Nashville, Tenn., October 19: Black River Records officially announces the signing of the label's newest artist, Scotty Hasting. The songwriter, artist, and army veteran is gearing up to make his mark in country music with label debut "How Do You Choose" slated for a Nov. 3 release on Black River.
Despite only picking up a guitar for the first time in 2020, Hasting's passion for music and desire to help others who struggle with their mental health is undeniable. Strapping a guitar pick to his right thumb and with the aid of YouTube, the former Army Infantryman with the 1st Infantry Division 4th Squadron 4th Calvary taught himself to play guitar while having no feeling in his right hand due to severe nerve damage resulting from 10 nearly fatal gunshot wounds from his time spent serving in Afghanistan.
"I don't think that thank you is enough. I've been through a lot. Black River has welcomed me and become family," says Hasting. "Thank you to Black River for giving me a new purpose, for giving people like me — veterans, people with disabilities, people who are at the end of their line — an opportunity and a reason to wake up tomorrow. Thank you for giving me a voice and letting other veterans hear a story like this that can change their whole lives."
Hasting quickly became enraptured with the escape he found from his PTSD when performing on stage and knew that even if his music career didn't take off, he had to chase that newly discovered peace.
In classic Nashville fashion, a chance encounter with the entertainment company's CEO and President Gordon Kerr's son brought the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky native into the sights of the independent label. Hasting immediately caught the attention of renowned hit songwriter, producer, and Black River's Vice President of A&R Doug Johnson, who took the promising country artist under his wing.
"I know you'll change somebody's world," said Johnson during Hasting's official signing. "I'm a big fan, and your friendship means the world to me. Everybody here believes in you, your music, your heart, and your spirit. We are honored. Thank you for trusting us."
Kerr expresses his enthusiasm for the label's newest addition, stating, "It is with great pleasure that we come together and join Scotty's team. We are so excited for the opportunities that await for the world to hear Scotty's heart. Nothing takes place by coincidence — that's what today represents."
Co-written by Hasting with Jesse Wayne Taylor in association with CreatiVets — a nonprofit that the budding singer is heavily involved with in addition to Operation Encore, Guitars 4 Vets, and more — Hasting's label debut "How Do You Choose" is produced by Black River's Doug Johnson. Hasting confesses that although he is a Purple Heart recipient, writing "How Do You Choose" following a conversation with his best friend Adam Hamilton's mother was "one of the scariest things I have ever had to do because it made it real." It was also one of the hardest songs for Hasting to write, as it is his "survivor's guilt put into words."
"How Do You Choose" details his first visit to Adam's tombstone, whose death followed about one month after an ambush that left Hasting fighting for his life flying out of Afghanistan on a medivac after being shot ten times in April of 2011.
With lines like, "Damn, it could have been me" pouring out of Hasting, this track is not only Hasting's survivor's guilt put into words, but is also his white flag, flying high to let us all know they are not alone in their anguish. Now on a mission to help anyone struggling with loss or their mental health find solace through his music, "How Do You Choose" sets the tone for Hasting's promising future in country music.
Pre-save "How Do You Choose" HERE.
ABOUT SCOTTY HASTING
"For me, the demons of PTSD knock the loudest when it's quiet. When I have a guitar in my hands I find peace," says songwriter, artist, and army veteran, Scotty Hasting. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky native's upcoming debut single on Black River, "How Do You Choose," strikes a chord with anyone who has been left to pick up the pieces from a life-changing moment that's left them asking God that age-old question. The song details Hasting's first visit to best friend Adam Hamilton's tombstone following his death, about one month after an ambush that left Hasting fighting for his life flying out of Afghanistan on a medivac after being shot ten times in April of 2011. Narrowly escaping death, Hasting was left with severe nerve damage to his right hand and a loss of purpose as he was unable to continue his journey in the army. The Purple Heart recipient filled the void with a newfound love for adaptive sports as competitive archery became his primary outlet to cope with PTSD — until 2020, when COVID-19 hit and shut down most of the world. Not one to lay down and accept defeat, the former Army Infantryman with the 1st Infantry Division 4th Squadron 4th Calvary picked up the unused guitar that sat in the corner of his room, opened YouTube, and set out to teach himself how to master the instrument in hopes of fighting the isolation and silence. Hasting was immediately overtaken by this new passion after learning his first song, "Should've Been a Cowboy," by Toby Keith. He began to write his own original music and attended his first open mic night in Cookeville, TN — a night that changed his life forever as he found that he was able to escape his PTSD while on stage performing. Now on a mission to help anyone struggling with loss or their mental health find solace through his music, Hasting strives to connect with his listeners by producing music that doesn't need an explanation. “Music is supposed to be a bridge that connects people. I want my music to not only tell stories, but to also be that bridge for people. You don't have to talk if you don't want to - you can just push play." Having found his escape from PTSD through archery and music, Scotty devotes his time and talents to several organizations, including Creativets, Guitars 4 Vets, Operation Encore, and more to offer other veterans the same tranquility. Despite only first picking up a guitar in 2020, Hasting has already opened for incredible artists including Tanya Tucker, Jelly Roll, and more, and had the opportunity to open and introduce rock legend Dave Grohl at downtown Phoenix's Crescent Ballroom during an exclusive pre-Super Bowl 2023 show. He has taken the stage for numerous performances at Nashville's Grand Prix and most recently played at the Patriot Fund Invitational Golf Tournament where he helped raise more than $400,000 for veterans. Inspired by 90’s country and hitmakers Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson, Hasting has also earned his place in the writing room with well-known and respected country artists, hit singer/songwriters, and country music's most promising up-and-comers. In classic Nashville fashion, a chance encounter with the son of Black River Entertainment's President and CEO, Gordon Kerr, brought him into the sights of the independent label. Hasting immediately caught the attention of renowned hit songwriter, producer, and Black River's Vice President of A&R Doug Johnson, who took the promising country artist under his wing. Hasting signed a record deal with Black River late in 2023 and is slated to release his debut song with the label this Nov. 3. Having spent much of the latter part of the year in the recording studio, Hasting looks towards a bright future in country music and many more offerings in 2024.
For more information and tour dates, please visit scottyhasting.com and follow Scotty Hasting on socials.