JJ McGuigan – Artist Interview
Written by Matt Zin on September 30, 2020
BTD Radio presents…. JJ McGuigan
Hello JJ McGuigan! Welcome to the studio. I have read that you live in Wichita Kansas but I have also read that you are located in Texas. Could you tell our listeners where you are from?
I am from Wichita KS and that is where I currently reside. I was in Austin TX for about 6 months in 2016 but then moved back to Wichita.
Do you play at local venues around there?
I really don’t play a lot of venues here mainly because the venues only want you to play cover songs. But I will hit up open mics whenever I can to play my originals
It looks like you have been busy exploring your musical talents. You started playing the drums at 13. That’s sweet! Do you still own your first drum kit? How did you learn your way around the drums. I read that later you decided to pick up the guitar, what inspired that? Which do you enjoy playing the most?
I held on to that first drum kit for a while but sadly do not have it to this day. The way I learned to play drums was from a teacher at Wichita State University. I also played in a band in middle school and high school on drums. I wanted to express myself more lyrically and felt a drawing towards guitar around age 18. I started taking lessons from a local guitar teacher who is an extraordinary jazz guitarist and a great teacher in Randy Zellers. He helped me grow a lot as a musician. I like to play guitar the most and am learning the keyboard right now.
Let’s talk about your new EP “Dissociative. Could you tell our listeners what this EP is all about? What would a listener expect to hear? What kind of journey do you take them through?
It’s a very emotional journey of self discovery and reflection. It’s about facing yourself and all that comes with that and asking some big questions.
What is your favorite song off the EP?
My favorite song of that EP is ‘Letter’
I was reading that you were a finalist for the VH1 Save the Music Songwriting contest, nice! Tell us what that must have felt like when you heard the good news?
It was the first songwriting contest I ever entered and I was pretty ecstatic about it. It felt reassuring that I finished so well and gave me confidence in be able to pursue my dreams.
I see you use your music for therapy, what finally made you decided to start talking about this?
Being able to talk about my issues with mental health I’ve found to be therapeutic by itself. I also feel like I might be able to reach someone who hasn’t gotten to the point yet to where they feel comfortable talking about it and haven’t yet reached out for help.
Your song “Save My Life” has some great lyrics, is this also a therapy song for you and others?
It definitely is! It’s about struggling in life and feeling out of control in a sense. In the song I’m asking for help because at the moment in the song I can not help myself.
Where do you see yourself and your music five years from now?
Hopefully, I can still be writing inspired songs and have songs that have reached a mass amount of people.
Could you tell us about any tours you have coming up, special projects, music, etc.
I am currently working on another EP with Brian Elwick in which we are putting the finishing touches on the pre demo versions to then take into the studio.
It was great getting to know you through your music, please tell our listeners where your music can be found. Also, feel free to use this time for any shoutouts, specials news, etc.
My music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and any other online retailer. You can also check out my website at jjmcguiganmusic.com
I am nominated for two awards coming up in a few weeks for the Josie Music Awards in Nashville, TN, taking place at the Nissan Stadium. Best Rock artist and rock song are the two categories.
T Dawn and BTD Radio