FEATURED ARTIST – Ethan Senger
Interview By: Dennis M. Kelly
Dennis: Good day Ethan, thanks for answering some questions today! So you’re a 3rd generation guitarist? Tell me a bit about your parent’s and grandparent’s musical background.
Ethan: My dad was a rock guitarist, and his band played a lot all over the southeast before I was born. His father was a jazz guitarist who played with a local band in Pensacola, Florida. My mom has done a lot of singing in bands, musical theatre, and other projects. So, I definitely was exposed to all kinds of music at an early age, and it really sparked my interest.
Dennis: Very cool and understandably so. So, it is safe to say, you were encouraged and supported very early on in your life. What about the guitar appeals to you so much?
Ethan: Given the path I’ve chosen, I’ve been blessed to have such supportive parents who are willing to help me out.
I’m not sure what appeals to me most about the guitar, given all the different aspects. But watching my favorite guitarists play live on YouTube, and hearing my dad’s guitar through huge amps when I was a little kid was so exciting. The only thing I could think about was playing guitar.
Dennis: Do you play other instruments as well?
Ethan: I’ve messed around on piano, and can play it a little. I can also figure my way around other stringed instruments, but guitar is my main pride and joy.
Dennis: Ah yes, and a nice Stevie Ray Vaughan reference there too! Were you taking guitar/voice lessons at any time?
Ethan: I had a handful of formal guitar lessons when I was a young kid, but did I pay attention at that time? Ehhh. I’ve never had formal vocal lessons. I guess I’ve just developed my voice over time. When I was little, my mom would help me with ear training. I would sing something, and she would sing notes back to me; adding that I sang incorrectly. I guess you could say that was kind of my first lesson on attention to detail.
Dennis: What lessons did you find to be the most helpful?
Ethan: The most helpful tip I’ve received was when a fellow musician/mentor taught me how to make sure I’m always singing from my diaphragm. That little adjustment helped me gain so much power/potential in my voice.
Dennis: Tell me about your songwriting, do you have a set process? Do you write from personal experiences?
Ethan: My songwriting process is always different. The setting in which inspiration strikes might not always be the most conventional, but when it happens, I gotta give it my attention in that moment. I definitely sit around a lot and make stuff up on guitar, which will lead to wanting to find a melody and write lyrics to go with it.
As for finding the context of a story or just a concept for a song, that kind of thing can come out of nowhere. Most of my songs are inspired by personal experiences because the feelings associated with those are usually the most powerful, which often leads to more impactful lyrics. The context of the song may tell a completely different story, but the inspiration is usually drawn from some experience — even the smallest, seemingly insignificant occurrences can inspire me.
Dennis: Of your songs, what have been some of your fan’s favorites?
Ethan: My newest release, “I’m fine,” has gotten the most positive reactions. I’m trying to take my music into a more cultivated direction, and I think that song demonstrates that progression.
Dennis: I would have to agree as well. Do you perform solo usually or do you have a band that you’re working with, if so, please tell me about them too.
Ethan: I primarily perform solo. I’ve played in bands, but in terms of my original music, I just perform solo. I would like to get a band to back me for certain shows, but every gig is different.
Dennis: You released “I’m Fine” late last year, do you have any new music releases planned for this year yet?
Ethan: I’m in the process of recording new songs, currently focusing on getting those translated into the best studio format as well as deciding on an ideal way to release them. A formal release date has yet to be determined, as I have some new opportunities to consider before I publish my next release.
Dennis: Aside from your music career, what occupies your time? What are some other interests of yours?
Ethan: About seven months ago, I got some golf clubs and have been playing a lot in my down time. The “Good Good Golf” YouTube channel got me interested in it, and I absolutely have been spending too much money on a sport few people seem to be good at, myself included. But I love going to courses with my homies and having a good time outside.
Dennis: I am sure it helps improve concentration and takes you enough out of the music mind-set to get you some fresh perspectives on your music career as well. How involved are you on social media?
Ethan: I post a good bit of content on my Facebook (@ethansengermusic), Instagram (@ethansengermusic), and TikTok (@ethansengermusic) accounts including show dates, videos/reels, and other stuff. Go check it out!
Dennis: What are some long term goals you’d like to see yourself accomplish?
Ethan: Since I was a kid, one of my biggest goals has been to go on tour. I love performing live more than anything. I feel like that is where I thrive, and it’s what I was meant to do. I’d love to headline a nationwide tour, playing all my own music. Of course, as I take more steps toward achieving them, the goals become bigger, but that is the current objective.
Dennis: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our readers today?
Ethan: Please check out my music, which is available on all platforms. You can find it by searching my name. I’d also love for you to follow my socials and come see a show!
Dennis: Well Ethan, I really appreciate your time once again, and I wish you all the best in your career!
Ethan: Thank you for your time, and thanks for having me in Chicago Music Guide.
Dennis: My pleasure!
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