Growing up in an artistic family gave singer/songwriter Keaton Simons the support he needed to embark on a music career.
"My mother was a TV producer for 'Don Kirshner's Rock Concert,"' Simons said. "And when I was a kid, I was on the set with Chuck Berry and those greats. Everyone in my family is an artist or a musician or in TV and film. And they gave me a lot of love when I decided to do music.
"In a way that helped me want to do more, because, as I see it, we're all in this thing together, and I want to make them proud."
The latest event in Simons' life is the release of his debut album, "Can You Hear Me," which was released Tuesday on CBS Records.
"Working with CBS was great," he said. "My manager and I met with the label's president and played songs. I have a lot of songs, by the way.
"They listened and told me to do what I wanted but did name a couple of songs they really liked. There was never a time when they told me not to do something."
So, Simons went into the studio and laid tracks down for 23 songs.
"We chose 11, and that's what's on my CD," Simons said.
Simons wrote songs when he was kid, but he didn't write lyrics until a few years ago.
"I remember when I started writing lyrics for my songs," said Simons, who cited the Beatles as his all-time favorite influence. "It was scary because I knew when I started, I'd have to do it the rest of my life. And my mind was going, 'Do you really want to do that?' But once I got into the mode, I found I couldn't stop."
Once he joined the music-business train, Simons had one small detail to overcome exposure.
"I grew up in L.A.," he said. "I didn't have to move to L.A. to start a music career. The hard part was getting noticed in my hometown. Outside of L.A., there are people who appreciate music more. In L.A., there are a lot of musicians. So, with that type of atmosphere, I knew I had to try harder to get my music into people's hands. I found if you work hard, play shows, use the Internet, you can do it."
Simons said there wasn't a time in his waking hours that he doesn't think of his fans."I love playing live," he said. "I'd love playing for 10,000 people, or 100, or 10 or one. But I really appreciate all the fans' support. They are just as important to me as my own family. And they're all the reason I want to work harder."
If you go
What: Will Dailey, Keaton Simons
Where: Velour, 135 N. University Ave., Provo
When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
How much: $10
Phone: 467-8499, 800-888-8499Web: www.smithstix.com
E-mail: [email protected]