We had the good fortune of connecting with Blase Groody and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Blase, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Well, when I was really young my dad picked up the saxophone because it was something he just always wanted to do. He just started playing it lol props to him for trying something new. In the beginning my sister and I made fun of him a lot because, of course, he was a beginner and sounded like crap LMAO but eventually he started taking lessons with a guy and started sounding a lot better. Anyways, one day my dad was playing and he just handed me the sax and showed me how to do it. Pretty soon I was going to his sax lessons with him and I had my own horn too. By the time 4th grade came around, I had the option to take band class instead of going to recess after lunch so of course I wasn’t going to miss that. Then I was locked in with band all the way through middle school and high school.

I started taking private lessons with the best saxophone teachers around town and started going to Jamey Aebersold’s jazz camps over the summer too. By the time I was looking at colleges I had stacked up some awards, so I got a free ride anywhere in the state of KY. I went to UofL for their jazz program because they were the only place that had a program just for jazz, plus I already loved all the faculty there from working with them in the past- so it was a no brainer. Then all the way through college I focused on developing my technical abilities as a jazz musician which gave me all the skills I could ever need to work in the music industry.

Now I’m a pro sax player constantly booked with gigs, I’m a producer & sound engineer, and also lyricist/songwriter. Recently I’ve been releasing some rap tunes with Joey Phantom where I produce the tracks and rap over it with Joey. They’ve been getting really good feedback so far, can’t wait to release the next one. Not sure where I’d be in life without music but it’s taken me so many places and given me such amazing life experiences I could never give it up.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think the main thing that separates my music from others is that it’s real. I don’t buy Midi packs and shit to make beats, I use my own chord progressions with my own bass lines and my own ideas. A lot of people don’t understand music theory and it really shows. If you hear some piano on my track it’s because I played it. If you hear some sax on the track, I’m the one that’s playing it. If you hear me rapping about something it’s because I really lived it. Not to say that I’m the biggest & baddest producer or the best artist in the world, but just give me some time and I think people are going to respect what I have to bring to the table.

For the longest time all I did was work on other peoples music. I’m always booked playing with a ton of different bands so that takes up quite a bit of time, plus all the work I do recoding and producing for other people. But the last couple years I just finally got tired of never having my own music so I started focusing on that more. And that’s the hardest part for me. It’s so easy to get comfortable playing the same gigs with the same bands and getting paid to do it, but I want more than that. I need to make a name for myself as an artist. So that’s been my driving force for the past couple years.

I think another huge obstacle as an artist is time management. No matter how bad we all want to live on just music, you still have bills to pay, I still have goals I want to meet. So having another ‘day job’ is crucial sometimes. I make plenty of money playing gigs that I could theoretically live on that, but I also wouldn’t be able to buy a house or live the lifestyle I want to. Until you make it big, its all about how you spend those few hours of the day that you actually have time to work on something. It’s difficult, and I’ve made a lot of compromises in my life to be able to afford that kind of time, but I think its already paying off. Like right now, I’m in the middle of sending emails at work but I still found time in my day to dedicate to this. That’s the name of the game right there, being able to multitask and get things done is the most valuable skill.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, don’t get me started about food I’ll go on for days. First what you’re gonna wanna do is hit Wild Eggs for breakfast, that’s definitely my favorite breakfast spot in the city. Check out Bardstown road for lunch there’s a lot of great unique spots there. There’s also a lot of great spots in the Nulu area and off Main st. I love Queen of Sheeba too so if you like Ethiopian food that’s a must. Deinitely gotta hit Martini’s at the Summit for dinner one night to see Chef Smooth, love that guy. Gotta hit Taj Palace off goose creek road if you like authentic Indian food. Jack fry’s and Seviche on bardstown road are a absolute must. Easily two of the best places in Louisville no doubt.

Cant forget about drinks though, check out Darlings they have amazing craft cocktails. Definitely gotta check out Hell or High Water, its a speak easy type place where you show up to this little closet with a person who asks you some questions about bourbons and prohibition before they let you in the basement door behind them where there’s live jazz and amazing cocktails.

Idk this is a really hard question for me I could think of a million places to go if you came to my city lol

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout my parents for being able to support me as a kid and provide me with instruments, private lessons, and endless love & support. Wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without them.

Shout out to Joey Phantom for recommending me for this interview, we’ve been working on such great music together I can’t wait to have it all fully released.

Shout out to all my most influential teachers: Ron Jones, Paul Shepherd, Samir Kambarov, Gabe Evens, Chris Fitzgerald, Mike Tracy, and Ansyn Banks. I would have nothing without the knowledge every one of you have passed down to me.

Instagram: @xxBLAZERTRONxx

Linkedin: Blase Groody

Twitter: @xxBLAZERTRONxx

Facebook: Blase Groody

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Image Credits
Photos by: Nick Travis Sarah Mennen Matthew Burry Trey Griffin Zac Sarboza

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