Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Meet Emerging Memphis Musician Ethan Healy

Photo: Alyssa Debonis

Healy is making a name for himself in and outside of Memphis. If you haven’t heard of him already, you will.

Photo: Briana Wade

With a headlining summer tour, new music coming soon and a recent festival appearance, Healy has had a busy year thus far. As a result, Choose901 decided to get to know this local artist a little more.

Read on to learn more about this budding artist and his plans for 2018.

Choose901: Tell me a little bit about yourself and growing up in Memphis.

Ethan Healy: I’ve lived in Midtown for pretty much my whole life. I was raised Catholic and bounced around from public to private school.I eventually ended up staying here for undergrad, and I got my doctorate in physical therapy at UT downtown this May. I love the beach and my dog, Jack. I drink too much coffee, and I like taking pictures.

C901: How did you get started in the music scene?

EH: I really wasn’t super busy during the summer after high school, so I taught myself guitar. All my friends were playing shows and releasing music – I wanted to create a project to call my own. I did the whole Bandcamp thing with a couple acoustic EP’s and slowly started focusing in on hip hop.
I spent about two years storyboarding/creating an EP in college, and somehow when I dropped the first track on Soundcloud and Spotify it just took off. I never really expected it, but since then we’ve kinda just been carefully negotiating the minefield that is the industry and kinda familiarizing ourselves with it.

C901: What served as your initial source of inspiration?

Photo: Brendan Mansfield

EH: I grew up listening to literally everything thanks to my parents. We’d eat dinner, and listen to Miles Davis, Lucinda Williams, Buena Vista Social Club and Earth, Wind & Fire. My dad would drive us to Gibson’s every Saturday, and we would listen to bluegrass on full blast. Scott Storch practically soundtracked my middle school years cause I got into stuff like 50 Cent and Terror Squad after playing Midnight Club 3 Dub Edition.

Ultimately though, I think hearing The Carter III and Graduation made me realize that I actually wanted to make hip hop.

C901: How would you describe your music to someone that’s never heard it?

EH: This is a huge battle that I face weekly. I almost always fire off like 5 different genres before just telling people it sounds like Memphis.

C901: Where are you located now?

EH: I’m back home in Midtown for the foreseeable future. I spent like 8 months away during rotations for school, so I’m ready to see what the Memphis energy has to offer toward new music.

Photo: Chaz Anthony

C901: Would you say Memphis plays a role in the music that you put out?

EH: 100%: Memphis’ ethos is incomparable. It’s taught me so much and continues to rub off on me in the best ways. Everyone here has a lot to say, and they’re not afraid to express themselves. I feel like that’s made me fearless in creation, which I’ll always be thankful for.

C901: What were your goals when you first started creating music? Have you already reached or surpassed any of those goals?

EH: I’m continuously surprised by how far the music is going. I really had no intentions of things becoming this expansive. I’ve always felt charged with positively affecting a large amount of people, and having that idea manifest itself in this cool artistic reality alone feels like a dream come true.

C901: Going off of that, do you have any goals specifically for 2018?

Photo: Alyssa Debonis

EH: We’re about to start our first headlining tour in July. So, I think I want to really give that everything I’ve got then just relinquish myself to this next project.

C901: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

EH: Totally still want to do pediatric physical therapy at some point in my life. I love kids cause they laugh at all my jokes. I think it could also be cool to be a traveling PT on tour with artists.

C901: What words of advice would you leave with other young, Memphis musicians trying to establish themselves?

EH: Really just find comfort in being yourself. Art is both a beautiful means of expression and a painfully rewarding exercise in self-awareness.

Attend Healy’s upcoming show at the HiTone on August 11. RSVP here.

Check out Healy’s music here.