Fortunately, he landed firmly on both feet. Hammond, a self-taught musician, will be opening for Kate Voegele at the Grand Sierra Resort on Friday night.
“I grew up with a big family and my dad was really musical,” Hammond told the Sparks Tribune. “He always had instruments around. I started with the drums, and then played the piano. I also learned to play the guitar.”
After quitting his job, Hammond traded in his car for a van, which served as a form of transportation as well as a place to sleep over the next six months.
“I sent a bunch of messages on MySpace and one of them happened to be to my current producer,” Hammond said. “I had a bunch of showcases in different cities and eventually got picked up by A&M/Octone Records.”
Hammond describes his music as “poppy and acoustic,” but also said it doesn’t fit into any one genre. This could be because his musical muse is very personal.
“I’m more influenced musically by the experiences in my life than by any other artist,” Hammond said.
Hammond has a distinct vocal style and range. His songs feature catchy acoustic accompaniment and heartfelt lyrics. Hammond’s vocal style is showcased in the song “Broken Down,” which will be the title track on his debut album, set to be released next year.
The up-and-coming pop star, who threw caution to the wind when he began his life as a “musical nomad,” said that if any musician believes in him or herself enough, their “actions will show it.”
“I have a song called ‘Just Believe It,’ and I think if you believe in something like music enough, you’ll be able to do what you want with it,” he said.
Hammond got set up on his current nationwide tour through his manager, who is also the manager for Kate Voegele.
The 22-year-old Voegele is a fellow young musician who is acting when she’s not singing. In less than one year, Voegele got a part in the television series “One Tree Hill” and began recording her first album. The 2007 album, “Don’t Look Away,” sold close to a quarter of a million copies, according to her Web site, and climbed to number four on the iTunes music chart.
Voegele’s second album, “A Fine Mess,” focuses on heartbreaks (as with the songs “99 Times” and “You Can’t Break a Broken Heart”) and everything else that comes with growing up.
Like Hammond, Voegele’s songs have infectious pop hooks.
Voegele and Hammond will play at the Grand Sierra Resort on Friday beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 each and can be purchased by visiting www.grandsierraresort.com or by calling (800) 648-3568.
To sample Hammond’s look and sound go to www.myspace.com/kevinhammond.