The 6 1 5 Featuring Dom Colizzi
Thank you for talking with us! Can you remember your first trip to Nashville? Of course! My first trip to Nashville was in 2014 to audition for a Country Pop band. I was staying at one of the band member's homes, when I became violently ill. It was awful. We got two days of rehearsals in, and after I recovered from being sick at this stranger's house, we finally checked out the city. I had never seen anything quite like Broadway. I remember seeing Mitch Rossell play an acoustic set before he got famous. It's those moments that remind you why Nashville is such a cool place.
What was the best piece of advice you've ever been given about pursuing a career in music? When I lived out in LA, I was blessed with the opportunity to sing for Randy Jackson. He told me that a great voice can only go so far. If I want longevity in the music business, move to Nashville, the writing Mecca, and learn how to write and produce my own songs. Within two months, I left LA and moved to Nashville to immediately start working on my writing chops.
What excites you most about the Nashville music scene right now? The most exciting part about the Nashville music scene, is that there's a lot more diversity in town now, than there was when I moved here in 2014! Back then, I was writing a lot of Pop songs in a crowd of Country artists, but now I feel a new wave of writers and producers moving to town to find success in Pop!
What do you do on a day off in Nashville, no work allowed? You should try asking my wife this question. I think I work too much! Haha I have a real hard time setting myself up for a day off. If we aren't going to a special event or a Farmers Market, we will typically go to the mall and grab lunch, then when the kids are asleep, I sneak back down into my studio to get some more writing done.
What are some places you recommend for out-of-towners? You've got to see Broadway for at least one day/night since that's where all the tourists go. But I feel like the true Nashville scene is in Midtown and now, East Nashville. If you've never been to a Monday night Whiskey Jam, you're seriously missing out! It's literally the best of the best playing a free show with plenty of whiskey to go around! My wife and I got engaged on the roof of The Thompson in The Gulch, so definitely check out the views up there. There's a lot of really cool landmarks around the city too, like murals and statues.
Let's Talk Nashville. What's your favorite place to eat:
Breakfast: Waffle House
Dinner: Bar Louie - The Gulch
Place to get BBQ? Bar-B-Cutie
Nashville Hidden Restaurant Gem- Edgehill Cafe! So many memories stopping in for lunch or coffee in between writing sessions
Best place to relax with a beer and listen to music: Tin Roof - Demonbreun or The Listening Room
Favorite Nashville restaurant: It's not necessarily a Nashville-only restaurant, but if a drunken night doesn't end at Waffle House at 2 AM, you haven't truly experienced a Nashville night out!
Where did you grow up and how has that influenced your style of music? Growing up in Maine, living in LA, then to Nashville, I believe that I have picked up a "coast to coast" sound. I grew up listening to RnB like Tank, Usher, Chris Brown, and Boys 2 Men, and American Top 40 Pop such as Justin Timberlake, One Republic, The Script, and Timbaland. Later in my teenage years, I grew a huge appreciation for Country such as Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and Sugarland. I believe that the listener can hear those influences in my writing and my sound.
Did you always want to be a musician or was there a specific moment that something happened that made you think "this is what I want to do with my life." If so, what was it? When I was a teenager, I went to see a Sugarland concert at the Augusta Civic Center in Maine. Sitting up in the nosebleeds, I watched Matt Nathanson open for them, singing his big hit "Come On Get Higher". When he hit that high falsetto note, it gave me chills. It was that moment, that I wanted the chance to do that someday; be on the big stage and have one song impact someone's life enough for them to pursue a career.
Did you have a musical mentor? If so, who was it and how did they influence you? I believe that I have had multiple music mentors through out my life. They each served their purpose based on where I was at in my career. My most influential music mentors were actually my school's band and chorus teachers. I had a pretty tough time in school, some dark times, but the Rheins and Mr Forster (my music teachers) always gave me a reason to smile and keep pushing. They taught me music theory, piano, guitar, how to move my voice around, and most importantly, that I was worth it. They knew that I struggled with my speech impediments, but they never gave up on me, so I knew I wanted to make them proud.
If you could have penned a song in any genre what would it have been? I'm extremely jealous that I wasn't part of the co-write for Beyoncé's "Halo." That song gets me every time! Ryan Tedder is a genius!