GALLIPOLIS — Niles Elliott, of Mudsoc, Ohio, and a soon-to-be graduate of Gallia Academy High School (GAHS) has been dealt an impressive hand as he sets out to make his dreams come true.
Elliott will be attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music, located in Boston, in the upcoming fall semester. Famous alumni of Berklee include Quincy Jones, producer of the Michael Jackson album Thriller; John Mayer; and four members of the indie rock band Passion Pit, among hundreds of other notable names.
“I’m setting out on a journey that will take me thirteen hours away from home … That’s the hardest part. There’s something about this place — what it lacks in culture it makes up for in beauty,” said Elliott. “I grew up in Mudsoc, Ohio, a little backwoods village near Patriot. It’s my home. No matter where I go, or who I become, this place will always live in my music. I mean, it’s it’s own little section of the world, and growing up, I was so close to nature. It makes you discover who you are, and it has shaped my music into what it is. Having this home, and parents who have always been so supportive of me and my music, has just been incredible.”
Niles went on to talk about his audition for Berklee.
“I went in with my favorite song of all time, John Butler Trio’s ‘Ocean’. It has always meant so much to me, and I knew it was perfect,” said Elliott. “I finished playing, and one of the first comments they had for me was, ‘Wow, you beat the hell out of that guitar!’ All I could say was ‘thank-you’. That song is so emotional and personal to me, and I felt amazing performing it for them.”
On his future Niles said, “I have always loved Boston, and I hope to live there. Boston’s just a cool town, and it’s amazing that I am going to get to major in my instrument [acoustic guitar],” said Elliott. “They have this thing at Berklee called ‘The Berklee UFO’. People will come and audition, be accepted, and the school won’t see them for a few years. They get signed and tour for a few years before coming back to Berklee to pursue their education. And, you know, that’s the dream.
“The thing about me though, is that music is my passion, I love it. It doesn’t matter what happens, whether I play for ten people or ten thousand, this is what I want to do, and I’m excited to have that opportunity.”
To view a video performance of ‘Ocean’ by Elliott, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VOXarmL2StU.