In a musical landscape filled with overnight YouTube sensations and people being famous, for being famous, there is something very refreshing and trustworthy about an artist who counts by the number of miles on his tires, rather than the number of “likes” to keep him in the game.
It is that drive, paired with raw talent and business savvy, that took this young man out of a little mountain town in Georgia’s Habersham County and into the spotlight opening for award-winning artists, playing over 150 dates per year, prior to having a booking agent.
King grew up working with his hands, building character as he built structures. “Those jobs made me who I am,” says John. “I started off working rock construction, rock masonry, putting rocks in fireplaces, stone furnaces, walkways at about 14 or 15. Although it was tough, it built muscle and character.”
Citing his parents as the main reason he got into music, John credits them for their influence. “They are the only reason why music was introduced at an early age.” John’s musical tastes were formed early on by the southern rock sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and The Black Crowes. As country music took a huge leap forward in the 1990s, John found himself in awe of one of country music’s greatest entertainers, Garth Brooks.
When it comes to the fans, the bar is set high according to John. “I want to be like Garth and these guys who treat their fans like royalty. That’s how we want to be. Like Kenny Chesney, if you’ve got a long career in country music it’s because your fans love you.”
John took serious interest in guitar when he realized that he could figure out how to play his favorite songs, but then went on to modify them. “That’s when I realized that I could write my own music. I started simply by playing familiar melodies and turning them into funny songs with lyrics about my friends.” Once John settled into the position of lead singer, his voice began to change the sound of the band. “Our early bands were rock bands but my voice was country. I grew up country, I talked country and I started to write about country things.”
After graduating high school, John decided to arm himself with a music degree and went to study at the University of Georgia. It was his time at UGA that the formation of John’s musical footprint would really take shape. John’s music career was in full developmental swing during John’s time at UGA. “My time at UGA helped me,” John said with a very serious tone. “Without that time, I wouldn’t be here.”
His dedication and tenacity paid off in opening slots for nationally recognized, award-winning artists; a feat that is virtually unheard of without a booking agent.
After catching the ear of Black River’s Vice President of A&R, renowned songwriter and producer Doug Johnson in late 2012, John King signed a publishing deal with Black River Publishing in conjunction with Razor & Tie. Johnson, known for his seven number one and ten top ten hits including Lee Brice’s “Love Like Crazy” and Randy Travis’ “Three Wooden Crosses,” was blown away with John’s talent and they began writing together.
In 2013, Black River Entertainment signed John King to their artist roster; along with “Dancing with the Stars” champion and acclaimed singer/songwriter Kellie Pickler and country music superstar Craig Morgan, (“This Ole Boy,” “International Harvester,” “What I Love About Sunday.”)
One of the first steps since signing with Black River Entertainment is the newly signed deal with the booking agency, William Morris Endeavor. Currently, John is in the studio recording his debut album on Black River Entertainment and continues to tour.