ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Jon Rogalia likes to say he went from nothing to something in two years. Just a couple years back, he was working construction with his dad out of Skaneateles when one day, he wandered past a guitar.
“I started playing it and next thing I know, I’m recording an album,” Rogalia said.
The album came out in December. Nine original songs, written by Rogalia and shaped by Grammy-nominated musician and producer Lonnie Park.
“I brought him a whole stack of papers and said ‘Hey, here’s my whole songwriting career up until now. What can I do with it?’ And he said, ‘you know, it’s workable stuff, but what do you want to, where do you want to go with it?’” Rogalia said.
What Rogalia wanted was music with meaning, a purpose. Songs that would trigger a feeling when you hear them, whether happy or sad.
Park added backing instruments to Rogalia’s vocals and guitar tracks, tapping friends in Nashville and LA.
Rogalia says he finds writing comes naturally to him. He can get an idea just driving down the road.
“I try to pull inspiration from anywhere, and then I’ll just grab my guitar, sit down and really start, you know, diving into what is the purpose of the song I’m gonna be writing,” Rogalia said.
He’ll hit the road to Nashville next month, allowing himself a day to just be a tourist, and then more than a week of hard work, networking, taking meetings, trying to learn what it might take to make a go of a life in music. He insists he’s going in with his eyes wide open.
“I have dreams and aspirations, but reality kicks you in the butt, too, every once in a while,” Rogalia said. “So the push I’m going to make is pro band and touring in two years.”
“When you’re asking for something, you know, be happy with the decisions you make, really, that’s the best you can ask for,” Rogalia said.
That sounds like the makings of another song.
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