By Kyle Siegel
Former Sedalia resident Mike Dean has been trying to make a splash in the country music scene over the last two years. Dean writes both song lyrics and music for all of his songs.
Dean graduated from Smith-Cotton High School back in 1996.
Dean has been interested in music his entire life and at the age of 14 he received his first guitar.
“It is funny, I slept with my guitar. I was so into playing that I slept with it beside me. I was 14 when I wrote my first song,” Dean said.
Dean was asked if he came from a musical family.
“I grew up in a musical family. My grandfather played in bands and recorded music for many years. My mother sang and recorded some CDs. She toured singing for churches. My mother’s side was the musical side,” Dean said.
Dean was asked if he started out by playing country music, or did he try his hand at other music first.
“I started out playing in the contemporary Christian arena. I played in praise teams in churches.
“After the Christian industry I did a stint with hip-hop for a year, and then I got into Christian music. I performed Christian rock from 2004 until 2009,” Dean explained.
In 2010 Dean moved to Nashville to make his mark in the country music scene there, but he ran into a roadblock.
“I spent four months trying to get established, but I had to find a job and a place to live in. I got behind the eight ball so I moved back to Missouri.
Dean currently resides in California, Missouri.
Dean was asked when he made the switch to country music.
“In 2009 is when I made the switch to country music. I was a closet fan of country music, but I was a rocker.
“It had always been a part of me, but I never let it out until 2009 when I made the switch and wrote my first country tune,” Dean explained.
Until recently Dean had been a solo act.
“I have just pieced together the beginnings of a back-up band recently,” Dean said.
Dean was asked if has had a chance to play his music for a wider audience.
“I have had several gigs. I kind of got some exposure through a friend of mine, a promoter in Nashville. He put together the Nashville Songwriters Series.
“Musicians from Nashville and myself would set up some chairs on the stage and take turns playing our tunes. It is an informal performance. It is just the performer and their guitar,” Dean said.
Dean has had other performances throughout the state as well, including the Missouri State Fair. He plays at the California Ham and Turkey Festival each year as well.
“Probably my most memorable show was when I played on the Country Throw-Down Tour. It was huge. I played alongside Rose Falcon. She wrote Give In To Me, a song from the movie Country Strong. I also got to play alongside Channing Wilson and Carly Pearce. They are big songwriters. I loved it. It was a large crowd,” Dean said.
Dean received the chance to play that show after winning a song contest on reverbnation.com.
“I got that gig from winning the reverbnation contest. It was my turn to show them what I got. It was good for me.
“You submit your info and song to be considered. I submitted my song Love Letters and Lipstick. They chose that over hundred of other people,” Dean explained.
He added, “Your stats on Reverbnation has a lot to do with getting more opportunities. I encourage people to go there and listen to my music.”
During the course of the interview, Mike Dean spoke about something that means a lot to him.
“I am a huge supporter for Relay For Life. I have designed a clothing line called Kicking Cancer’s Butt. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to Relay for Life. I don’t make a single dime off of that.
“I play at Relay for Life events all over the place. I also wrote a song for Relay as well,” Dean said.
If people are interested in checking out Mike Dean’s music, blog and concert schedule, they should visit http://www.reverbnation.com/MikeDeanCountry.