Thursday, May 30 2024

In the heart of Oklahoma, where resilience is as much a part of the landscape as the sweeping sunsets, Jared Deck‘s life unfolds like a poignant ballad of overcoming adversity. His latest album, ‘Head Above Water,’ is not just a musical endeavour; it’s also a monumental testament to his journey from blue-collar worker to celebrated songwriter to now a Democratic Oklahoma State Representative! Yes, you read that right! Jared’s story weaves through the realms of music, politics, and personal struggle and offers a tale of perseverance and creative rebirth. So, let’s start digging…

Thanks for joing us Jared. The album, ‘Head Above Water,’ seems to reflect personal struggles and broader themes of resilience. Can you talk about some specific experiences that inspired the songs on the album?

If life is a fight, I must have a granite chin. In my twenties, I was laid off from a factory job due to outsourcing. I was fortunate to be so young at the time, but many of my older friends struggled to find work during the Great Recession. In my thirties, I was fired from a megachurch praise band via text message. They had me watch video of myself to show that I didn’t look “real enough” during services. Of course, half the music being pumped out was pre-recorded by a different band, so the irony was palpable. In 2020, like so many artists, I saw my career as a singer-songwriter spiral and my failings seemed to overwhelm any past success. But through it all, I’ve learned to pick myself up off the mat, recognise when a plan isn’t working, and pivot to things that matter more than me.

You’ve transitioned from being a musician to a Democratic Oklahoma State Representative. How do you think your experiences in music have prepared you for your role in politics, and vice versa?

I’ve always wanted to be part of something that’s greater than just myself. It’s why I make music and it’s why I got involved locally. Just like when playing in a band, my community sustains me when I individually falter. For someone as clumsy as me, I’ll take the help.

And, as you navigate between the worlds of music and politics, what do you see as the biggest challenge or obstacle you’ve faced so far, and how have you overcome it?

Overcoming the opinion of others was a lesson I was fortunate to learn a long time ago. My self worth and confidence doesn’t come from getting votes or streaming spins, it comes from within and is cemented by the relationships I build with people I serve and the fans who attend my shows. It’s those connections with those around me.


The title track of your album, ‘Head Above Water,’ carries a strong message of perseverance. Can you share the backstory behind this song and what it means to you?

‘Head Above Water’ is an ominous advice song. Consistent with the album’s theme of gettin’ ahead in a gettin’ by world, the title track warns of the polarised nature of social media and the gimmicks of grifters while providing a hopeful path forward. 

How has the environment of Oklahoma influenced your songwriting and musical style?

There are so many tragic stories literally buried in the blood red soil of our land. These stories deserve to be told and the humans behind them deserve to be remembered. In Oklahoma, there’s no ivory tower from which to pontificate, so our stories come from lived experience, not from a production line. I think you can hear that authenticity in the voices of our songwriters and storytellers.

What are your plans for balancing your music career and your role as a state representative in the future? Are there any specific goals or projects you’re aiming for in both areas?

Being a state rep is full-time for four months, part-time the rest of the year and that part can be done remotely. It’s a lot of work, but most legislators – and musicians for that matter – have two jobs. I enjoy the work of being a rep, but I have no delusions of grandeur. I go to work and do my job like any other. My only goal is to serve my constituents as long as they’ll have me and continue growing my business as a singer-songwriter along the way.

And finally, a fun question… If you could have any fictional character join your band for a gig, who would it be and why?

People tell me Zac Bryan is from Oklahoma, but I’m pretty sure he’s AI. Mike Hosty is also a musical mutant. I’d be happy to share the stage with a real or a meta version of either of them.

As we wrap up our conversation with Jared, we just want to express our sincere appreciation for his openness and insights. Thank you, Jared, for taking the time to share your journey with us. Your music and your story are a testament to resilience and authenticity, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to learn from them. As ‘Head Above Water’ launches, we’re excited to see the impact of your work. Here’s to your continued success, both in music and in public service. 

Keep up to date with Jared Deck via the social channels below.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Spotify / YouTube / Instagram / TikTok


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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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