The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Country star inspired by life

By Francés Matteck/editor-in-chief

Texas country music artist Jack Ingram picked up a guitar while he was studying psychology across the way at SMU.

“I was a big fan of music, and it just came to a point where I wanted to learn how to write songs,” he said. “So I just picked up a guitar and learned a couple chords and loved it as much as I thought I would.”

Most people thought that he should focus on school, but he kept going and, today, has topped Billboard’s Country Singles Chart, performed a duet with Willie Nelson and won awards from the CMT Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music.

Ingram did finish his degree, though.

“I could have quit school. I was making a living,” he said. “But I was in a situation where my parents and grandparents were paying for school, and there was no reason why I couldn’t finish.

“It was more of a nod of respect to my parents.”

His passion for music kept him going when he didn’t think he would make it in the industry.

“[Music] doesn’t feel like a choice. It feels like breathing oxygen,” he said. “So anytime I’m discouraged, it’s not a matter of ‘I’m so discouraged, I’m going to quit.’ It’s just I’m discouraged. I need to work harder to make this work.”

As an artist, he wants to be known for his ability to move people.

“I want to affect people’s emotions, be a part of their story the same way music was a part of my story,” he said. “I want to be remembered for singing honest music about real things.”

People have told Ingram that his music affected them, and he appreciates the opportunity he has to witness his music’s impact on audiences.

“There’s people that I can see are visually moved by what I’m doing, even if it’s just that they’re having a good time, you know, letting themselves go for a little while,” he said. “That’s what this thing’s all about, getting people to feel something.”

Ingram will perform April 18 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. A native Texan, he said he’s excited about singing the national anthem at a Rangers game.

He also plans to ask the ballplayers for autographs.

Ingram said his new album Big Dreams and High Hopes, due this summer, shows a change as an artist.

“It will be different but still tied to my earlier work,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a great departure. I think it’s just a continuation of me as an artist.”

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