By MEGGIE I. FOSTER
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Proof that a country boy can survive … Hoosier Levi Riggs seems to be the one to watch in Nashville, Tenn., with a chart-topping country single, a golden voice and an undeniable passion for entertainment.
“I do want to succeed in Nashville,” said Riggs. “I have a God-given talent, but I understand that it’s a slow and steady process. It’s about paying your dues, putting in the work. One song isn’t going to pay the bills.”
Just like many of the Nashville greats including Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean and Alan Jackson, Riggs is playing as many shows around the country as he can to build a fan base and improve his on-stage performances, while continuing to keep a steady-paying job as a sales manager for Syngenta’s Garst Seed.
“I sell seed during the week and sing country music on the weekends,” he said. “It’s kinda crazy-busy, but that’s my life right now.”
While most would likely cringe at one look of Riggs’ schedule – this young man has been balancing a hectic schedule his entire life. In high school, he ran track, played basketball and as quarterback led his football team to conference and sectional championships in 2002. In fact, during the regional championship, Riggs was asked to sing the national anthem prior to the start of the game. With his football jersey on and helmet to his side, Riggs, as per usual, seized the moment, giving him the title of “Quarterback Singer.”
An honor roll student and member of the Dean’s list at Purdue University, Riggs was also a member of both his high school and collegiate glee clubs and participated in lead musical roles including Guys and Dolls, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Bye Bye Birdie, and Damn Yankees.
“I’ve always had a schedule and followed it,” he said.
Additionally, Riggs, a 10-year 4-Her and member of a group who helped established Danville High School’s first FFA chapter, also worked for his uncle at Windridge Farms, a registered Jersey dairy farm near Danville, Ind.
“I woke up every morning at 4 a.m. and helped my uncle milk, then I’d lift weights, go to class, football and music practice and do it all over again the next day,” said Riggs.
And it didn’t end in high school, Riggs was involved at his alma mater as well, including serving as agricultural ambassador, semi-finalist for the National Agri Marketing Assoc. contest in 2007 and member of the Purdue Homecoming Court. Riggs is also a member of gospel singing group called The Overtones.
Clearly ambitious, at the age of 26, Riggs has already launched his own record label – Windridge Records, LLC. – named after his uncle’s dairy farm. Under this label, Riggs released his first single, “F-150,” which rose to No. 19 on the New Music Weekly country chart.
“The music business is changing, while major labels are still relevant, independent labels (like Windridge) are becoming more popular,” he explained, further referencing newly-launched labels from Brad Paisley and Toby Keith. “It gives the artist more control.”
To release music to country radio, “you have to have a label,” said Riggs. “So we formed our own LLC and that’s how I got started.”
And with a recording studio in the home he shares with his wife Brittany, Riggs writes, performs and edits his own music.
“I’ve been singing a long time,” he said. “Luckily, the company I work for (Syngenta) is very supportive of what I do. The music actually helps get my face out there – and with my Garst truck out there too – it helps establish my name in the area and build business.”
Moving forward, Riggs has no intentions of slowing down either in his successful business as a seed sales manager or his country music career.
“We’re working on new music right now,” said Riggs. “If we can get a killer album together that will stand the test of time, we’ll go after the Billboard charts next.”
But as of current, Riggs is working on building his fan base and improving his stage performance. With performances at the Chicago Country Music Festival, Chicago Bulls’ games, fairs and festivals all over the country as well as a growing online fan base of more than 60,000 fans, it’s safe to say, Riggs has a pretty good head start in Nashville.
For more information or to find where the “Quarterback Singer,” is crooning next, go online to www.leviriggs.com