New Artist Spotlight: Jason Michael Carroll
By Peter Cronin and Kristen Sherer
© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.
Jason Michael Carroll is a 28-year-old North Carolinian who's not afraid to dream big. As a preacher's son, Carroll grew up not being allowed to listen to "secular" music, but like any resourceful young man, he eventually found his dream emanating from the radio.
Carroll became obsessed with Country Music and quickly got his first break, winning a local radio station's karaoke contest. As a result of that triumph, he was asked to join a local band. His appearance on "Gimme the Mic," an "American Idol"-style show for local FOX television affiliates, led Carroll to a national competition in New York City where he caught the attention of manager Rusty Harmon, who had helped Hootie & the Blowfish to multi-Platinum success. A subsequent meeting with producer Don Gehman (John Mellencamp, REM) led Carroll to a deal with Arista Nashville.
Things started falling into place when he was given the opportunity to write with Jewel, a singer/songwriter he had long admired. They collaborated (with Shaye Smith) on the ballad "No Good in Goodbye," which they recorded as a duet on Carroll's Gehman-produced debut album Waitin' in the Country, released Feb. 6. An unflinching look at the life and death of an abused child, first single "Alyssa Lies" is one of five songs written or co-written by Carroll on the album, and is quickly climbing the charts. The single has already set multiple records, and it's massive airplay success has now made Carroll the first new male Country artist in two and a half years to take a debut single into the Country airplay Top 5.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
Who is your musical hero?
"Garth Brooks, George Strait, Steven Tyler. Do I have to pick one?"
What book is on your nightstand?
"Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith."
What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
"The day I left North Carolina and moved to Texas. That was my last day with both of my grandparents."
What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
"I can sleep when I'm dead."
Do you have a lucky charm?
"I have four of them: My kids, Gavin Michael, Savanna Nicole, Stori Paige and J.W. They're all the luck I'll ever need."
If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
"Don't Try This at Home: The Jason Michael Carroll Story."