Artist: Aaron Raitiere
Hometown: Danville, Kentucky
Latest Album: Single Wide Dreamer
Personal Nicknames: Rat
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I was in high school and went to see a band called Leftover Salmon at the All Good Music Festival in Virginia. It was the first time I had ever seen grown people gettin’ wild in the mountains. A true mess of music, community, and insanity. Leftover took the stage and Vince Herman was dancing around with a big foam cheeseburger on his head. The band went into the traditional bluegrass song “Hot Corn, Cold Corn” and Vince grabbed a burlap sack full of corn and started throwing it at the crowd just yelling out “CORN!” — that was the moment I knew I wanted to be a musician. I couldn’t believe that guy was getting paid. What a job.
What has been the best advice you’ve received in your career so far?
The deals that take the longest to make are the deals that last the longest. And never write anything down on paper that you don’t want someone else to know.
If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?
My mom just retired from 40 years as a Case Manager in the ER in Central Kentucky. When I was tryin’ to figure out what I wanted to do she always said she didn’t care what I did as long as I helped people. I try to help people with my songs. I think my mission statement would be “Help People.”
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
I’m a water baby. A lifetime swimmer. I prefer a river over a pond, lake, or an ocean. But most any water will do. I’ve got a spot I like to spend time at just north of Nashville. It’s quiet. Silence is golden, right?
How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?
The best songs are found in the truth. When I’m writing, the You is always Me or some version of a Me. It’s someone I can relate to. Someone with similar opinions and feelings. Someone I can write down what they are saying. It’s hard to hide behind anything anymore. People aren’t stupid, and there are cameras everywhere.
Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen