Explo Alumnus Writes Hit Songs in Music City

February 20, 2014

Explo alum Greg Becker, who attended Explo as a student in the 1980s, continues to build a thriving career in music in Nashville, TN. (Photo courtesy of Southern Crossroads Music.)

Now based in “Music City” (Nashville, TN), Becker was born and raised in Boston. His interest in music started with piano at age 5, and he quickly added guitar, drums, and degree from Berklee College of Music to his resumé. Leveraging his musical talents along with good people skills, Becker is now a successful songwriter with Southern Crossroads Music, a country, blues, and folk publishing house with offices around the globe. Becker feels like he’s found his sweet spot in songwriting. “Being a songwriter offers a chance for a more normal home life,” he says. “In Nashville you can almost have a 9-to-5 job and then just go home.”

I realized I didn't have to be the guy on stage to have a musical career.

It wasn’t always so easy for Becker, though. He started out in Nashville as a song plugger on Music Row, an area just outside of downtown, home to hundreds of businesses of and about the music scene. There, Becker pitched new material to bands and performers, much of it his own. It took several years for Becker to be able to afford to work full time as a songwriter. Before that, he made ends meet with a part-time job at Home Depot, working nights in order to keep his days open for music.

After several of his own songs got picked up and produced, Becker left song plugging and landed his first publishing deal. “I realized I didn’t have to be the guy on stage to have a musical career,” he says. Becker has written songs for Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, LeAnne Rimes, Rascal Flatts, Meatloaf, and more. His music has also appeared in television and film.

Being a songwriter offers a chance for a more normal home life. In Nashville you can almost have a 9-to-5 job and then just go home.

While Becker has experience in a range of musical genres, he’s focused on writing country music. “I feel like the country music genre is the crèmè de la crèmè for lyric writing right now,” he says. Becker likes the storytelling element that country music allows, and admits that “a lot of very real scenarios make it into those songs.”

It’s exciting that Becker is fulfilling his dream of making a living, and a life, from music. Married with three children, Becker enjoys the balance and the joy that songwriting offers.

By Lauren Frazier

Tag: Alumni News

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