MILBRIDGE, Maine — Narraguagus High School student Ty Openshaw, who plans to pursue a career in music, recently released an EP, or demo CD, with three songs.
The songs — “Darkness Follows,” “Attention Game” and “Sing Along” — fall in the alternative or pop/rock range and can be found on sites such as iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and Amazon. He also sells the sample CDs for $5 each.
“We’re working really hard to get [his songs] on the radio,” his mother, Karen, said.
Ty said his first experience in a recording studio was in Boston.
“We went back and forth, back and forth, I don’t know how many times,” his mother said.
Now he uses the Scharff Brothers recording studio in Kittery, which his mother said, thankfully, is an hour closer.
“That’s where I recorded my EP. They helped me write it,” Ty said.
After graduation from high school, he plans to move to Austin, Texas, where he will be near his sister, Casey, 25. The other reason he is making the move is because the area is considered to be “the capital of live performances,” he said.
His mother said she is happy he will be with his sister.
“I think that his goal eventually is probably not to stay there, but it’s a good jumping-off point,” she said.
Ty said he started playing drums at age 8. Then, when he was about 12, he entered a vocal competition.
“My music teacher saw me and asked if I wanted to take vocal lessons,” he said. Since then, his teacher, Bobbi Lane of Bar Harbor, also has taught him to play guitar and piano.
“Tyler’s the guy who, when he goes to class, he does what the teacher says,” Lane said. “He comes back every week with the homework done perfectly.”
Ty no longer takes music lessons of any kind, however, because Lane “let him go,” she said.
“He doesn’t need me anymore,” she said, adding he calls if he has a problem or question.
Ty didn’t win the vocal contest he entered when he was 12, but that’s OK. He really prefers performing and hasn’t competed since, he said.
Competing “takes the fun out of it,” Ty said.
He likes to perform pop and alternative rock music and likes the feel of the band Imagine Dragons.
The teen practices an hour to an hour and a half a day.
“His high school is having a hard time with him [because] they want him to go to college,” his mother said. “But he’s going to try to push the music.”
“Perfect,” Lane said when she heard about Ty’s plans. “Do it.”
Otherwise, she said, he might get stuck doing something he doesn’t like just to pay the bills.
Lane, who has performed and recorded music herself, said she was “on the road” at age 16.
“I can’t imagine not having done that,” she said.
Upcoming performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at The Grand in Ellsworth, 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at CODA Restaurant in Southwest Harbor, where he will open up for the Crown Vics, and 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Cherryfield Academy Community Center.