Jeff was immediately warm and welcoming on the snowy, cold afternoon. He ushered me in with his signature sweet smile and we shared a mutual groan about the bout of extreme temperatures we've endured in Michigan this winter.
Evidence of fatherhood filled the living room with pictures of his son, Talon and a toy area that included a toy baby grand piano. He offered some coffee (Starbucks Breakfast Blend), and ever-the-gentleman, helped us get settled for our conversation.
I first met Jeff when he was performing at a private party in Detroit last May. His rich, powerful vocals filled the intimate space and it was abundantly clear he was not an average club singer. His magnetic voice and something in his delivery made you want to stop talking and just listen.
We had a short conversation during a set break about his “X Factor” season two cut and it was obvious then that he had no intention of giving up on his dream. I probably speak for his entire huge, swelling international fan base in saying it would have been a terrible mistake for Jeff Gutt to walk away from music after suffering the disappointment of that experience.
Some people can sing well and even pull off a pretty good night on the karaoke stage (I am not one of them). Other people are blessed with a raw, natural talent that flows somewhere out of their soul. These people become a vessel for something that is way more powerful than married words and melody. They reach other people in a deep, indescribable way on a powerful, spiritual and emotional level and make them feel.
Jeff Gutt is one of these people. Someone who was clearly born to play music and sing and use his gift to touch hearts and impact lives.
In the short time I've been covering Jeff’s music journey I've received countless emails, tweets and Facebook messages about how Jeff’s songs and his inspirational story have touched his fans’ lives.
One of these people is an amazing nine-year-old girl named Summer who is battling cancer. Jeff’s “Hallelujah” video brings her great peace. Her incredibly strong mother shared her story with me at the Ciccarelli’s “X Factor” live feed on the night of the final performances. She told me she wouldn't be any other place than supporting the man that gave her daughter such a priceless gift.
Earlier this week, Jeff and his son Talon called Summer to surprise her. Her mother, Nikki, was very moved by his kindness and generosity. Jeff strongly supports any causes which help and encourage children. We talked about Summer and his phone call during our interview and he credits Summer and her mom for their incredible strength and bravery.
This story is just one of the countless numbers of stories that exist about how Jeff Gutt has made a positive impact in the lives of others with his gift. Jeff shared that he really enjoys getting and reading fan letters because then he gets to read and know someone's story.
Establishing that connection and reaching people on that level while singing is something Jeff describes as the power of music to reach people when and where they need it most.
In reaching the brink of realizing his lifelong pursuit of a successful career in the music industry, Jeff’s conviction moving forward remains staying true to himself, respecting others, and doing what he’s doing solely for the sake of the music and securing a bright future for his son.
At 37, Jeff has paid enough dues to finally enjoy the recognition and critical acclaim he's recently received. His tenacity continues to inspire his fans and helps fuel many different kinds of dreams from people around the world.
Our casual and candid conversation is captured in the attached live video, which is split into two parts. In part 1, we cover his band announcements, the status of a record deal and answer some JAGarmy questions.
In part 2, we resume with more fan questions and talk about Valentine’s Day, love songs and you won’t want to miss his special Valentine’s Day treat! Go to Part 2 now.