August has been busy for Camp Hill native Ben Gallaher. A development deal with Sony Music Nashville turned into a long-term recording agreement, and his self-titled EP was released on the label.
The EP, produced by Julian King and Jim Catino, features “autobiographical anthems of growing up in south-central Pennsylvania with a passion for ‘90s country, a reverence for the guitar masters, and a self-awareness that connects like super glue with his growing fan base,” according to Gallaher’s website.
Gallaher is a Cedar Cliff High School graduate and credits his start in country music to playing in bars and prisons to help his fan base and teach him the business before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, where he signed a contract with Sony Music Nashville in October 2014. He then signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group.
Q. How did the record deal come about?
A. A few days before I graduated from Belmont University, one of my professors asked me to send her some of my music. She worked at Sony Music Nashville and had passed along the music after she listened. That was in 2014 and after a few months of meetings and showcases for the label, I signed a development deal which then led to the long-term record deal.
Q. In a previous article with The Sentinel, you mentioned that you had written more than 100 songs. Can you walk us through the process of how you decided what would be on the EP?
A. Picking songs for the EP was one of the hardest things to do. I’ve been playing a lot of the songs out on the road for a few years but only 5 could make the cut for the EP. Fan reaction when performing songs live played a big role in deciding. “If You’re Like Me” has been in our live set since 2015 and we close each show with it, it’s one of my favorites I’ve ever written.
Q. The EP has been out for almost a week now. How has the response been?
A. Response has been fantastic. It’s so exciting to finally have music available. My PA fan base in particular has been so loyal and supportive throughout the years, a big shout out to them.
Q. What’s next? Where will locals be able to see you next?
A. On Sept. 14, I’ll be opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd at the York Fair. I grew up going to the York Fair and seeing a lot of my favorite artists and bands play there so it is definitely surreal to come back and open for Skynyrd.
Q. What advice would you give someone like you who has dreams of working in the music business?
A. In the country music industry, my advice would be to move to Nashville and dive in. The opportunities are exponential here in terms of networking, connecting and collaborating. There is no dream too big. If you work hard and never give up, you can do anything.