Black River Records has signed songwriter, artist and army veteran Scotty Hasting to its artist roster. His label debut “How Do You Choose” is slated for release on Nov. 3.
Hasting first picked up the guitar in 2020, teaching himself to play via YouTube. Despite 10 nearly fatal gunshot wounds from his time spent serving in Afghanistan, which left no feeling in his right hand, Hasting’s passion for music and desire to help others with mental health struggles spurred him onward.
In a chance encounter, Hasting met Black River’s CEO and President Gordon Kerr‘s son, who 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 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’s first release, “How Do You Choose,” was co-written with Jesse Wayne Taylor in association with CreatiVets — a nonprofit that the budding singer is heavily involved with. The song was inspired by a conversation with the mother of his late best friend Adam Hamilton.
“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 in April of 2011.
“I know you’ll change somebody’s world,” says Johnson of Hasting’s 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 shares, “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.”
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