Kent Blazy is a country music songwriter. He is best known as the co-writer of numerous Garth Brooks songs, including some of Brooks’ biggest hits such as, “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” “Ain’t Goin’ Down (’Til The Sun Comes Up),” and “Somewhere Other Than The Night,”. Kent’s songwriting continues with established writing partnerships, as well as developing partnerships with new writers and artists.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I was lucky to grow up in the artistic community of Woodstock N.Y. before it was WOODSTOCK. As a child, I met painters, authors & actors. It shaped my young boy path that I could make a living being creative and that became my target in life.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
Sometimes what seemed to be the worse thing that could happen turns out it is taking you to something way better. (like Garth Brook’s song Unanswered Prayers).
I love this Winston Churchill quote,
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
That you should change what you are doing and follow what everyone else is doing.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
In 2004 my wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In the next 6 years, she had 3 operations and radiation, the 3rd operation left her face paralyzed on the left. She decided she’d had enough and so for the last 6-8 months we hunkered down at the house as her body slowly shut down. Thanks to the spiritual practices we had done like meditation, A Course In Miracles & Access Consciousness, it was a peaceful transition. After being the caretaker, the first thing I needed to do was sleep for about a month.
My friend Gary Douglas gave me tools to use that helped me. He said to ask every day when I woke up, “WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR TODAY TO BE BETTER THAN YESTERDAY & WHAT WILL MY LIFE BE LIKE NOW WITHOUT HER… Those two seemingly simple questions were extremely helpful.
My therapy was walking my dog every day at a small lake that I call my sanctuary. I would reflect on where I had been and ask “where am I going now”.
I turned to my music for an outlet and wrote an album dealing with what we had been through. I also started playing live music again in town and touring. It had been years since I could do that. I fell in love with one of my wife’s best friends who was also a dear friend to me and we created a new life.
It taught me that if you are willing you can choose to start over and reinvent yourself and like I said earlier ” what you think is the worst thing that can happen can lead you to things greater than you could have imagined.
I also have learned that living in gratitude is the best way to walk through this life. Being grateful for what was, what is, and expectant gratitude for what else will show up…
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Being Prepared. Putting in the time and effort to learn to play musical instruments, to come up with song ideas, titles, & music, so I can go into a songwriting session and contribute to the creative process.
What is your morning routine?
I have a 14yr old Black Lab who can tell time. At 630 every morning his tail starts Thump Thump Thumping on his bed for us to get up. He gets the other 2 dogs excited so I get up and feed them & let them out. By then I’m, awake, lol. I fix a big cup of coffee and ask “What grand & Glorious adventure will I have today! “I take the dogs on a long walk and come home and start creating my day
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Meditation, I do it with my wife for an hour a day, usually in the early evening. Then after 60 minutes, my Black Lab come in to get us up, lol. As I said, he can tell time, it’s amazing
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I call it keeping my antenna up. listening & watching to the folks I interact with. Song ideas can come from anywhere. I have my notebooks out on my writing table and guitars nearby so when an idea strikes me I can grab it before it slips off into the ethers for someone else to write, lol.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
- AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI by Paramahansa Yogananda
- Wendell Berry any and all books he’s written about Port William
- Any Carl Hiaasen and Kurt Vonnegut books, great dark humor
- Steppenwolf and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
- Once and Future King by TH White, magical
AUTOBIOGRAPHY changed my life at 18. It showed me a whole other view of the spiritual world. My advice to any songwriter is READ READ READ ..seeing how authors create their stories, use descriptive words, and develop characters help you to hone your craft.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
I have two I use every day given to me by Gary Doulas.
“HOW DOES IT GET BETTER THAN THIS”, I ask that when great things are happening or not so great things are happening.
“WHAT ELSE IS POSSIBLE NOW”, asking that opens up more choices than I may have considered.