Local country singer signs music contract
Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News
Danville - A seed-salesman from Indiana just signed a record deal launching his career as a country-music singer.
In a few weeks you'll be hearing his song blaring from radios across the country, written and performed by Levi Riggs from Danvillle.
With a name like that, you might say he was born to be a country music star. But Riggs will be the first one to tell you it's taken much more than his name to make a name for himself.
"There's really no down time. There's no vacation. I'm either working, selling seed or I'm on the road singing somewhere," said Riggs.
The Purdue honor graduate in agriculture sells corn and soybean seeds for a living but says he learned what to do with his life by singing with the university's glee club.
"I got four years of touring on the road and seeing how music can impact peoples lives and that's when I really decided this is what I really want to do," he said.
Riggs tried the TV reality show route.
"I actually tried out for Nashville Star and didn't get very far and you realize that all these people have this same dream. But bottom line, it comes down to perseverance and passion and if you don't have that you're not going to make it even if you are an American Idol," he said.
Riggs has his own idol to keep him going.
"Elvis was even told no so I think I've got a decent shot," Riggs said.
Like Elvis, Riggs got into gospel. He joined The Overtones, toured the globe and recorded records in Nashville. He kept track of every piece of the process from the software to the microphones to the guitars and then saved up enough money to buy his own stage equipment at a cost of $15,000. He got the money through singing and working his seed-selling job.
Riggs then spent another $15,000 to $20,000 on equipment to build a recording studio in his home. But it's not just cash that he's using. It's creativity. He turned a closet into a vocal booth.
"I got my jerseys in there to kind of isolate some sound," he said.
He learned how to play the piano, the drums, and the guitar, recorded his own demo tape, sent it out, and got signed with Lure Records.
"They took some of my songs to this round table of Nashville critics who decides is it good or is it bad and they decided I have three songs that were probably good enough to be top 20 hits," he said.
Riggs says ultimately it'll be up to fans to decide if the music is good or not. He thinks his passion will be the seed that will sell it to them.
Riggs will be giving a concert on March 7th in the West Lafayette High School Auditorium at 3:00 pm. He's raising money for Haiti victims and football scholarships.