Local Band of the Week: John Milstead

22 Jul

Scene cats, welcome John Milstead as our Local Band of the Week!

BAND MEMBER: John Milstead, 31, piano, guitar and harmonica.

HOMETOWN: Originally from Amory, but have lived in Tupelo since working for the cancer center in 2002.

STYLE OF MUSIC: My style of music is really varied. My styles cross over from pop, soul, alternative and blues. My passion I guess would be songs that are very soulful. Even if it’s alternative, country or pop, I like bluesy soulful melodies. I tend to favor artists who can truly sing, like Stevie Wonder and Elton John. You just don’t get too much of that in newer music on the radio today.

BAND WEB SITE: John Milstead’s MySpace page

What made you want to go into music?
Well I chose a health care career because I was always wanted something to fall back on. Music is such a risky business to try and make a good living at. It’s always been a huge part of my life, even at a young age when I could not even sing or play an instrument at all. Over time I taught myself to play and sing things that I heard on the radio that really moved me, and that evolved into writing my own material. I actually didn’t even touch a guitar until I was 17 years old, and began singing in front of people live at age 25. I guess music has always been so intriguing to me because it can evoke so much emotion without words at all.

What inspires your original material?
A lot of my original material comes out of the blue. It may be a melody I heard in my head that day while driving, or the way I played a certain chord, even by accident, will inspire an entire song. Then once the pattern has a vibe to it, I begin thinking of words. It’s really strange though that some of the best songs come out really quick. Music and lyrics within several minutes-almost as if someone is singing the song to you.

Describe your live show.
My live shows are almost always acoustic. I take requests often and play whatever comes to mind depending on the vibe of the venue. I do a lot of Elton John, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, and Bon Jovi. But mainly a lot of vocal driven songs.

What are you currently working on?
My album I’m currently working on crosses a wide variety of styles. Some tracks lean more towards a country sound and some are even hip-hop. Its a good mix but I try to keep everything creative and with strong melodies. I have been working in a studio in Nashville, Cupit Records. Some of the tracks I have used studio musicians and even friends of mine. Some of the tracks I’ve played all the instruments myself and I do all of my harmonies and backup singing. I should have a completed project around the first of September. Not really sure what my plan is after that but the whole experience is very rewarding and something I will continue to do in the future.

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