About CJ Solar
A singer, songwriter, and guitarist who plays full-bodied music that's equal parts contemporary country and Southern-influenced rock, CJ Solar was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1993. He began playing guitar when he was eight years old, and soon he and his brothers had formed a band. They initially focused on the classic rock they heard around the house -- Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lynyrd Skynyrd were particular favorites -- and later they began playing more country-related material as Solar discovered artists like Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley. In high school, Solar favored grunge-era bands such as Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and Soundgarden, adding another level of influences to his guitar work and songwriting. After graduating from high school, Solar relocated to Nashville, where he attended Belmont University with an eye toward making music his career.
Near the end of his college career, Solar landed an internship at Sea Gayle Music, a publishing house co-founded by Brad Paisley. When a song plugger for Sea Gayle asked Solar about his own music, he passed along a demo tape he'd recently recorded, and his bosses liked what they heard and signed him to a publishing contract. Solar was soon earning his keep as a songwriter, penning tunes that were cut by Justin Moore, Jerrod Niemann, Morgan Wallen, Mike Ryan, and Kyle Park. When Sea Gayle launched a record label, Solar had a record deal, and in April 2016 he released his debut EP, Hard One to Turn Down, which was dominated by his tough guitar work as well as his rowdy songs. A track from the EP, "Tall Boy," earned some attention as a single, and more singles followed, including "Just Another Day in the Country" (December 2016), "Airplane" (December 2017), and "Long Haired Country Boy" (February 2018), as Solar developed a growing following as a live performer. ~ Mark Deming
- Baton Rouge, LA