A Springfield native who recently won a statewide country music award will soon return to his hometown to put on a concert.
Now living in Charlotte, North Carolina, singer/songwriter Ryan Trotti was named Entertainer of the Year at the 2019 Carolina Country Music Awards, held Jan. 26 at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach.
“It’s a yearlong competition that includes local and regional artists from North and South Carolina,” Trotti said. He said he was also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and Country Single of the Year.
The awards ceremony “was a completely packed-out house, an amazing production,” he said.
He was honored by the award.
“I took home some pretty sweet hardware along with some really great social media content,” he said.
“What it means to me is everything. It’s going to be an amazing addition to my music resume, which has been growing and getting stronger over the past year,” he said.
“This past year has been a pretty banner year for me, and to top it off with that was just, not to be cliché, but it really was the icing on the cake.”
Trotti said he’s been flooded with phone calls, emails and text and social media messages offering booking opportunities ever since the win was announced.
“Just in the short amount of time that it’s happened, it’s opened up a lot of doors just by itself,” he said.
Trotti’s popularity has been growing because of a tireless touring schedule and the strength of his latest single, “Too Much of a Good Thang.” The song has been getting radio airplay across the country and even internationally.
He said that he will be returning to Springfield to headline the Governor’s Frog Jump on Saturday, April 20 from 7 to 10 p.m.
“I’ve never missed a Frog Jump since I’ve been old enough to attend, and in 2018, my band was the headlining entertainment for Saturday night, so I thought that was a real special thing as well,” he said.
His family moved away from Springfield when he was younger, but his mother now lives in the town again.
“We kept the family home. She still lives there, and (my siblings and I) get to go back for holidays,” he said.
Growing up in Springfield, music was all around him.
“Music has kind of always been a part of my life. My grandmother played something like eight instruments by ear. She played piano, guitar, just anything you could think of, she could play,” he said.
She was also a singer and songwriter as were several members of her family, Trotti said.
“So just growing up, going to see my grandparents and just being around family reunions, there was always music – just people singing and playing,” he said.
His mother was a singer, as well as a guitar and piano player, who often performed in church, His father played drums.
“As early as I can remember, I think it was somewhere around third grade, I had (Mom) show me a couple riffs on piano and I kind of took it from there,” Trotti said.
When he was about 13 or 14, his mother got a guitar for Christmas from his dad.
“And I pretty much commandeered it. I took it over,” he said. “And I began teaching myself to play, and it was glued to my hip for at least two years in the initial stage. I didn’t go anywhere without it.”
While he lived in Springfield, he spent his elementary school years in the Hunter-Kinard-Tyler system, eventually attending Jefferson Davis Academy in ninth and 10th grades.
“I went to Springfield Elementary, which to much dismay was right across the street from my house,” he said, laughing. “It wasn’t the easiest to play hooky, if you will. If I was sick, I really had to be sick to stay home.”
At JDA, he played football, basketball and baseball.
“In my junior year, my mom and dad moved to upper state South Carolina. My dad had bought a business up that way,” he said.
“We moved and I went to Chesterfield High School and graduated from there,” he said.
His parents and younger siblings eventually moved back to Springfield.
“They were kind of missing home, and I think Dad had a better job offer once he left,” he said.
“We own that same house, and that’s still where I call home.”
He attended the University of South Carolina after high school.
“I’m a lifelong, diehard Gamecock fan. I spent most of my college years there. I put in a couple of years at Midlands Tech, but USC was always kind of on my radar,” he said.
Trotti and his band are slated to play the upcoming Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach, appearing on the main state with artists including Kane Brown, Brett Young and Thomas Rhett. According to Billboard magazine, the event is one of the five largest country music festivals in the country.
He has opened for many performers ranging from Montgomery Gentry to Luke Bryan’s latest signee, Jon Langston. He’s also been featured on several regional broadcasts, including WLTX 19 and WACH Fox 57.
Trotti and his band just embarked on their spring tour, and he plans to keep performing and promoting his music in the coming year.