he is here to stay.

“With my songwriting, what’s really important to me is that I tell a story,” Brost said. “That I put it in a perspective. I don’t want to use words that leave it really vague.”

Brost said the song is about regret and wanting more time.

He said this relates to him personally because he doesn’t want to wake up when he is 60 years old and look back with regret.

“That’s why I don’t sleep and I try to do as much as I can, because I want to experience as much as possible,” he said “I know that is a feeling (regret) a lot of people have had and so I felt if we can make it really emotional and put a father and son aspect in there, that would be really cool.”

With the release of “Stay,” Brost’s social media has been flooded with positive feedback but Brost said “Stay” is not his favorite song he has written.

“I’m glad we started off with that one,” he said. “We are getting people interested, and then we are going to hit them with something even better. We’ve got a lot more left in the tank.”

“I listened to it and it is a really different genre,” said Arista Manning, senior from Murray. “It’s roots music, an up-and-coming genre, that he is really excited to make a breakthrough with. I think he is going to do really well.”

Brost said he has better material he wants to showcase, material he feels will really register with the audience.

Brost said maintaining class work and being involved with his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, as well as other organizations on campus, can all be very stressful. He relies heavily on what he calls “the real team,” which includes his family, girlfriend, brothers and friends for support.

The Murray State fans are supportive as well, including President Bob Davies. He raved about Brost on Facebook when “Stay” made the No. 12 spot on iTunes.

“Kevin Ray Brost is an engaged and hardworking Murray State student,” Davies said. “He is an amazing singer and musician.”

Brost strives to relate to his listeners by telling a story and he hopes they will be receptive of what he has coming next.

In the near future, fans can expect Brost to be performing live, putting out more videos and continuing to build his brand.  

“I think what sets me apart is just the honesty in my songs,” Brost said. “If I could choose three words to describe my music they’d be: authentic, vulnerable and transparent.”

In the near future, fans can expect Brost to be performing live, putting out more videos and continuing to build his brand.  

“I think what sets me apart is just the honesty in my songs,” Brost said. “If I could choose three words to describe my music they’d be: authentic, vulnerable and transparent.”

More information on Brost and his career can he found on his Facebook page or on his website, kevinraybrost.com