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Five Questions with Garrett Hinson


Five Questions with Garrett Hinson

Bo Kitzman


Since this article was written, Garrett has funded and produced his album "Nothing Is Destroyed."

Garrett Hinson of Trenton, Tennessee, is no stranger to the artistic struggle, but what makes his struggle so interesting is how he has grown into his own brand of aural singularity. Folk and rock music are incredibly different than their traditional interpretations, and that’s part of what makes Garrett’s sound so enjoyable. Garrett applies the traditional and contemporary styles of folk and rock for a sound that doesn’t cross barriers but fuses them instead.

Like many songwriters Garrett made his way to Nashville, Tennessee, to develop his sound and continue his education after high school. Garrett developed his writing chops along with a justifiable sense of disdain for the city in which he was residing. Hinson said, “I don’t like that songs are commoditized here. I also think that it’s counterproductive to force songwriters to compete. Instead of creating a community, the present music industry in Nashville is actually alienating us. That sucks.”

Garrett’s new album, “Nothing Is Destroyed,” will certainly trump any doubt you have about the future of folk-rock. The record is genuine, is heartfelt, and conveys the message that the reality of what you want to create matters, no matter what.

What does “Nothing Is Destroyed” mean to you? The phrase itself came to me when I was having these thoughts about reincarnation and the laws of conservation of mass and energy. It's just this idea that nothing is ever really created or destroyed; things are just transformed. As it pertains to the album, I think it's just a phrase of guarded optimism—evidence of some existential hope that crops up throughout the record.

What was the most difficult part about creating the album? It's tempting to say the funding! But I don't think that's really true. Money isn't nearly as daunting as a songwriting drought. In the middle of writing this record, I experienced almost an entire year of writer's block where I didn't write anything. And that was miserable. But luckily I broke that streak by writing "What Do You Make of This World?", which I'm so proud of now.

What do you want the listeners of “Nothing Is Destroyed” to walk away with? Well, first and foremost, I would want them to enjoy the stories. I've never been much of storyteller in my songs until this record, and I'm just really proud of how that experiment has turned out. But maybe more than that, I would want them to walk away with the same ambiguous, precarious sense of hope that I've found in writing it.

What songwriters influenced this record the most? Josh Ritter, as a storyteller; Conor Oberst, aesthetically; and Joe Pug is definitely in there somewhere.

Why do all Belmont kids look the same? White privilege? The futile quest for originality? I know for a fact that it's not because they just love to shop at Goodwill.

To learn more about Garrett and to listen to his music, visit his Bandcamp site.

Bo Kitzman is a senior at the University of Memphis' Lambuth Campus. Bo likes music and sports, but playing music is his favorite. You should buy Bo burritos. Bo loves burritos.