A Gillette native will be featured on the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2019 Wyoming Road Trip Playlist with 11 other artists from around the Cowboy State.
At 28, Kellen Smith is a fifth-generation Campbell County rancher who has never even considered recording an album.
“I just play guitar and sing a little bit here and there,” said Smith, who writes and performs his own songs.
When asked about what genre of music he plays, he replied, “Well, I call it country.”
While playing a gig, Smith was approached by Rob Svalina of Rozet, who said he wanted to record the young artist. Smith said in February 2018 he brought his guitar and his voice, and Svalina did the rest, producing the album on his own when he had time.
“I was just handing out hard copies until I heard about that Wyoming playlist deal,” Smith said of his first album, “Haywires.”
Smith said he first heard about the road trip playlist on County 17.
“I’m not even getting brownie points, it’s the God’s honest truth,” Kellen said.
He submitted two songs from his album via Mp3, since he hadn’t yet tried to get his album uploaded on Spotify. Now, “Haywires” can be found on several platforms including Spotify and YouTube.
Smith said he originally caught the music bug while attending college in Laramie in 2010.
The 2019 Wyoming Road Trip Playlist is available now on Spotify and features 19 songs from Wyomingites including “Black Night” and “Casper and Colorado” by Kellen Smith.
Smith said his wife tells him he always writes sad songs. But, these two hits are pretty upbeat.
In addition to Spotify, Smith will be playing at Big Lost Meadery Thursday, June 20.