SIDNEY — If you stay focused and put in the work, dreams really do come true.
After pursuing a music career for only about three years, Sidney’s very own up-and-coming hip-hop/pop artist, Greg Barger, aka PaperBoy Solo-G, recently acquired a music contract.
Overcoming hardships, rising up and doing good is the message of his “motivational speech” style of music. Although Barger is featured rapping over beats, he is also a talented musician who plays up to five instruments and is a singer, as well.
“Motivational speech, that’s really my biggest thing. To motivate people to want to do better, especially the younger generation,” Barger said during a sit down interview with the Sidney Daily News. “You will hear some of my songs, it talks about how I messed up and turned things around. A lot of my songs have to deal with hardship and how to overcome them, and how I did, and what it makes me today.”
Barger said he wants to be known as an inspirational speech artist, not just a rapper.
“I don’t want to be known as ‘that rapper.’ I want to be known as an artist who can hit every area of your emotions and connect with you through my music,” he said. “That’s the main thing I want to do, is connect to you emotionally. I think that’s what is missing from hip hop today: being able to connect to real life situations.”
Although the 31-year-old pursued a music career somewhat later than others in the industry, music was meant to be part of his destiny. As a Barger, it runs through his veins in that his father, grandmother and uncles were and are all musicians and performers. In fact, his paternal grandmother was a childhood friend of and sang in the same gospel choir as country music legend Loretta Lynn.
“It just makes sense for me. This might be a sign that this is what I’m really supposed to do, and I’ve only been doing it for three years. I picked it up late in my life,” he said with a chuckle.
Barger said his late grandmother, Alpha Omega Barger, had a huge influence on him and was a great singer and musician.
“You would be a fool not to change and better yourself … and do some right!” are her words echoed in his lyrics. They still stick with Barger today, he admitted.
He shared his drive to “put Sidney on the map” and passion for music comes from his strong desire to “make it” not only for himself, but also for his father who was killed during a gig at a bar in Sidney in 1986.
“That’s why it’s such a dream for me to fulfill that for both of us. That’s why I’m so passionate about music,” he said.
Aside from his talent, catchy beats and lyrics, his charm and boyish good looks are a draw, as well. He regularly posts “live” videos to his professional Facebook page, updating fans on all things PaperBoy Solo-G, and has quite a following already with lots of immediate feed-back from “his community.”
“My motto is ‘Look good, feel good, do good,’” Barger said with a big smile.
“That’s where I get my competitive edge, too, is just from being me. I don’t ever lie about stuff I got in my songs. I ain’t gotta ‘stunt.’ That’s what I say. — ‘He ain’t stunting,’” he said with a laugh.
He freely admits he had his share of partying days in the past, but the married man and father of a 13-year-old son, who he realized he needed to set an example for, hopes his music reflects that, as well.
His lyrics are autobiographical, Barger said, and being raised as one of four by a single mom is a fact of life he addresses in a song called, “First Lady,” written about his mom.
Although he regularly travels across the country from Florida, where his project “Anotha Day, Anotha Dolla” with rapper Bezz Believe and Breana Marin was shot, to working shows in Joliet, Illinois, opening for the artist Upchurch, he is determined to stay grounded in Sidney, as is shown in one of his first videos and signature songs called “Paper Route.” The video is set in Shelby County with friends and his entourage from home.
“Everywhere where I know my music is universal and could be played, I want to hit every type of people, of music genre, so everybody can really feel like they are a part of my music — like country people, rap people, rock and roll people. I like to hit all areas,” he said. “I feel like my music can really make a difference to motivate the youth to become better as a whole. I want to help build.”
Barger’s music can be found on Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. He is also regularly featured on 105.5 as the local artist of the week.
Follow Barger on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PaperBoySoloG.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.