NM-based musician Austin Van earns recognition at Josie Music Awards

New Mexico-based musician Austin Van recently won Singer of the Year at the Josie Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. Van will perform his two shows on Friday, December 30th and his Saturday, December 31st at the Route 66 Casino Hotel. (Courtesy of Janet Reynolds Photography)

Hard work is no stranger to Austin Van.

For the New Mexico native, music has always been at the forefront.

As Van’s 2022 draws to a close, he has a lot to be proud of.

In October, the 24-year-old musician traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the Josie Music Awards at The Grand Ole Opry. The award is given to an independent artist and he was nominated in his four categories: Single of the Year, Fans Choice, Artist of the Year and Rising Star of the Year.

He won Single of the Year for the track “Driving Me Out Of Your Mind”.

“It was a good experience,” he says. “I was nervous to be with all my friends. I didn’t expect to be recognized so much”

Van will perform two shows at the Route 66 Casino. One she is Friday December 30th and Saturday December 31st.

In 2020, the last album “Music Road” will be released.

When not playing around New Mexico, Van usually spends his time writing songs with his father.

“Whenever I write, my father is a seasoned writer, so he gives me advice,” he says. “One of the things I’m good at with him is finding songs. If you have a good title or melody, it becomes part of the story.”

Van lives in Ponderosa near Jemez.

He grew up always wanting to be a musician.

By the time he turned 18, he decided to give it a go.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to do music now,'” he says with a laugh. “I always felt that music was going to be my career. Without this, I probably would have become a teacher.”

A trip to Nashville helped Van see the impact he was having on people through his music.

He knows he will always be supported when he performs in New Mexico.

Coming out of state, it’s humbling to see that his music not only transcends borders, but pushes them.

“Music comes from me and I am not afraid to tell stories,” he says. “That’s how we connect. I am very lucky to be able to do that.”

Van believes being able to do shows at a young age helped her develop thick skin.

“This is a tough business,” he says. “Many of us make music because we are drawn to it. Because they can tell stories through their songs.That’s what I want.”

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