2018-05-31 / Front Page

Forbes Graduate Lands Nashville Songwriting Deal

By Cassidy Pittman

Zac Grace Zac Grace At age 32, Zac Grace seems to have grabbed life by the horns and steered his way toward his dreams. After graduating from Forbes Road High School in 2003, he went on to enroll and graduate from Pittsburgh Technical College with a degree in graphic design. His hard work and perseverance brought him to his current job working the sales and marketing department of Channel 6 News WJAC, as well as becoming the owner of his own graphics company, Fast Point Graphics.

Next week, however, he starts two new journeys. One with Lamb Solutions Advertising Agency in Altoona, Pa., and one with Nashville Cool!, an independent publishing company on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn. After signing an exclusive song- writing agreement with them, he will now officially launch his own music career as a songwriter.

Grace has been a writer since high school, but it wasn’t until he started playing drums 17 years ago that he discovered his words were more powerful as songs than poems. Since finding his passion playing the drums, he has played with several bands, including Chris Woodward and Shindiggin, Shallow 9, and Fayted. He’s also opened for musical celebrities such as Chris Young, Cassadee Pope, Montgomery Gentry, Kip Moore, Frankie Ballard, Eli Young Band, Brothers Osborne, Jason Michael Carroll, Joe Nichols, Black Hawk, Eric Paslay, and Dwight Yoakam.

While juggling work and a budding music career, Grace started going the extra mile by making trips to Nashville three years ago. Although fun, the trips served as great networking and business opportunities to meet other country music singers, songwriters, and musicians. It was through them that he was able to meet Rich Richmond, drummer for Jason Aldean, who is also a songwriter.

“There aren’t many people out there that are drummers and songwriters, but I found them and it’s great because we draw inspiration from one another.”

When asked to describe what music meant to him, Grace said that when it comes to writing songs, there is always someone out there to reach out to, to connect with.

“Music is such an amazing coping mechanism. One song can be taken many ways and provide inspiration or hope to people for several different reasons.”

Although he draws it from many places, friends, and family, part of Grace’s inspiration stems from the tragic loss of his younger brother, Tyler, who passed away in a car accident at the young age of 4. Tyler’s memory is the inspiration behind many of Grace’s songs, including his most recent one, “This is the Day.” The single’s music video just finished production and was filmed right here in Wells Tannery, Fulton County. It is hoped to be released within one to two months.

When asked who he would want to thank, he quickly nodded and answered with “everyone.” Grace claims that he has not made this journey alone, and that it was through the positivity and strength of those he surrounded himself with that he was always able to keep his chin up and keep going.

“There’s been resistance, sure. From people and other bands. Like you’re not going to make it or telling me to just get out of the area. But I’ve used them all as motivation. I’m doing it my way, not someone else’s way.”

The songwriting deal is an exciting start for Grace, but he believes he has much further to go. Calling it his first stepping stone, he hopes to move further into the industry. He’s not sure where exactly this path is going to take him, but it’s clear he isn’t going to stop anytime soon.

“What I want to do is put Fulton County on the map. I want kids to know that if they love music, stick with it. Join the music classes in school, learn what you love. If music classes in school aren’t available, go on YouTube and watch as many tutorial videos as possible. Whatever you do, stick with it, and surround yourself with good people.”

Grace will be finishing his next CD next week, and although it doesn’t have a title yet, it has plenty of inspiration.

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