By Kathleen Swift
Photos by Artistic Expressions Photography
“We knew at a young age he was going to do something; we just didn’t know what it was going to be,” said Christina Leggett about her son, Dillon.
Dillon Leggett is well-known in the area as a local musician. He has been singing and playing at venues across the area, sharing his considerable talent with audiences across the Four States.
From a young age, Dillon Leggett was drawn to music. His dad, Myron, bought him his first guitar when Dillon was 12 and taught him his first three chords.
“Dillon soon surpassed me in playing the guitar,” said Myron. “He’s much better than I am.”
From those first guitar lessons, Dillon began playing “with his dad‘s friends on Wednesday nights watching them strum and singing along,” recalled Christina. “His very first song was Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire that he learned for a school project. They had a wax museum, and he was given the assignment to play Johnny Cash. Little did that teacher know that she was instrumental in kicking off his music career. Dillon loves to perform! The bigger the crowd, the more on he is.”
Dillon, now 16, said, “When I am playing and singing, I feel like my true self. Music makes me feel better. I love the interaction with the crowds, especially the sing-alongs that I sometimes do with the audience. There’s nothing quite like singing the chorus of Sweet Caroline together. I’ve learned to read a crowd and try to play the music that is right for each audience. I play mostly modern country music like Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen. But, I can go from old country to Michael Jackson in a heartbeat.”
Getting started in the music business at age 12 wasn’t easy for Dillon.
“It was difficult at first because most of the places that support live music serve alcohol,” said Christina. “When we would tell them his age, you could see they weren’t sure. I used to say, ‘Just let him sing! We will be there.’ Once they saw him interact with the crowd and heard him sing, they usually always asked him back.”
Dillon began playing between sets or opening for other local groups.
“The music family in the area has been so supportive,” said Christina. “Our good friend Chris Bassett is a well-known local musician and family friend who took interest in Dillon and recognized his talent. He often invited him on stage, so the venue owners could hear him sing. Chris has mentored him as well as other young artists, helping them get started. There were several people in the Four State community that saw something in him and took a chance on him at a young age, giving him the opportunity to showcase his talents. We’re so thankful for those who believed in Dillon and took a chance on him, supported him, booked him and mentored him. They are the ones that helped him get started. Without them and our music families, he wouldn’t be where he is today. It takes a village!”
Dillon loves music, but as a high school sophomore, athlete and honor student, he has his eyes on a career as an orthodontist, too.
“It’s kind of our family joke that I will be a singing orthodontist,” laughed Dillon. “I was able to job shadow Dr. La Ferla, and I loved the experience. I knew being an orthodontist was a career I would enjoy.”
Dillon performs on weekends during the school year and three or four times a week during the summer. He has saved the money he’s earned, bought his own truck, and he is saving for college.
It takes support for young musicians like Dillon to fulfill those dreams.
“When Dillon said he wanted to sing, we did all we could to provide him the opportunity. We spent hours networking and reaching out to individuals and event planners. We surrounded him with good people and other families of musicians that supported him, and he put in the hard work and did the rest,” said Christina.
“We’ve always left the decision where and when to perform to Dillon,” said Myron. “We provide encouragement. It has to be fun for him, and it has to be something he wants to do. We are his sound crew, booking agents, stage crew, marketing firm and biggest fans.”
“We are so proud of him. It wasn’t always easy. He was a young man working with adults in the music industry. He didn’t let it bother him. He just kept learning and growing,” said Christina.