Glen Pretty is a 25 years old talented musician from a small town of Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. His biggest influences in music would have to be John Mayer, Justin Bieber, Elton John, and Michael Bublé.
My genre of music is Pop and R&B. I’ve been a lover of music for as long as I can remember, and it’s defiantly helped save me mentally through tough times. I’ve released some singles over the last year and I’ve slowly been gaining more followers and fans. I feel my biggest accomplishment so far was leaving a record label and going independent. That really helped my music career get noticed and what helped gain me a fan base. Currently my music career is being managed by multi-Platinum award winning artist Danny Fernandes. With this I’m hoping to grow my music career to a full-time lifestyle.
Lisa: Hey Glen! Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you remember the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or hard choice to make?
Glen: Growing up music was a huge part of my life. Whether it was singing in the bathtub as a kid, humming to a tune while in the car or while playing with my toys it always seemed like music was a part of me. I think the moment I realized I wanted to do music is when I joined a choir in my elementary school. I wasn’t very old around 7 or 8. Whether it was live performances or just choir practice, I loved every moment of it. When I was in Grade 6, I was in a musical and after that I knew music was in my blood. Knowing I wanted to be a musician was an easy decision. My mom was always told by teachers, friends and even my nurse as a child that I was born to be a music artist. They told her I had a talent that needed to be heard. I already knew I wanted to become a musician and a music artist. Having my mom tell me that, it helped push me to want it even more.
Lisa: What types of change do you feel your music can initiate?
Glen: I feel a lot of my music can be felt by others. When I write a song, I really write from the heart, but I also listen to how others feel when they go through a breakup or hit a hard bump in the road. I feed off that. I don’t just write and create music for myself I do it for others because I want to make an impact in others’ lives. I feel whether someone is going through a breakup or dealing with depression or just having a hard day. They can listen to my music and hopefully find some peace out of it. It may not be a big change in their life, but if it can bring them ease then that makes me happy.
Lisa: Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a song?
Glen: I don’t really follow any set patterns when writing a song. Usually, I have be in a state of mind to write music. Other than writing down how I feel I don’t really follow any steps into creating a song. I just let it come naturally.
Lisa: What ideas did inform “Part of Me” in particular?
Glen: For the song “Part of Me” I looked back on a few of my toxic relationships. I talk about the cheating and how it affects not only me but anyone in general. How it literally “Takes a part of you” and can leave you feeling upset and torn apart. The main idea and focus on that song was to get across to people that being in a toxic relationship isn’t good and that being the toxic person does a lot of damage to people. I’m trying to let the message be that being hurt and lost is a scary, that it takes time to heal from the pain of being cheated on. I wish it upon no one.
Lisa: How did you document the music while it was being formulated?
Glen: Most of the music I create comes from the heart. Mostly everything I write is either true from my perspective or from someone else’s. I think the best music I write is when I’m feeling either happy or sad. I will put myself into an empty room away from any distractions and write exactly how I feel or how I feel someone else felt. I really read people’s emotions, always have and it’s helped me write a lot of my music. My biggest goal is to write music on how I feel, knowing others can really relate.
Lisa: You say you’ve left a record label and went independent. Tell me more about that, and where do you think music industry is going?
Glen: Yes, I was signed to a record label for 4 years. They heard my cover songs that I posted on Facebook and YouTube through my mother when showing her friends out at the bar. The guy sitting beside them heard and came to talk to my mom about meeting me. So, I ended up going to his studio and recording a song. After it was complete, he asked to sign me and that’s when I started my time with Worldwide Records International. It was great for a while, not having to pay for studio time, creating my own original music, preforming live at shows. This record label really helped me gain the confidence I needed to pursue my dream of being a music artist. But over time I just felt like I was at a standstill with this label. I don’t know if I was just being impatient or had my own ways and goals of doing things and it wasn’t how this record label was doing it. I ended up getting my lawyer to make up an agreement to terminate my contract. Once that was completed, I immediately started creating my own original songs. I’d get my beats off the internet then record them at home in my dad’s wine cellar. After that I’d send them off to a producer in the UK (who I’ve never known or met). I just asked a random producer if he would mix and master for me and he agreed to. I feel like being independent is the way to go now. I feel more artists are getting noticed when doing their own taste of music at their own pace and own style. I mean sure being signed is great because it takes away all the costs of doing everything but then again you hear a lot of big-time artists complaining how they can’t live their lives the way they want to, and how they are getting ripped off when it comes to the money side of things. I feel being independent is becoming bigger and bigger because people are starting to realise that most record labels run your life and music career for you and sometimes that can be stressful because it’s not how you want to do things; it’s how they want to do things. I enjoy being an independent artist and I think the only time I will sign to a label, is if I was to get cut an honest and fair deal.
Lisa: What non-musical entities and ideas have impacted your music?
Glen: I’ve always been fascinated by music artists. Their lifestyle and how they create music that millions of people love and relate to. Being a music artist was always a thought, but it wasn’t till later in life around the end of high school when I really knew I wanted to do this. I had so many people judge me, bully me, beat me, and make me try to believe I’d never go anywhere with music. After going through all of that for 4 years I knew I had to do this. I knew I had to prove to not to only myself but others that you can do anything you put your mind to. I love music, I love everything about it and it’s my dream to pursue a career in it one day. I know deep down, God put me on this earth to do this. To make music and to help people through life with my music. I know this may sound selfish, but I feel with what I’ve been through and the passion I have for music and the talent I have, that I deserve this to work out for me.
Lisa: What advice or philosophy might you impart to other musicians, be it in forms of creativity, technical stuff, the business side of it, or anything else?
Glen: Some advice I would give to other music artist is, be true to yourself. Don’t ever create music or a style just because its trending or someone else is doing it and taking off. Be yourself, because at the end of the day people are going to enjoy the creative person you are. Another big thing is being humble and respecting everyone who comes around in your life. Don’t ever be cocky or think you’re better than someone else. Because at the end of the day we are all human, all have a heart and feelings. One other big thing is money spending and promotion. You can’t just pay 5 dollars here or 20 dollars there and expect your music to sound good. You must put the money and time into each project if you want it to sound amazing. Same thing goes for marketing, put the time, thought and energy into how you’re going to market your “brand” or “music”. Be creative it will catch people’s attention more.
Lisa: What is your view on technology in music?
Glen: I think technology has changed music a lot over the years. In both good ways and bad. It’s a lot easier to record some vocals or a riff and send it off to someone who isn’t local. It’s much easier to get noticed and have your fame blow up due to the social media side of things. I also think it’s great how you can stream any type of music with the click of a button on a smartphone. With that being said, it’s also easier to make someone sound completely different when singing and I think that takes away from being unique and talented. This is a big reason why I love John Mayer, because he sounds just as good live as he does on a record. I feel technology has done a lot of good for music but sometimes I wish it wasn’t used in certain ways. Unfortunately, I think the technology is going to just keep being used more with music and advance even more over the years.
Lisa: What are your plans for the future?
Glen: My plans are to just take things step by step, day by day. I obviously dream of becoming a huge music star, but I know that doesn’t come overnight. I’m lucky to have been noticed by platinum and award-winning artist Danny Fernandes and I’ve been working alongside him for a few months now. I feel this could be a new door opening to a bigger opportunity for me. At the end of the day, I’m happy creating music, it saved me when I was in a dark place throughout high school. I honestly don’t even think I’d be alive if it wasn’t for creating and listening to music.
My biggest goal for the future is to help change the world in any way possible and leave a mark on this earth. Whether my music helps save one person or a million people I’ll feel great knowing I helped someone and made a difference in their lives. At the end of the day, I don’t care for the money or the fame. I just want to leave this world knowing I saved someone’s life or helped them when times were tough. Just as other artists did for me.
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