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Shrewsbury High senior shares lifelong musical interests with community

By Erin Matozel, Contributing Writer

(l to r) Akshay Alamuri, Nial McInally and John Barrett in Attendance Contract

Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury High School (SHS) senior John Barrett has been working – and playing – hard as a songwriter, musician and student.

John’s passion for music began at an early age.

“My mom tells me I was always walking around the house humming a song she didn’t recognize,” he said.

Eventually, his family realized that, at the age of 4, John was writing his own music. His parents bought him a ukulele and later guitar lessons. John said that in the earlier years he hated the lessons and decided to take a break.

The next time John played the guitar, it was on his terms. No curriculum, no rules. Doing whatever he wanted with his practice, John began to write his own music and enjoyed playing again. John and his friend Nial McInally’s first song was what John called, “the worst song you will ever hear.” However, it sparked an interest in John and Nial to continue working together, creating better music.

His current project involved writing music over the summer to perform on stage in early November during the SHS fall play “Almost Maine,” directed by drama teacher Jennifer Webb and performed by student. John said writing the music was not difficult because “it’s about love. So it’s kind of hard for me not to write music about that.”

In addition to the play, John performed with his band, Attendance Contract, at a tailgating event during the Shrewsbury versus Saint John’s football game and the spirit assembly for Shrewsbury High School. He has also been mixing and producing his own work and the work of others including friends Jake Mastrandrea, Akshay Alamuri and Seth Mahowald, all freshmen in college and SHS grads. John’s music was also featured in a podcast “Sad Songs Happy Stories,” created by SHS grad Jared Sarnie.

When he was younger, John noted, he dreamed of becoming a famous pop star, but now he just wants to perform. The reason to go into a certain career or profession, he said, is because you love that one thing and you hope to only do that one thing for the rest of your life. Although John would love to find a way to sustain himself financially with music, his primary goal is to just enjoy it. He has no set future plans as of yet.

In the moment, John writes whatever comes to heart.

“When I write a song, the thing that song is about [might not] happen till months later,” he noted. “I hate songs when I first write them because they don’t mean anything to me, but later they gain meaning from experiencing it.”

His songs are inspired by sadness or grief, coming to him in times where John feels “if I didn’t write that song in that moment, I would have gone insane.”

You can listen to John’s music at johnbarrett00.wixsite.com/johngbarrettmusic or on Instagram@johngbarrettmusic.

(Photo/submitted)

John Barrett

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=94545

Posted by on Oct 10 2017. Filed under Byline Stories, People and Places, Shrewsbury, Stories With Good Photos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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