Jacob Vaughan On A Full Concert Schedule At 18, Early College And Working Through Writer’s Block

Jacob Vaughan On A Full Concert Schedule At 18, Early College And Working Through Writer's Block

A few weeks ago, I was invited to see Jacob Vaughan play at World of Beer in Greensboro. I was not aware of him before his dad, Jamie, hit me up on Facebook messenger and invited me to see him perform live. But, as you guys know, I love seeing both local acts and music that I was not aware of previously. This tactic has introduced me to some great new to me acts in the past few months, specifically Tim Elliott and Cory Luetjen. It turns out that Jacob and Tim also know each other, so it’s a small, musical world after all.

Jacob Vaughan On A Full Concert Schedule At 18, Early College And Working Through Writer’s Block

EPR: When I saw you, I was surprised that you were playing a wide range of music including that from Oasis. How do you know that broad of a mixture of music, being so young?

Jacob Vaughan: With Oasis, I learned that those 2 songs are what people love to hear at like bars and stuff. I never really knew “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova” until people started requesting them and I was like, “Maybe I ought to learn these songs.” Like there were older country songs that I knew, mostly from my parents and grandparents. They kind of brought me up on the older stuff, Travis Tritt and those kind of guys.

EPR: I like that you’re calling Travis Tritt “older.” [laughs] So what is some of the weirdest stuff that people request you to play? Has anyone ever requested anything that you just had absolutely no idea what they asked for?

Jacob Vaughan: A lot of people come up to me, jokingly, and tell me to play Eminem or Tupac or rap stuff. One of the weirdest requests that I ever had – I played a 50th birthday party and this guy asked me to play a song called, “One Day” and I can’t even pronounce the name of the band that sings it. I was like, “What in the world is this?” And, so I tried to play it and it was just a trainwreck. Most of the time people ask me to play songs and I usually know them. I can usually pick up chord patterns pretty quickly and I don’t usually have a problem singing it. But that was one that threw me. But people come up to me and ask me to play pop and rap songs. I got Drake one time. It’s just crazy.

[Editor’s Note: We think the song he is referring to is “One Day” by Matisyahu]

EPR: So, can you play anything by Drake, Bruno Mars or anyone like that?

Jacob Vaughan: I play that Drake song, “You Used To Call Me On My Cellphone” or something like that [editor’s note: “Hotline Bling”]. I sang that one and I used to play some Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man.”

EPR: Oh, that’s a good song.

Jacob Vaughan: Yeah, I used to play that one some but not here lately. I have been focusing on my country stuff here lately. But if somebody were to come up and ask me, “Hey, can you play Bruno Mars?” sure, I would. I don’t mind.

EPR: Next time I see you I might ask for that because I like Bruno Mars.

Jacob Vaughan: [laughs] Alright.

EPR: I’ll try to throw you! How old are you? Are you still in school or are you graduated?

Jacob Vaughan: Yes ma’am. I’m 18 years old. I’m a Senior at Rockingham Early College High School. So, basically what that means is I stay in high school for 5 years instead of 4 but I will graduate with my Associate’s Degree and my High School Diploma.

EPR: That’s a good thing. My daughter did that, too. Then she went to the same college where she attended early college. And she could even work on a Bachelor’s there from another university offering classes on that campus. That’s a really good opportunity, you know?

Jacob Vaughan: Yeah, it saves a lot of money.

EPR: And you get done faster that way, too.

Jacob Vaughan: Yeah, very fast. A lot of my friends have done it in 4 years. They are graduating this spring. But my music schedule has kind of hindered me from taking that many classes to where I would be able to do that. It’s a 5 year program anyway so I didn’t think I would rush it.

EPR: And probably some of your friends went to summer school, too. Right?

Jacob Vaughan: Yeah, RCC offers summer courses so you can get your degree done faster. And I just wasn’t really interested in summer classes because I gotta go to the beach and play music. You know?

EPR: Definitely! The beach is definitely a priority. At least I think it is! So, you have written how many songs now?

Jacob Vaughan: I think I’ve got 13 or 14 in my arsenal. I’m working on some more. I don’t know if it’s all writers but there’s like a certain mood I have to be in to write and I am having some trouble finding that mood. I’m trying to form a routine around what is going to snap me into that mood to write. But I’m having trouble doing it. I wrote a song the other day but before that I was in a freeze, I guess that’s what they call it, and I wouldn’t be writing very much. But, yeah, I kind of got to be in a good writing mood. I haven’t really figured out how to pinpoint it yet but I’m still trying to figure it out.

EPR: You’re young. You’ll figure it out. Maybe if you play one of the songs that you wrote while you were in that mood, perhaps it could help get you back in that mood. I don’t know.

Jacob Vaughan: Yeah, maybe. That’s a good idea.

Jacob Vaughan On A Full Concert Schedule At 18, Early College And Working Through Writer's Block

EPR: So, what are your plans after you graduate?

Jacob Vaughan: I just met with my advisor yesterday and my 1st plan, I definitely want to go to another university. I don’t want to just settle for my Associate’s. I want to get my Bachelor’s. But, my 1st plan is to maybe go to Liberty University and get my degree in Worship, to be a Worship Pastor, and then my 2nd plan is to go to East Tennessee State University and major in Business and minor in Country Music. They offer that. I never knew that a school would offer a Country Music degree. Me and my dad went and toured there last year, I believe, and Kenny Chesney actually graduated from there. So, it was super cool to go up there and see. So, that’s my 2nd plan and my 3rd plan is just to go to App [Appalachian State University] and get some kind of degree. But, I’ve got A, B and C right now.

EPR: Appalachian State is good choice! [laughs] That’s where I went. Yes! What do you want to major in at App?

Jacob Vaughan: I have no idea. I would probably do the whole business route again. You can pretty much do anything with Business. Say I wanted to start a recording company or a venue that specializes in live music or whatever, I think a Business degree would come in handy.

EPR: Did you know that Eric Church went to Appalachian State?

Jacob Vaughan: Did he really?

EPR: He did.

Jacob Vaughan: I knew he was from around here but I didn’t know he went to App.

EPR: He did. And he did something in Business. I think he might of majored in Marketing, but don’t quote me on that. So, tell us about your new single.

Jacob Vaughan: It’s called, “One Of Those Days,” and it can be purchased on iTunes and it can be streamed on Spotify. It can also be bought on Google Play and, of course, it’s on Youtube, as well. We are in the process of filming a music video for that, we well.

Jacob Vaughan On A Full Concert Schedule At 18, Early College And Working Through Writer's Block

The Carolina Country Artist Showdown begins March 1 and Jacob Vaughan’s song, “One Of These Days” has been selected to compete. Readers can vote throught the entire month of March on Carolina Country‚Äôs original post that will be live March 1. The winner of the month automatically competes for Carolina Country Entertainer Of The Year at House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. So, be sure to vote for Jacob!

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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn has been a music lover her entire life. She went to college in Boone, NC, an area that is rich in music and culture. She also worked as a radio deejay for 8 years and grew up in Southeastern, Va, a melting pot of different musical styles and traditions. She has been to more concerts than she can count in every genre you can imagine. She resides in North Carolina with her furbabies and her massive collection of Disney memorabilia.


  1. I love hearing about new artists like this. And good for him for getting his education!

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