The Power of Music: Seth Power
Since he can remember, Seth Power has never known life without music.
"Both of my parents played instruments in our house growing up. My mom sang and played guitar, and my dad played harmonica," Power said. "There are a lot of musicians in my family, and several family members that do theater. It's always been a common denominator amongst most of us, gravitating towards those disciplines."
Fans of Power would be surprised to know that music and singing didn't always come naturally to him as a child. A missed chance at playing the drums was the catalyst that unknowingly jumpstarted his career.
"Whenever I was 10-years-old, I asked for a drum kit for Christmas. We lived in a small house, so my parents were like, 'Yeah, no,' and got me a guitar instead," Power laughs. "I was disappointed until I started to learn and play. And I loved it."
Lessons as a teenager turned into understanding how to mix audio with his cousin, an audio engineer. Power would spend hours every day experimenting with different sounds and songwriting styles, perfecting his craft. When it was time to head off to college, Power switched gears, attending Mississippi State University to play football. As fate would have it, he suffered a massive concussion after his first season that ended his athletic career but opened the curtain to a new one.
Transferring from the field to the stage, Power started to be booked for local shows in Starkville, including one of the first-ever two-hour sets he had only two days to prep for. Working his way up to opening for well-known acts on Cotton Row and university events, a career in the music industry began to feel like the right fit. After signing on with his first independent label that didn't pan out, Power learned the force behind failure as an artist and how that can make or break your outlook.
"I'm one of those people that's more motivated by failing than success," Power said. "I think it was one of those God things where He was like, 'If you're going to do this, you need to start poorly so that you can take this seriously.' That's what it required, and it's been a gradual building process since I was 22."
Not only has Seth been building momentum with hit singles, including "Going Somewhere" and "I Do," in addition to his first full-release record in 2020, but he's also become a devoted husband and father since those early tour days. This juxtaposition of knowing what grounds you as a musician, with all of the literal and figurative noise in the industry landscape, sets the tone for his current and future work.
"It's really easy in this world to get caught up in the numbers," Power said. "And to be like, 'I've only got 60,000 monthly listeners, and this guy's got a million, his friend has six million, and so on.' But those experiences help you realize that every one of those people is real. And that, to me, has made it a much more enriching experience, to go out on the road, and to have those interactions and talk to people and for them to say, 'I heard your song whenever I was like this, or dealing with this. And it really helped me.' One of those interactions can make it all worth it. You don't need a million of those to feel like what you're doing has a purpose."
Power is optimistic about Jackson's future in music because of the opportunities available if artists are willing to look to and invest in the capital city of the Birthplace of American Music.
"I've had musician friends who've moved off to these larger cities, and I'll check in with them on occasion and ask how it's going. I hear all the time, they're like, 'I work all the time, and I don't have the time to record music. And even if I did, I can't afford it because I have to pay my rent,'" Power said. "You know, it turns into this whole cyclical thing where it, unfortunately, starts to not make sense anymore for many talented people."
"That's a big reason why I've stayed. I can still travel to these same cities that are relatively close and do the same things," Powers said. "And I can spend the rest of my time growing, building, writing, recording, and investing, all right here. I sense a lot of opportunity in Jackson if people are willing to think and dream like entrepreneurs."
Seth's Top Spots To Catch Music In Jackson
F. Jones Corner - "F. Jones has the best music in the state, in my opinion, outside of the Delta and parts of the Gulf Coast. If you're going there past midnight, you'll find incredible blues music. Every time I have musician friends and artists that are traveling through Jackson, that's where I take them, and they're always blown away."
Duling Hall - "Duling Hall has some of the best touring acts right now, and I'm excited to see who they're bringing into Jackson."