Keyboardist, songwriter and producer Dallas Kruse has been making waves of late, appearing in former Journey frontman Steve Perry's new video "No Erasin'." The California native is our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week.

NAME: Dallas Kruse

HOMETOWN: Costa Mesa, CA.

MUSICAL TRAINING: I was raised by a musical family in gospel church. I didn’t start studying music till I was 17 when I enrolled in music theory at community college. I’ve never studied formally and I’m actually looking for a good teacher, if you know one!

FIRST GIGS: My first gigs were playing for my dad in church. It was a trial by fire learning to play by ear. I then moved to local club gigs and studio gigs.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, Gary Oliver, Walter Hawkins, Andrae Crouch, Walter Hawkins.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Vulfpeck, Ray Charles’ Genius + Soul = Jazz, Quincy Jones' The Dude, Walter Hawkins' Greatest Hits.

MY BIG BREAK: When I got a phone call from Steve Perry.

LATEST PROJECTS: I’m working with an incredible singer and songwriter named Doll Knight, who has one of the purest voices I’ve ever heard. I also did strings/arrangements for David Ryan Harris’ record. His songs will rip your heart out. And writing with and producing Johnny Gomez. He’s a killer guitarist who mixes Jeff Beck, Prince, and Parliament Funkadelic.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? The Hammond B-3 organ. Nothing will ever replicate the feel, sound, and experience of a full console B/C. Also the Hohner Clavinet. The short action and way the keys buzz on your fingers. Definitely the funkiest of all keyboards.  My favorite feel and action for digital pianos is anything by Yamaha. I think they come closest to the feel of the real thing.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I own a studio and there’s always work to be done. Whether it’s practicing Hanon or cleaning toilets. The next step is to get better. So I’ll probably just go practice.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Go to a gospel church, sit with all the musicians and listen and learn how to play. And stop quantizing your MIDI tracks and go buy a metronome and practice!

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