PARKERSBURG -Although there can be bleakness in the world, a local musician wants to show people, through his music, that there is a lot to be positive about.
Nate DiRuzza will be performing this weekend during the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival, 7 p.m. Saturday at the River Front Stage.
The 26-year-old Canton, Ohio, native said he tells people, especially young people, to be true to themselves.
Nate DiRuzza will be performing 7 p.m. Saturday at the River Front Stage during the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. Through his music, DiRuzza encourages people to be true to themselves and follow their own hearts. He volunteers with the West Virginia Children’s Home Society in Parkersburg.
"My music is 90 percent things that I feel, emotions that I pour out into the guitar and vocals," he said. "You get the message with the vocals that I try to put across.
"Some of my songs are just fun. Most of it is me trying to help people."
He has been playing for over 10 years after getting involved in music with friends who had good songwriting skills and was proficient on the guitar. He borrowed a friend's guitar and taught himself how to play.
"I haven't put it down since," he said.
DiRuzza recently completed recording an album in Nashville at the Dark Horse Studios, working with musicians and engineers who have worked with big recording artists. He brought Steven Moore, a Marietta College student and the 2008 National Bluegrass Banjo Championships First Place winner, to play banjo and lead guitar on the album.
"I had session musicians who have played with Taylor Swift and engineers who have worked on the big stuff," he said. "It turned out really professional and really good."
The album, "Changing," is on sites like iTunes and Spotify.
"It is all over the place," he said. "They are all songs that I wrote."
DiRuzza said his influences include classic rock styles, alternative music and acoustic singer/songwriter pieces.
"All of those influences mashed together," he said.
In writing songs, he looks at the life he is living as well as the lives of people he comes into contact with.
"I get into these phases where I want to write about the same stuff for a while," DiRuzza said. "The phase I have been in is to write music to help people.
"I try to relate to people."
The first single off his new album is called "Keep On Being You."
"When I go to the schools, that is a song that I played," he said. "It is all about being yourself.
"Be a leader, don't be a follower. You will find your way out of the darkness. That is the message that I am giving to the school. I also tell people to follow their dreams."
DiRuzza recently partnered with the West Virginia Children's Home Society, making a donation from money he earned doing concerts at schools to benefit the program's transitional living program.
Brittany Myers, who works at the West Virginia Children's Home Society, has known DiRuzza since they were both students at Marietta College.
She wrote a poem called "They Will Lead The World," which DiRuzza turned into a song. He recently did a video with Skylight Media for the song.
"It is about taking care of our children and guiding them, showing them love and care and kindness because one day they will lead the world," Myers said. "I think ever since we have known each other we have had this vision to change the world together.
"This is the perfect avenue to take for it. I was lucky enough to get a job at the Children's Home Society."
DiRuzza has taken her poems and turned them into songs.
The West Virginia Children's Home Society's transitional living program identifies youth in the foster system who will be aging out.
"A lot of times if they don't have a place to go when they age out, they end up homeless and on the streets," Myers said. "It helps them find housing and teaches them basic life skills."
Having DiRuzza be a part of the Society's mission has been great, Myers said.
DiRuzza has been a mentor for many children, she said, adding they really pay attention to what he has to say.
"Their lives are that difficult," Myers said. "They take things one day at a time. They need that positive light."
DiRuzza said many people have a bleak outlook and complain about how bad things; this, he says, turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy for many.
"If we start to think the world can be a beautiful place then it can start to be that," he said.
Everyone listens to music and that is a great way to get a positive message across, Myers said.
"All of his music has this positive undertone to it," she said. "It is refreshing compared to a lot of music out there.
"It is important that everyone hears that message. The world is not one big black hole and it can be positive."