Saturday, Dec. 14, @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $15, $10 adv., 7 p.m.
After years of playing other artists’ country music over Michigan’s airwaves, radio personality Rob Stone chased another dream: getting onstage and performing his own music. While he cut his teeth locally at 100.7 WITL, Stone now lives in St. Clair Shores and hosts the “Rob and Holly” show on 99.5 WYCD Detroit’s Country. From 2004 to 2008, Stone also attended Michigan State University and earned a broadcasting journalism degree. Saturday, he returns to his old stomping grounds to perform at The Loft. Opening is Whiskey & Wine and Corey Dakota.
Looking back, how did you wind up at WITL-FM, Lansing’s country station?
Rob Stone: During my senior year at MSU, I landed my first full-time radio position on-air at 100.7 WITL. Prior to that, I had several internships and part time positions at the same company, but feel very fortunate to have landed a full-time position before I even graduated. The current afternoon host and personality there, Chris Tyler, was an amazing mentor to me and really helped get me where I am today.
Has your radio experience helped you with your own music career?
I think being on the radio for 10 years has prepared me to be an entertainer onstage. I’ve hyped up so many crowds for artists, but in the back of my mind I was always thinking, “That should be me performing out there and not just announcing.”
You're performing at the Cap-City Country series at The Loft—what can people expect?
I’m a country radio personality by day, but my music is a melting pot of rock, country, soul and even hip-hop. You’ll sing along to everything from Johnny Cash to Eminem.
Over the past year, you’ve played everywhere from Coyote Joe’s in Shelby Township to the massive Faster Horses Festival—what’s next?
I was recently just down in Nashville recording my first studio single called “Firework Girl.” We have plans to head back down to Nashville to finish up my EP and book a small radio tour to promote the new music. I couldn’t be more excited to do something I’ve wanted to my whole life. I guess some people are just late bloomers.
When did you first pick up a guitar and start singing?
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 14 and used to play parties and what not, but never really thought I could take it much further. I was also very self-conscious about singing for the longest time. It remained a hobby for years until I decided to push myself. I made it my New Year’s resolution to put my music out there at the start of 2019. Not even a year later, things have come a long way.
You’re juggling radio, your family and being a musician. Are you busier than ever?
Busy is an understatement! It’s great, though. My wife Katie and I definitely have our hands full with our 7-month-old at home. Katie is a school psychologist, so during the week I’m with our son Emmett in the morning and she has him in the afternoon. Then I head to the radio station. On top of that, I also do on-camera hosting at Ford Field for Detroit Lions home games. I’m the “Jumbotron Guy.”
Lastly, is there a secret to writing a legit country song?
The truth. Whether it’s a happy song, sad song, party song or whatever, they all normally tell the truth. I think country is so popular because so much of the population can directly relate to what they’re hearing.
For more information, visit iamrobstone.com or facebook.com/robstoneradio.