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Eric Keyes / Press

"I think the guitar sounds a lot like a piano," he said. "They're both stringed instruments. I wanted to make it sound like a piano when I was playing chords and like a singer when I play solo." Keyes grew up playing the piano, a talent he found rather lonely. Though wary at first of playing with others, he eventually forced himself to face his fear and join up with some fellow musicians and friends in an effort to really make some noise. That's when he picked up a guitar. "I saw a guitar player from Sweden when I was 16. The music was different and I figured the one way to be successful was to differentiate yourself from others," Keyes said. "That day, I left there knowing what I'd do for the rest of my life."