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Sprague will perform at the Dawn Theater on Sat­urday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. He began playing music at age 13. Today he boasts over 20 years of per­for­mance expe­rience and enter­tains at various loca­tions across the Midwest.

 

What prompted you to become a career musician?

My father is a musician, so I have always been around music. I played in college bars when I was younger. My main income the past 30 years has been singing to drunk college stu­dents. I quit my day job in 1985. Two years later, my career took off in East Lansing. I went all over Michigan and started per­forming about five times per week.

 

What about your music sets you apart from other artists so you are able to appeal to a college-age audience?

College stu­dents want to hear whatever is current or what they grew up lis­tening to. If you take a 22-year-old college student and sub­tract 13 years, what they lis­tened to when they were eight is what they want to hear now. It is a remarkable formula. I play a diverse reper­toire because young people want to hear every­thing, ranging from Johnny Cash to the Black-Eyed Peas. Hon­estly, after singing for such a long time, I can do pretty much whatever my audience demands.

 

What words of wisdom can you give to aspiring young per­formers, who see you as an inspi­ration?

Music is not just some­thing you think about. It is not about sus­te­nance. Music is an identity. So as for my biggest advice, put away the Xbox. If you are going to be a suc­cessful musician, then all of your idle time must be spent toward music. You will not become suc­cessful if you aren’t always prac­ticing. It’s simple. Be a musician and nothing else — always aspiring to be better.

 

Looking forward to these next few years, what career goals do you have?

Rockstar. I have a new recording coming out with 11 songs on it. They are amazing. I have never felt that way about my own music before. So within the next three years, I will either be a rockstar or retired.    

    -Com­piled by Jordan Finney