Juliette Deutsch, co-editor-in-chief
Highlights: When did you begin your career as a singer/songwriter?
Peterson: I have been writing songs, for fun since I was 7- years old. I would show the songs and there wouldn’t be a melody to go along with the lyrics so it was essentially just poetry. I would show it to my mom who always encouraged me to continue writing and since then I have written about 40 songs. Growing up I would always sing in my room no matter who was home. I learned how to play the drums when I was young, but stopped abruptly as my mom couldn’t take the noise.
Highlights: Why country music?
Peterson: I love country music because there is truly a story in every song. Most critics will assume it’s all about drinking, love, death, trucks and dogs. I fell in love with the way that country music tells the stories to the audience. Each country songwriter is much like a storyteller in that sense, and has lived through something that you can find some way to relate to. There is a country song for any kind of feeling you will feel in your life, and country music was always my getaway from life. Moreover, I think some of the world’s best singers ever can be found in the country music genre such as Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Tim McGraw, Johnny Cash and Shania Twain, to name a few. There is a country music artist out there dying to tell his or her story, and I was just lucky enough that I was able to tell a little bit of my story with my debut album.
Highlights: How did growing up in Beverly Hills influence your career?
Peterson: At Beverly, there wasn’t much country music being discussed or any influence from teachers to help me gain musical confidence. I had a couple best friends that I essentially manipulated into loving country music almost as much as I do. I am still best friends with each of them from high school and we talk about country music, attend country festivals and concerts together, and even ask their opinions on my own songs to better myself. My senior year of high school, I decided to audition for Beverly’s Madrigals. I sang two notes then the music teacher told me to leave. Nonetheless, that night I went to a concert with my best friend and managed to lose my voice from singing along with Kenny Chesney as loud as I could. I continued to sing and write country music on a regular basis even after the Madrigal tryout because writing was always a hobby, country music will always be my first love, and singing is something I love to do, regardless of what people say about the strength of my voice.
Highlights: What does the title of musician mean to you?
Peterson: I would call myself more of a singer/songwriter before the musician title just because songwriting is what I have loved to do since I was little. I love taking any feelings I may have, getting them down on paper and putting it in a song for others to hear. The best part about having my music out there now is that in terms of what I do differently with my music, is, nothing. I continue to write and come up with tunes to my lyrics constantly. I have become a diverse writer over the years, writing about partying, heartache, love, death, life, familyand friends. I love sharing my songs with peers and showing the world that a city boy from Beverly Hills can still step way outside the norm and follow country music to wherever it will allow me to go.
Highlights: What is next for you in your career?
Peterson: I am always writing new songs, but still letting the hype from the debut album release sink in. I am always promoting the album wherever I go. My dream for my music as a career is to be the songwriter for big name artists. I love singing for big groups, but I don’t know if I truly see myself leaving my other jobs to try and make it big as an artist. I want my music to be heard through the voice of country artists who want to make it big, singing in front of massive crowds, hopefully using my music to help them reach that mountaintop. I am a special education teacher for K-5 right now and I have always loved working with kids, so much so that I wouldn’t want to give that up for anything! I’m perfectly content writing music, finding artists who would like to sing them for the world, while teaching and working with kids that make going to work every day worth it.