Many of you have seen Tony Pasko play local venues in and around Meridian over the last few years, but what you don't see is him spending countless hours in the studio producing music for albums and TV. Pasko grew up around music, with both of his parents in the church choir and his dad in a band. He always knew he wanted to do music for a living, and it was his father who helped push him.
"He was already doing it, so it was a very realistic goal for me to obtain because that's what he already did, so growing up I had that influence of 'this is very maintainable, this was going to happen one way or the other, I just had to put the work in it.' If things didn't work out musically when I was growing up, he'd always say 'you've just got to work harder.'"
After graduating high school, Pasko decided that the rock star life was for him. His band was opening for big artists and he signed a deal with Warner Brothers, but it wasn't meant to be. It was that failure that led him to where he is now. After traveling the world and going to trade shows for US Music, Hartley Peavey found him and brought him to Meridian 8 years ago. It was that encounter, and the rich musical history of this area that sold Pasko on moving from Chicago to a small town in Mississippi.
"This town has a history that the whole world is a better place because of. American music came from here, and a lot of the country and the blues and stuff like that."
Unknowingly, it was his decision to move here that lead to one of the biggest successes of his career so far: contributing music to Duck Dynasty. Not knowing anything about Duck Dynasty, the production company contacted his record label, and his managers decided he was the perfect pick to send some demos.
"'They need music from where you live.' That was their description. The production company is in Beverly Hills, so I'm thinking 'They probably have some of the best session players, but obviously none of them have that touch.' What they were looking for was something a little more authentic."
His authentic touch would soon make his music heard by millions of people each week.