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