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One drumbeat was all he needed. When Adam Doleac was two years old, growing up in Hattiesburg, Miss., his father Donnie taught him to play that drumbeat.
By the time he was two, Adam had already displayed some musical talent.
Singing came much later, unless you count the video of four-year-old Adam, sporting a leather jacket and sunglasses, performing Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman.”
Even though he demonstrated musical talent, as a youngster, Adam also excelled in sports. There was soccer, t-ball, and even ice hockey. The Mississippi Sea Wolves played in a rink an hour south of Hattiesburg, and his parents drove him there so he could participate in a league.
Adam also played baseball until he was 13, when he gave it up for golf. “I was away every weekend playing tournaments.” Halfway through his Junior year in high school, he was offered a full golf scholarship to Delta State University. With offers for golf and basketball already on the table, after being talked into playing baseball his Senior year by his friends, the University of Southern Mississippi made its own offer of a baseball scholarship after just one year of playing. Adam accepted and went on to win three rings in four years as the Southern Miss. Conference USA Champ. He also played in the College World Series in 2009.
That decision changed the course of his life. “It’s unbelievable how much one decision can impact where life takes you,” he says. His college roommates were on the baseball team with him – and they were all guitar players. “That’s where I learned my first chords. On Dec. 29, 2010, I wrote my first song while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.”
It was the first time out of the country for the Mississippi native who had only experienced Hattiesburg and family vacations in Florida. “I remember sitting on a hotel balcony on the third floor, watching people of all different ethnicities and walks of life. I’d never seen any of that before, and that gave me the idea for my first song, ‘Travel On.’ I put it on YouTube and the next thing I knew, it had 450,000 views.”