Let’s talk about singing. I (Anthony) am awful at it. Don’t get me wrong. I always have a good time belting out “This is How We Do It” while I’m in the shower, but Justin Timberlake, I am not. My two-year-old daughter has even been known to beg me to stop when I try to sing along with her toddler DVDs when we’re driving in our van. I guess I didn’t receive that gift, but that’s ok! That’s why a community exists! I may not have the vocal cords of an angel, but you better believe I can enjoy sitting down and talking with someone who does have true musical talent…someone, like today’s guest.
Troy Bullock is a singer/songwriter from Idaho who has made waves in Nashville with a hit single; Troy currently calls Elko home and works hard at his gold mining job. So, how did Troy go from the Tennessee stages to the pits of an Elko mine? What’s coming up for Troy and his music career? Let’s hear from the talent Troy Bullock himself! “I was born in Northern Idaho and grew up between Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. I’ve been playing piano and guitar since I was about eight-years-old, and that took on a persona of its own. In 2004, I moved to Nashville Tennesee to take my music to the next level. And I finally scored a hit on Billboard Top 50 “Country Go Round, ” and it went viral; it was one of those things where everything happened so fast. We did a major video for it, and it landed pretty big. I mine for gold now, but I cut my teeth in mining through the coal industry. And this song is actually about coal mining; I wrote an entire record driving around a coal mine. I still haven’t released the entire record; we’re working on that now. But after a while, I deleted the Youtube account the video was on because you get tired; you just get bogged down. So we (Troy and his beautiful wife Sarah) moved to Alaska and then back down here (Elko), and now we’re right back to make music again. I’m guessing by mid-Summer of this year we’ll release the next single off of the record. The first single did well, and we’re hoping this one does even better; they’re thinking top 10 for this one. So, it should be a wild ride!” Crazy! I’ve never sat down for coffee with a viral star before! Wait, so what exactly brought you out to Elko after all of that, Troy? “When I was touring nationwide, this was one of the stops between Salt Lake City and places like San Jose or Sacramento. So, we’d always stop by here to make a quick check and hang out with the people. And we fell in love with it! When we were picking a place from Alaska to live, I knew there was mining here and that this was the place we wanted to go. We have so much more friends here than I ever had touring or anything. For us, Elko just had that Western charm, and we’re ranchers, so it’s just one of those places where you just fit right in!”
Well, we’re glad, out of all the places in our vast country, you chose to call our area home! But we’ll take more about Elko in a minute. Tell us more about your experiences in Tennessee! “I was working with Nine North Records out of Nashville and when I first brought the song to the man who heads it up, Larry Pareigis, and he told me about the fact that a lot of songs come across his desk, but they’re all fluff; your song is real American stuff. It’s what working people want to hear. So, from that point forward I radio toured and went from this typical coal mining ranch guy to everybody wanting to have an interview, have a piece of the action, and figure out how I was doing it! And when I finally broke top 100, it was a party; it was the records first huge hit in maybe a decade.”
Very Nice! I’m glad success found you, Troy! And because success found you, you found Elko! Tell us a little about your heart for our city and surrounding areas. “What am I looking to do here in Elko? Well, I’ve noticed that the music scene is dying. So, I think I’ll be instrumental in being a voice for this, especially if I have a top 10 single coming out of the gate; which would be big for all of us! So, I’d like to at least give something back to that effect, to connect and network to bring something better as a whole. I’d like to see people whose names have been around here for a long time, as far as older money goes, have been blessed in that way help support and finance ways for musicians and artists and painters get what they need to further themselves in our town. And if I do hit the jackpot, which I’m pretty sure it’s only a matter of time, I’ll be instrumental in making sure that sort of things happens here. Because I see these guys around here, and they want to play but they don’t know how to put their vision out, and it would be cool to have some go-to for doing the things you (Anthony) and I do; it would be nice to pass that on to people. And our whole game is bringing a major studio up here; I have the guy from Jimmy Hendrick’s original studio doing the design for me and that will kind of put a stamp on it. And that will attract major players who want to come up here to hunt and fish and be all inclusive like that, as well as get some of these younger guys into a studio so they can see what it feels like.”
Yes, and amen! We need to encourage the artists, musicians, writers, and actors in the fact that they can thrive here with their gifts! Troy, you’re a miner; I love our local miners and what they do for our area…and the world! With this being said, I’ve listened to a lot of young people from around here talk about their future and where they could go, and a lot of them have a mindset that’s just one track to the mines! “Oh, it doesn’t matter what my grades in school are because I’ll just be at the mines anyways!” Again, those who mine are great, but Troy, do you think some of our younger people in our area, which may have a gift in some of these other areas we’ve been talking about, see being a miner as their only real option for life? “Yes, and it can cause stagnation. When did the generation happen that stopped dreaming? It’s like sometimes you look into people’s eyes and it’s nothing. When I was growing up, it was all about tomorrow…what can I do tomorrow? I don’t want to forget about today, but I sure don’t want to throw away tomorrow either! Be what you are and if you do that you’ll attract people. Be different; different attracts people. They told me all day I couldn’t do it; the only reason why I am where I am now is that someone told me I couldn’t do it. And I told myself that not only can I do it…but I’m going to do it! I discovered so many things about myself by not listening to people tell me about the mold I was supposed to fit in. I come from a mining family. My dad is a coal miner, my grandfather was a miner, my great-grandfather was a miner, and my mom’s side is the same way. So, I said to myself I’m not just going to say that for sure that’s where I’m going. America used to be about dreaming, now it’s about what mold do I fit in, and that’s just sad. And I think I can make a difference. And I always said, with the whole music thing, I didn’t care if one person bought it; what mattered was if I wanted to listen to it. And you know, Elko’s changing, and it’s the guys and girls that are innovators and have the vision that is going to be the ones to continue to make it a great place to live.”
Well, you’re definetly one of those people, Troy! Thank you for giving Elko some love! We’ll keep an eye out for you at the CMA’S!
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Hopefully, I’ll hear some of you around the radio dials one day, Elko!
P.S. Troy was kind enough to share some links with us! Make sure to give them a click if you want to hear more from today’s guest!