With pop and mumble rap overcoming music airwaves, for soulful music lovers, the magic of rhythm and blues might seemingly feel like it’s becoming obsolete. But once in awhile, there will be an artist who comes along, reaffirming hope that soul – in my opinion the backbone of music – will always find it’s way no matter the state of music. Nothing gets me more excited than stumbling upon an undiscovered artist that solidifies that and more. It is the foremost reason why we collaborated with Reverbnation, and that is to find hidden gems who are navigating their way into this business called music. This month’s featured artist goes by the name GREATHOUSE, and his name is certainly befitting.
A native of Houston, TX, GREATHOUSE has been behind the scenes for awhile singing backup for music veterans like Kelly Price, New Kids On The Block (World Tour), Kurt Carr, Yolanda Adams, Erica Campbell, just to name a few. The music major almunus of Class School of Advance Studies has made others sound good but now he’s boldly stepping out on his own, cultivating a name for himself in the music industry.
GREATHOUSE‘s music is love, passionate, and warm. And his voice will certainly captivate you. Don’t believe me? Just take a listen to “Forever” (below). Forever will be the breath of fresh air you need, leaving you wanting more. And there’s definitely more as he’s releasing his highly anticipated studio album in 2018.
GREATHOUSE has garnered spotlight in Dancing In The Streets and More Revue as well as stage plays “Brothers” and “ You Can’t Take it With You”. He recently performed in a Christmas concert for L.O.U.D Musik at Warehouse Live and is currently in a play titled “Secret, Marriage, and Vows” that opens on December 30th.
Unheard Voices had the chance to ask GREATHOUSE a few questions about his career and where he sees himself going. Get to know GREATHOUSE and listen to some great music below:
UV: When did you fall in love with music?
GREATHOUSE: I’ve been exposed to music all my life. I think I loved music before I ever learned to appreciate it. My Mom and Dad had huge vinyl collections, and Saturdays were music and cleaning days. The music always made me feel good and I just knew I liked how I felt.
UV: How long have you been creating and performing music?
GREATHOUSE: I’ve been writing music since I was a teenager. I used to write songs to help me deal with whatever I was going through at the time. I’d write about the good and the bad. I’ve been performing since I was 7. I started off singing in the Ambassador’s Children’s Choir at St. John’s Church in Oklahoma City.
UV: How would you describe your music and the message you’re trying to convey?
GREATHOUSE: My music is all about love. I’m trying to bring back the love songs that tell a story and make people think about that one person. I like to create music that people can relate to. If you’re in love or ever have been in love, you’ll appreciate my music. If you’re not in love, I’m hoping my songs will make you want to be.
UV: What artists have the greatest musical influences on you and your music?
GREATHOUSE: My greatest musical influences are Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Joe Thomas, Anita Baker, Donny Hathaway, and Ella Fitzgerald. Each of these for a different reason. Tone, Control, Range, etc.
UV: What influences outside of music have helped form your style?
GREATHOUSE: Life has helped form my style. I’m a product of the life I’ve lived so far. My music is the same. Everything I write about has a personal truth to it. So, if my life changes in the future, my musical style will probably change too.
UV: What is the meaning behind your name Greathouse?
GREATHOUSE: I actually get asked how I came up with my name a lot. The truth is that it is actually my last name. Most people who get to know me end up calling me GREATHOUSE or HOUSE for short, so it just rolled over into my music as well.
UV: How have your tapped into the Houston music scene?
GREATHOUSE: I was sort of pushed by two friends, Mike Moore and Anzeo David. (Look them both up, extremely talented dudes) Mike heard me sing at church and told me I needed to be a lead singer, and Anzeo was the first person to bring me up on stage during his live set. There is so much talent in Houston that it can sometimes be hard to be heard, but these two forced me up there and I’m grateful.
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UV: Can you tell the Unheard Voices community a little about your stage play work and how it has helped you as an artist?
GREATHOUSE: I’ve been acting since I was in the 7th grade. Being on stage in any capacity is good for a performer because you need to be comfortable. The audience can always feel when something is off, so if you’re comfortable they will be too. Being in plays has helped me be more expressive when I sing, instead of just standing in one spot motionless.
UV: What is the hardest challenge you have encountered with building your fan base?
GREATHOUSE: Reaching the fans has been the hardest challenge. Most people who hear my music like it, but reaching enough people is difficult without a radio or larger PR campaign. It’s a constant grind to get my music heard, but I am willing to put in the work! I just want people to enjoy the music I put out.
UV: How important and/or how difficult is it to support your career with your own funding?
GREATHOUSE: I think every artist has their own difficulties with supporting their careers. It has taken almost three years to complete my first album, and most of that time was taken up just trying to pay for different things. Self-funding this project has been one of the most tedious and gratifying things I’ve done so far. It has taken time and a lot of dedication, but I was able to get it done. The most important part of self-funding my album is that at the end of the day, I don’t owe anyone else.
UV: To date, what has been your best performance? When was it, where was it and why is it your best performance?
GREATHOUSE: I perform at a show in Houston every Memorial Day Weekend called the Motown and More Revue. There’s an average of about 40,000 who come to the show between Thursday and Sunday. I was singing during President Obama’s first year in office, and I sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”. There was so much emotion throughout the nation because of the first black man being elected president that I got emotional singing the song on that particular Saturday night. The crowd got emotional too. Everyone was singing along and I got a full standing ovation when I finished. Having that kind of response was overwhelming.
UV: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
GREATHOUSE: I see myself touring and being on my third studio album in 5 years. I’ll also hopefully be working on some movies and more stage play work during that time.
UV: What current projects do you have out or forthcoming projects in progress?
GREATHOUSE: I currently have three singles out now; “Never Knew Love (2014), 1st Time Around (2015), and “Forever”, which is the first single from my upcoming album, Radio. I’m releasing the second single, “Toast” by the end of this year. I just finished my first studio album and it will be released early next year. Once that is out and being pushed around, I’m planning on immediately starting on the next one!
UV: In closing, I would like you to leave the Unheard Voices readers words of encouragement and inspiration, especiallyfor those pursuing a career in music and entertainment.
GREATHOUSE: The biggest encouragement I can leave with anyone who is pursuing any type of career in entertainment is to know your business and don’t give up. If you know and others have confirmed that you are good at what you do, I truly believe that God gave you that gift to do more with it. Stay prayerful and keep going! Learn all you can about the entertainment business and your field. It will help you out tremendously the further you go along.