Sellers embarks on music world, heads to Texas State’s MR Fest
By Catherine Harper
Texas State University grad Roger Sellers says he’s living the dream. With constant tours around the country as a professional musician, Sellers is doing what he loves for a living: traveling and making music.
“There are few people in the world that get to do what they love while traveling,” Sellers says. “Travel is the number one best part of being a musician for me. It’s so fulfilling and changes your entire perspective on life.”
Having graduated from Texas State in May 2011 with a bachelor of general studies degree focusing on music, business and media studies, Sellers has risen to the top all on his own. As the writer, performer, director, producer and engineer of his music — which meshes genres of folk, Americana, electronic and dance — he has expanded his influence from his original scene in San Marcos to the world beyond.
Since his debut in Austin in 2011, Sellers’ music has become a force of its own. With a release of his newest album, Moments, that same year, Sellers signed with Pau Wau Records, was named to Chase Hoffberger’s top ten list of 2011 in The Austin Chronicle, and performed at the 2012 South by Southwest Festival.
Having made his mark on the music scene, Sellers’ influence continues to spread. An upcoming vinyl release of his newest album will be held in Austin on April 20 at Club de Ville, and he is currently booked for a showcase at My Radio Fest — hosted by Texas State’s radio station KTSW 89.9 — on Saturday, April 28, in San Marcos.
According to Sellers, his musical style is constantly changing but stays true to his personality.
“It’s hard to describe, but I’d describe it as folky, minimalist and melodic,” Sellers says. “There’s definitely roots in folk, it’s not just folk though. I strive for a good melody, which I think a lot of people are starting to lose in pop music these days. I think if there’s a good melody then it’s a good song.”
Growing up in Spring, Texas, Sellers picked up his first instrument — a guitar — when he was 3 years old. With parents that were also musically gifted, Sellers says he had no lacking of support as he began to mix and match instruments into his early teens — when he started becoming more serious about music.
“I messed around with instruments for a long time, pretty consistently and constantly as a kid,” Sellers says. “Through the years I started learning extras. I tried taking piano lessons but it didn’t work out because my ear took advantage of me. I guess that’s when I gave up the traditional common practice study of music and started doing it on my own. That taught me from an early age that I could just teach myself. From then on, things just kind of happened.”
Having attended Sam Houston State University during his first two years of college, Sellers says his transfer to Texas State accounted for a different yet fulfilling college experience. With a little help from his family and friends, Sellers immersed himself in his studies.
“When I walked down that stage, I just felt proud,” Sellers says, recalling his graduation. “During my time at Texas State, I met a lot of people and built a lot of character. It challenged me a lot.”
While studying, Sellers also immersed himself in the music scene of San Marcos. With help from local venues such as Tantra Coffeehouse, Sellers’ music began to gather local momentum.
Now, with tours in the Midwest including a recent tour in Denver, Colo., Sellers’ claim to fame continues to expand as much as his range of musical influences. Although he has played shows all over the country since his graduation, Sellers says San Marcos is still his favorite place to play.
“San Marcos is a great town and the people there are awesome,” Sellers says. “It’s one of my favorite places to play without a doubt. Even other small towns, there’s nothing like San Marcos. It’s just a town of its own.”
Sellers recently expanded his music career to include film scores, collaborating with Jack Daniel Stanley on the film Depth of Phil in 2010 which was featured at the Alamo Drafthouse and Sundance Film Festival that same year.
According to Sellers, the best part of his career in music has been the exploration of what he loves to do, and also what life has to offer.
“I would say the best parts about being a musician are expression, communication and travel,” Seller says. “I had a music literature professor who was my favorite professor that I’ve ever had. She said, ‘You learn a lot in college, but the way that you truly learn is from traveling.’ She’s absolutely right, there’s no doubt about it.”
For students ready to let the music flow, Sellers says it’s up to you to make it happen.
“If you really need to do something, talk to people and get yourself out there,” Sellers says. “There is such a huge competition for it these days but you have to show your face and make it for yourself — and you can, you really can. You really have to work hard. No one’s going to do it for you. That’s what it takes.”
For the future, Sellers says he’s up for whatever the world has to offer.
“I’m pretty much going to let the wind and my music take me where I need to go,” Sellers says. “Right now, I’m sticking around in Austin because it’s going pretty well for me. I’ve got a tour coming up in July throughout the Northwest, and I’ll come back in late July and see what happens.”