Will Muse has already enjoyed way more success in the music industry than the average 16-year-old.
But getting to open for a country music icon? Now that's something to muse about.
Muse, a rising junior at Somerset High School, will be performing Saturday night at Renfro Valley in neighboring Rockcastle County along with Ronnie Milsap, the country music artist famed over the last several decades for works like "Lost in the Fifties Tonight," "(There's) No Getting Over Me" and "Stranger in My House."
"I'm just very, very excited to be opening up for Ronnie Milsap," said Muse in an interview Thursday with the Commonwealth Journal. "He's such a legendary and iconic figure in the music world. He's won so many Grammy (Awards) and had over 40 number 1 hits."
It's true, Milsap may be about six Grammys up on young Muse, but the latter artist has already made a significant impact in only a short time. Muse began pursuing music at age 5, when his mother Allison signed him up for guitar lessons. From there, he went to piano, and developed his skills. In 2016, Muse was selected the winner of the first McNeil Voice Studio auditions for the Master Musicians Festival and got to play on stage at Somerset's own outdoor music festival.
But perhaps his biggest triumph came in 2017 when he engineered the now-annual "Music for Wishes" concert which raises money for the Make-A-Wish foundation.
"I just combined my passion for music with my passion for helping people in the community," said Muse. "(The Make-A-Wish) foundation has helped so many people."
Muse has used the event to show the public some of his previous efforts, such as music videos for songs like "I Can Change." Muse was discovered at the Opry Mills Unplugged Series in 2017 by a talent scout for PCG Universal in Nashville, and the single released six months later was co-written and produced by recording artist and composer Britton Cameron.
Muse released his sophomore single "Spend" on the Radio Disney Network in April. The piano driven song showcases Muse's various influences, including blues, rock, and pop -- the latter of which is an area he's exploring now with videos for two more romantically-themed videos coming up soon that Muse describes as "poppy" songs. He'll be going out to Los Angeles at the end of the month to shoot the videos.
But does this jet-setting lifestyle interfere with his schoolwork at Somerset High School? Not at all, he said.
"I've always taken school pretty serious, always made straight A's," he said. "I have a gifted music plan that lets me go where I need to go to work on music. I can get my work in advance and get it done beforehand and turn it in."
He added of the pressures of dealing with music fame at a young age, "There are a lot of different things I have to do and keep up with. All that can be overwhelming sometimes, but for the most part, it feels good."
People can go to willmusemusic.com or find "Will Muse Music" on Facebook and other social media platforms to find his music. They can also find Muse on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and other outlets.
Tickets are on sale now for the Ronnie Milsap concert this Saturday at the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, starting at 8 p.m. Visit tix5.centerstageticketing.com for tickets.
Following "Spend," Muse plans to release his debut nine-song album, co-written and produced by recording artist and veteran composer Britton Cameron, whose credits include Don Williams, Lonestar and Sister Hazel. He is scheduled to be featured on AXS TV's Nashville Inside during the week of June 17, and has made a few television appearances lately, including a performance on WSMV's Today in Nashville in May.
Muse said he is inspired in his songwriting by "universal concepts and themes" to which different types of people can relate.
With a whole future ahead of him in the music industry, Muse would eventually like to go on to Nashville or Los Angeles and spread his wings, but he will always be Somerset's homegrown talent.
"I would love to be able to have some kind of record deal," he said. "I always want to be putting out new music and doing videos and things like that. My overall goal is to create a positive impact, to positively impact people through my music."