IN MY OWN WORDS
There is no third-person language here to fool you into thinking that someone else composed this. I am writing my bio so that you know exactly where I come from and where I’m going. My name is Paul Sikes. Unlike most songwriters trying to make it in Music City, I was actually born in Nashville, TN. And as pretty much all musicians would say in cliché fashion, my journey began early on. I grew up in a musical family although music was not my family’s profession. My dad was and still is a preacher. My mom was and still is an elementary school teacher. They both played the piano growing up and through college, so naturally they encouraged me to take up the instrument. I was seven when I began playing, but always hated practicing. Nonetheless, I kept with it for several years learning a great deal of music theory from my teacher, Mrs. Elaine Bogard. Now fast-forward to age thirteen. I picked up the guitar for the first time at summer camp. I fell in love with the instrument and with practicing. The years of piano really helped me transition to learning how to play the guitar pretty quickly. As a teenager, I began to take a great deal of interest in songwriting. Now, I grew up listening to a huge collection of vinyl records with my dad.. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Chicago, Emerson Lake And Palmer, James Taylor, Johnny Winter and Michael Hedges (to give you an idea), and those influences were definitely making their way into the musical style I was developing as a writer and musician.So, I was writing and playing and wanted to do something about it, you know, maybe for a living. After completing my minor in Classical Guitar Performance at Lipcsomb University, I decided to transfer to Middle Tennessee State University where I earned my degree in the Recording Industry with an emphasis on Music Business. From there I continued honing my craft as a songwriter and musician, trying to make my presence felt on Music Row with my songs all the while cutting grass, loading freight, and waiting tables.I signed my first publishing deal in 2007 with Giantslayer Music Publishing joint-ventured with State 1 Songs where I immediately got my first “cut” in Nashville with country act Emerson Drive with a song called “The Extra Mile.” I was flown that same year to New York City to receive ASCAP’s annual Leon Brettler Award which is given to a promising young and upcoming songwriter. After my first deal came to a close, I went on the road as a guitarist for major label artists Jennette McCurdy and Brett Eldredge. I signed my second publishing deal in early 2011 with Sony ATV where I remained for a year. During my span as a published writer I procured cuts with Emerson Drive, Billy Dean, Josh Gracin, Jordyn Shellhart, and Texas artist Justin van Sant.
In 2012, I founded my production company 7-Layer Productions under which I released my previous album Craft, which charted #41 on all of iTunes and #2 in its singer/songwriter category thanks to my serendipitous appearance and performance on NBC’s The Today Show, which fell into my lap through a most unlikely set of circumstances! That story alone would need much more treatment than i can give it here. Nonetheless, that moment helped launch the artist side of my career and brought about a whirlwind of opportunities which I’ve been fortunate enough to experience.
Having just signed my most recent publishing deal with Debbie Zavitson, I’ve also just officially released my latest studio record “Out Of The Mud,” available on iTunes. I am so proud of this record. It shows a me that it is comfortable in my own skin and a me that isn’t afraid to push my artistry in such a way that I could not have done a couple years ago. And what better way to kick off this record than with my recent performance on the Today Show on August 8th! So excited for the things to come and having you all a part of it makes it all worth the while! I’m humbled and blessed by being able to do something for a living that I am this passionate about. And I believe that no matter how the accolades of this biography grow over time, I will be able to end it just like this: I don’t deserve to be a songwriter. I am privileged to be a songwriter. God bless..