Each year, thousands of musicians and artists flock to Music City with the hopes of becoming country music’s latest success – and soon become aware of the odds stacked against them. Throughout their journey, they’re faced with much adversity… But for country recording artist Adam McPhaill, it was adversity that lead him to becoming an artist in the first place. “I began songwriting and performing as a way of coping with a friend’s death in high school… It quickly became my preferred coping mechanism.” Not only was music a necessity for McPhaill, but his passion as well – a passion that, when paired with his resilience and tenacity, has made McPhaill a stand out amongst fellow artists.
Born and raised in Russellville, Kentucky the youngest of four children, McPhaill began singing in church when he was five years old. “My mom absolutely loved it – even encouraged it. She’d videotape me singing every chance she had.” Aiding in this encouragement was his father and brother’s regular performance in the church worship band. Stylelistically, country was the obvious choice for McPhaill. With his mother a die-hard Shania Twain fan and his oldest sister Leslie listening to Deana Carter, he chose to follow Garth Brooks – his first memories being of Brooks’ album “In Pieces”.
In high school, McPhaill became a staple in school talent shows, performing every chance he had. At 17, he auditioned for Nashville Star, even making it past the first round. It wasn’t until his senior year of high school, however, that he really began to explore the world of song writing. “My best friend passed away unexpectedly one week before graduation. She had been a huge encourager in my life, especially when it came to my music. It was a very difficult time and I needed a way to process everything that was going on.” Looking for an outlet, McPhaill began to song write, with his father putting music behind his lyrics. “My love for songwriting developed pretty quickly, so it was only natural for me to pick up a guitar and start playing.”
Continuing to hone his skills, McPhaill’s 20th year brought two major auditions – American Idol and, later that year, The Voice. “It was through these two auditions that my skin really began to thicken… And though I learned how to gracefully take ‘no’ for an answer, I also learned that persistence is key.” With much encouragement from those closest to him, McPhaill moved to Nashville in April 2012, taking a job at popular retailer Buckle to make ends meet. “At Buckle I’m constantly connecting with local musicians, artists, songwriters and industry professionals. That alone has already opened doors for me.”
Drawing inspiration to write from life-changing events and stylistic inspiration from artists including Brooks, Lee Brice, and David Nail, McPhaill continues to work towards his career goals – which, despite his dreams being big, remain relatively modest. “More than anything, I love to sing – and have no problem doing so for free. But to be able to make money doing what I love – that would be my ultimate goal. Of course, I wouldn’t turn fame down if it came knocking…”