ROSWELL, Ga. – Some generations ago, names like the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and the Beatles were plastered all over top rock, country and pop charts. Their music defined that era. By now, these men have reached immortality in the arts culture. But their distinct sounds have about faded away to make room for newer artists like Mumford and Sons, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.
Fifteen-year-old Nick Howrey, a Centennial High School student, wants to resurrect that vintage '60's sound, and he is one record label closer to doing so.
“A lot of that old stuff has a simplicity to it,” he said. “There’s so much power with just the guitarist and the singer. It has soul. The newer stuff is nowhere near as good.”
Howrey grew up singing and performing. In the past four years, he said he’s done more than 100 gigs with his father, Roger, who serves as his manager as well.
Last September, while playing at the Roswell Art Show, Howrey was noticed by someone from Vara Entertainment Group, a company based in Atlanta. Aaron Pittman, Vara’s CEO, contacted Howrey with talks of a signing.
Howrey soon agreed to a five-year deal with Vara under the guarantee of one album. A mutual out is available for both parties after one year. The album is schedule to be released in December.
“What Nick will bring to Vara is a unique voice and presence that the industry has not seen in a long time,” Pittman said in an earlier press release.
There are three legs to the company: Vara Records, The Men Behind the Curtain and IBeats. Vara Records encompasses the rock, country and pop music recording, and the vein that Howrey will be working in. The company is independently owned but is distributed through Warner Music Group. Howrey’s CD in turn will be distributed by WMG, the third largest recording label in the world.
Howrey’s contract has a peculiar edge to it. He is the front man for his four-piece band that formed in October. The band members are Centennial students Gavin Krick, guitarist, and Robbie Edmondson, bassist; and Chamblee Charter High School student Ryan Taylor on drums. They will record this summer and potentially tour next winter with Howrey. However, the other three members of the band are not involved in the contract. Howrey brought them in. They could potentially sign on in the future.
“I won’t sing anything or go anywhere without the band,” Howrey said.
Vara declined any further comments.
He and two other members attend Centennial High School.
The band used to go by The Revolution, but after signing, they had to drop the name due to it already copyrighted by music legend Prince. Now they go by the Nick Howrey Band for the present, but are still searching for a name.
Howrey and the band are scheduled to play May 4 at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta. They will also play the main stage at Alive after Five in Roswell. The date has not been determined yet.
“Vara was a huge step forward,” Howrey said. “Hopefully, it will turn out really well. Once the CD is out and people hopefully like the songs, we will go on tour together and hopefully get bigger and bigger.”