The Nash Next Challenge is down to its 10 finalists, and in the lead-up to the announcement of the champion on Oct. 25, NCD will be profiling each of the 10 finalists.
Today, we are getting to know finalist Gregor Ross.
In July, Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group invited aspiring country artists and bands to participate in the Nash Next Challenge, an artist development competition where the winner will receive a recording contract with Big Machine Label Group and have an original song produced by Jay DeMarcus, which will garner national radio airplay on Cumulus Media radio stations across the U.S.
The winner of the Nash Next Challenge will be crowned on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Mercy Lounge in Nashville by judges Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, Danielle Bradbery and Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta. The event, which will also feature a performance from Trent Harmon, is open to the public from 7–10 p.m.
Home City Market: Fresno, Calif.
How did you get started in music?
My great-grandparents were both musicians. I was influenced at a young age.
At what age did you realize you wanted to make music your career?
When I was in eighth grade, I heard “Cemetery Gates” from Pantera for the first time and it was unlike anything I’d ever heard. I was raised on classic country and classic rock so when I heard that coming out of the speakers it blew my mind. The rest is history.
Who are your musical influences?
George Strait, Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, as well as Mickey Gilley and anything off of the Urban Cowboy soundtrack.
What three words describe you?
Small, town, pride.
What would you say is unique about your sound?
I think it’s the emotion that I deliver that sets me apart.
What three albums would you take to a deserted island?
Alabama’s Greatest Hits, Urban Cowboy soundtrack and Keith Whitley’s Greatest Hits . . . and if I’m able to sneak a bonus album, Pantera’s Official Live: 101 Proof.
What’s a song you wish you had written?
“Slow Burn” by T.G. Shepard.
What was the first concert you ever attended?
What’s the last song you heard that blew you away?
“Loud and Heavy” by Cody Jinks.
Who are the King and Queen of country music?
George Strait and Reba McEntire.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“The Fireman” by George Strait.
Where is the craziest place you’ve performed?
At a Chipotle in Lebec, California.
What’s the first thing you do after a show?
Greet my fans.
What’s your favorite song to cover?
“Bluesman” by Hank Williams Jr.
What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done onstage?
Nothing yet, but I’m sure it’ll happen soon enough.