Zac Pitts journeys from TV guy to pop-rocker with solo album

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Dayton news anchor performs new music Saturday at Yellow Cab Tavern.

Music remained a goal deferred for Zac Pitts as he established himself as a local daytime news anchor for WDTN and built his music marketing company Sound Valley. He looks forward to celebrating the release of his solo album, “Midwest Romance,” at Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton on Saturday, Dec. 10.

“It has been a dream for me to create and release my own album,” Pitts said. “We started working on the songs three years ago, so it took a while but we’re finally here and I’m pretty pumped about the show. I’m also nervous as hell because I haven’t played a show in six-and-a-half years. It will be great to release all this pent-up energy I’ve had over the last several years.”

Regular morning viewers of Pitts will see a different side of the area native at Yellow Cab Tavern.

“I’ve always had this insecurity with the music because people always see me as Zac the TV Guy,” Pitts said. “That’s fine, you know, it’s the name I’ve made for myself here in Dayton, but there is more to me. I’m ready to show people that side but there are so many talented musicians in Dayton, which is intimidating. All I can do is put on the best show possible. If you’re at least entertained, then I did my job. Am I going to sing off-key? Absolutely. Am I going to screw up while playing guitar? Yeah, 100 percent but you’ll be able to tell I’m having fun and I’m going to make sure you’re having fun.”

ExploreDayton Barrel Works collaborates with Boston Stoker to release coffee vodka

Songs of romance

“Midwest Romance” is a mix of pop-punk and power-pop songs exploring the complexities of relationships. The material was recorded with Patrick Himes at Reel Love Recording Company.

“I loved working with Patrick because he was able to pull ideas out of my head,” Pitts said. “I wanted to make something modern, but I didn’t want it wrapped plastic. He knew exactly what I was trying to go for and I haven’t had that before. I wanted to spend the extra time making something that sounds good, and I wanted to do it with real equipment because that’s where the real magic is. We got something that feels very familiar but at the same time, it’s a step further.”

“Midwest Romance” hit streaming platforms on Dec. 2.

“Before the album went live on streaming, I was really focused on selling merch bundles,” Pitts said. “It’s basically a way for me to sell physical copies of the album, CDs and vinyl, and other fan merch. I’ve got stickers, buttons and wristbands and other little things. It’s honestly been really good. I’m also promoting the release show and that’s coming together. Now, it’s time to get this train firing down the tracks.”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Music promotion

With Sound Valley, Pitts and partner Ashely Karsten do video production, promo campaigns, show booking, online ticketing and more. He has used those experiences for the release of “Midwest Romance,” which feeds back into his music marketing company.

“Obviously, I have experience with Sound Valley, so I know what to do, when to do it and how to do it,” Pitts said. “It’s a lot of work but with my personality, I go all in and become a little obsessed about it. I honestly believe if I put in the time and energy and do what I’m doing, there will be something to reach at the very end of it all.”

ExploreAmy Schneider, game show superstar, anticipates impactful future

Combining everything he learned in the different arenas to strengthen his own music and help streamline Sound Valley is the realization of another longtime goal for Pitts.

“We’ve been working through Sound Valley to get familiar with the scene,” Pitts said. “I wanted to weave myself into the music community and develop the bond so I would feel worthy to go in and do this album. So, that was my dream, but, at the same time, I also want to build Sound Valley. To do what I ultimately want to do, I had to go through the entire process. I needed to understand how everything worked before I could help somebody else.”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Reflection point

Pitts was focused on getting this album recorded and the packaging completed. Then, he worked on his promo campaign for the album and release show. Now, with the release show approaching, he’s finally able to fully appreciate what he has accomplished.

“It took a long time for me to take a step back,” Pitts said. “I’m admittedly a little bit of a perfectionist so I would agonize over every little details. The big lesson I got out of this was imperfection is what makes something great. I think the album sounds authentically, genuinely me. It doesn’t sound generic and that’s why I think I love it. Now, I’m just excited to share it with other people. I got tired of listening to the songs by myself, so it’s been exciting to get people’s feedback. When somebody actually likes what you made, that’s a really cool feeling.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: Zac Pitts with Dak Janiels & the Holy Smokes, Amber Hargett and Sam King

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10

Cost: $12 single tickets in advance, $15 day of show; $20 couple tickets in advance

More info: 937-424-3870 or yellowcabtavern.com

Artist info: www.soundvalleydayton.com

About the Author