Editor’s note — The following question and answer story was put together by Johanna Kelley, a jounalism student at McClain High School in Greenfield. It is about MHS graduate Dusty Barrett, the Greenfield Church of Christ IMPACT youth group leader and tenor for gospel group Soul’d Out Quartet.
Q — What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while on the job?
A — There are many weird/crazy things that have happened. I have traveled on the road for 19 years, so being in many different places has allowed me to see and experience a lot of things, from weird people in truck stops, to bus breakdowns along the road. Being on a tour bus with a bunch of guys and having a lot of down time could be considered weird or crazy.
Q — When you were in high school, did you ever think you would be where you are now?
A — Absolutely not. I actually tried to do whatever I could to make sure I didn’t do this. From the time I was really little, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I worked really hard and got an academic scholarship to Ohio State University. When I got there, I really messed up and lost my scholarship. I ended up transferring to a Christian school where I grew up a lot and realized I had a passion for music and singing. I am very blessed that I have been able to do something that I love while being able to support my family. Now, I wouldn’t want to be anything else.
Q — What motivates you?
A — Obviously, supporting my family motivates me, but I’m in a profession that I have the opportunity to literally change people’s lives. When people are hurting or lost or broken, it’s my hope that they are encouraged by my music and find comfort and healing in what I’m singing about.
Q — If you weren’t in the profession you are in now, what’s something else you would consider doing?
A — I also work at my church as a youth minister, and I love that as well. I would love to pastor a church. I could see myself as a music teacher at a school. When my traveling days are over, that would be something I could see myself enjoying.
Q — How has this job changed you?
A — My job changes weekly, I think. I (have met) so many different people who spiritually or emotionally either added to or took away from me. I have learned to really study people. Also, my job is always different; circumstances or plans can change on a second’s notice, so it’s taught me to be patient and flexible, to not get upset, to just go with the flow because “the show must go on.”
Q — How has technology made your job easier/harder?
A — Technology is very critical to my job. First, I set up and run the sound system, so I have to stay up to date with that area of technology. It’s always changing. Also, social media, marketing, web design, mass emails, etc. — all of that is part of what I do. It’s impossible to grow without it. I have recently become very interested in graphic design and video editing. They’re all things that need to be done, and if you can do it yourself, it can save your group (quartet) a ton of money.
Q — What’s your proudest accomplishment?
A — My proudest accomplishment is knowing what I do helps people. When someone writes to me to say that a song I wrote or sang helped them through a tough time or changed their life around, that makes it all worth it. I have a girl in Florida who was on a ventilator and was recovering from a brain hemorrhage. Her mom told me a couple of months ago that they played a song I wrote on repeat in her hospital room. She sent me a video of the girl singing my song from her hospital bed. I’ve received awards and sang in front of 15,000 people, but none of them compare to a story like that.