During the annual International Blues Challenge, musicians from all over the world converge on Memphis for five days of intense musical competition. At 15 years old, Nolan Garrett is the youngest competitor in the IBC's adult division. He took the time to answer a few questions before his showcase at the Center for Southern Folklore today.
ILM: Welcome to Memphis! What's it like to be one of the youngest performers in the adult category at the IBC?
Nolan: It feels good because I know its going to be a challenge. Its great to be surrounded by some great players and be challenged.
Are you nervous?
No, just excited and I'm ready and anxious to show everybody what I can do.
How have you been preparing for the IBC?
Just really locking down my set and making sure everything runs smoothly and more than just anything, that I'm going to make it the best performances that I can for my audiences.
What have you been listening to lately (albums / artists)?
I really don't listen to one particular album or artist. I do listen to some John Mayer, I also just started listening to Gary Clark Jr. and Shinedown from Florida.
What's your favorite song to play?
I can't answer that one, I really don't have a favorite song, I like playing all of my songs and they're all fun.
Is it tough to be a touring musician and a student? How do you make it work?
I figure that I just have to work hard and do my best and have fun, focusing on putting on the best performance for each show and staying on top of things.
When you're not on the road, what are you doing?
I enjoy practicing, practicing, practicing, and I like to play video games, watch football, and relax.
Is this your first trip to Memphis? What are you looking forward seeing or doing?
I've been here once before passing thru, and I'm really looking forward to experiencing the new things that come along and taking it all in while I'm here and learning from the whole experience. I'm excited! The whole Beale Street experience will be fun!! While out at Graceland this week, I'll be a guest on Elvis Radio on Sirius/XM, my family and I will visit Graceland, so that will be cool.