Puck
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Puck

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Band Hip Hop Pop

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SPRINGBORO — Gary King said he has recorded thousands of singers and musicians.
Austin Puckett reminds him of “a young Will Smith,” the recording engineer at ReFraze Studios in Kettering said.
“He’s a throwback with an upbeat rap. It comes across as fresh again. There’s a happy tone in his voice that makes it distinctive. It’s like, ‘I’m telling a story. Just check it out.’ ”
Puckett, a senior at Springboro High School who turned 18 on Thursday, Jan. 22, wishes more people would check it out.
He self-recorded his first album, “Million Dollar Dreams” at ReFraze last year and has it up on his Web site (www.pucksmilliondollardreams.webs.com). King estimated the studio cost at about $100 a song.
The 13 tracks express Puckett’s philosophy and describe a life of challenges.
“When I say hip hop, you probably think gangsters, big rims and iced-out chains. That could not be further from what my music is about,” he said. “It’s the story of my life up and down. I would like to have people hear what I have to say.”
But it’s not all serious or heavy. A common theme has to do with the opposite sex, and how he, just a nice guy, doesn’t do so well.
“I’m a good guy. Why would she want that?” he chants during one track.
Known to friends and family as Puck, he describes himself first as “a hip hop artist.” But other things about him are way more obvious at first.
He’s confined to a motorized wheelchair because he was born with muscular dystrophy, which prevents him from walking and causes other health complications.
“If Austin gets the flu, he ends up in the hospital,” said his mother, Robin Flynn, who is 5 feet 1, 115 pounds. Her son weighs 285. “He’s a big boy. I dress him, shower him and toilet him,” she said.
He was 11 when his father died of a heart attack at age 40. After that, the family moved from Centerville to Springboro, where Flynn operates a hair salon in their home, which allows her to remain close to her son during her workday.
He’s involved in typical school activities. He was student manager for the Springboro High football team last fall and serves in the same capacity for the girls’ basketball team. He was a member of the 2009 homecoming court and opted to wheel the girl he escorted around the stadium on the back of his chair rather than sitting with her in a Mercedes convertible.
His class schedule includes algebra II, government, physics, digital media and English.
He’s considering attending Wright State University next year, possibly majoring in music.
It’s not just the “street” accent, manicured facial hair and the rap wardrobe, postures and movements he has adapted for use in his chair that makes him a genuine rapper, despite being white and living in a comfortable Midwestern suburb.
“I’ve been writing songs since I was little. I started to like what I was writing when I was in the fifth grade. Writing songs meant finding something I was good at. It was a way to get my struggles out,” he said.
“When I get on stage, people don’t really know what to expect. Once they hear me, they are usually surprised. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I think they usually respect what I do.”
He didn’t have to prove himself during his last appearance, Jan. 10, at The Springs Bar and Grill in Springboro. The occasion was a fund-raiser for Springboro classmate Devon D’Aurora, who needed surgery to remove a blood clot on his spine.
Springs owner Tammy Jackson wanted to hear Puck’s recordings before bringing him in to perform.
“I don’t know much about hip hop, but what I heard sounded pretty good,” she said.
His favorite track is the highly personal “Life and Times,” which touches on the death of his father and expresses his beliefs. “Never walked in my life,” he sing-speaks. “Always stood as a man.”
He became acquainted with rap through his sister and brother, who are both at least 10 years older.
“My mom wanted to name me Elvis when I was born and I used to like country music. We have videos of me wearing cowboy hats and stuff,” he said.
Puck’s mom describes him as “a fighter. There’s a spirit about him. He’s been the reward of my life,” she said.
Springboro senior Michael Tepe, who was in the audience for the performance at The Springs, said, his friend “is always looking out for the other person before himself.”
Another classmate, Jason Stinebaugh, said, “He’s a fun guy who’s always up for doing anything.”
Puck’s sister, Kasey Greer of West Carrollton, said her brother “is the most inspirational guy I know. He was dealt a trying situation and rose above it.”
Puckett hopes his recordings will eventually be heard by lots of people and that he will get to live out his dreams. In the meantime, he’s starting on a second album. He spent 90 minutes at ReFraze on his birthday to work on the first track.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2377 or tmorris@DaytonDailyNews.com.
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- Dayton Day News Terry Morris


Eighteen-year-old Austin Puckett — Puck — is an up-and-coming hip-hop (rap) artist from Waynesville, Ohio, who uses his experiences with congenital muscular dystrophy as inspiration for his musical career.
Puckett has released two albums, “Million Dollar Dreams” and “Still Wishing,” on which he both wrote and performed the lyrics. ReFraze Studios in Dayton handled recording of both. The albums convey upbeat messages about the challenges in Puckett’s life — with none of the violence or vulgarities often associated with rap.
Overcoming stereotypes is nothing new for this young man. “When I was younger, and the other guys were playing football, I couldn’t do that so I was determined to find something I was good at, too,” he says. He began composing songs at age 12: “They’re largely the story of my life, with the message that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
And Puck has put his mind to far more than hip-hop. Since grade school, he’s volunteered in sports management roles at the schools he’s attended. Most recently, as a senior at Springboro High School near Waynesville, he helped manage the boys’ football and girls’ basketball teams by handling tasks like running the clock during practice and keeping minutes-played charts during games.
He’s also organized a fundraiser for charity he called Prom Fest, in which seniors put on a fashion show with clothing and make-up donated by local merchants. Puck performed some of his music at the event, which then was made available on DVD, eventually raising more than $1,300.
“Austin is an inspiration not just to other people with disabilities, but to his fellow students,” says his mother, Robin Flynn. “He has spirit, and he’s a fighter.”
Now graduated from high school, Puckett is registered to attend Sinclair Community College in Dayton in the fall. He’s not sure what he wants to major in, but he knows it will have something to do with music. Of course, some day he’d like to have his works picked up by one of the major record labels. If hard work and determination can make that happen, he’s got a good shot.
Hear Austin Puckett’s music at www.pucksmusic.com. - www.quest.mda.org


Austin Puckett has conquered many obstacles in life but continues to chase his dreams. Read more and see for yourself!

The Urbanian: Can you give us some background information for those who haven’t heard of you yet?

I’m Puck. I am an 18 year old Hip Hop artist from Ohio. I have released two albums “Million Dollar Dreams” and “Still Wishing”. I am working on my third album now and plan on releasing it in December. I look at myself as more of a storyteller than a so called “Rapper”. I live to tell my story for those with obstacles who need a voice. I have muscular dystrophy which is a disease that puts me in a motorized wheelchair. I try to use it in a positive way and to an advantage which is something I really try to show in my music. Oh and I’m like the coolest guy ever haha!

TU: Tell us how the Cincinnati and Dayton area, has opened doors for you and your career? Do you plan on re-locating? Who have you opened for?

Both the Cincinnati and Dayton area have helped my career a lot. I just graduated from high school a few weeks ago and a lot of my fans from school have supported and helped me a lot in my career. Most have came to all of my shows and told their friends about my music. This allows others to catch on more easily and get interested when they see a fan base like that. The Cincinnati area has opened a lot of doors for me and I’ve met a lot of people through there. Also a lot of the shows I have done have been in the Cincinnati area and that’s where a lot of my fans come from.

Re-locating is something that I have thought about a lot. Everyone knows Ohio is a hard place to make it! I think the move will happen someday…. As of now I am just focusing on traveling to other cities and hoping to get more exposure before I try and relocate.

I have opened for J.Cole, Hi-Tek, Talib Kweli, Flobots, Afroman, and Wiz Khalifa.

TU: How are has Twitter, Facebook, etc. helped your career?

So Much! Twitter and Facebook is great because you can post links to all your followers on where to hear my music. This makes things a lot easier! I don’t know an artist out there that Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and all those haven’t helped.

TU: How do you plan to spread your music across the country?

I plan to keep doing what I am doing now; using the internet, networking, making music people love and performing. You never know what will happen next….

TU: Where are you in your career, what is your biggest accomplishment so far?

I’d say I’m still in the beginning stages of my career. I still have a lot to accomplish since I just graduated from high school. But as of now, my biggest accomplishment was releasing both of my projects in one year and opening up for Talib Kweli.
TU: What do you have coming up in your career? Or in other words what’s your plan for the next couple of years?

Just to continue to make music and get my story out to the world.

For more on Austin Puckett CLICK THESE:

www.pucksmusic.com

www.twitter.com/pucksmusic

Carissa Rossi - The Urbanin - Carissa Rossi


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