By Michael Cerio 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Up and coming Country star Steve Moakler found his way into Nashville through the back door.

Fresh out of high school, the Pittsburgh native took a permanent trip to Tennessee in 2006 setting up to be a singer and songwriter.

“I came as a singer-songwriter and really fell in love with writing country music” explains Moakler. “That really just evolved into what I do as an artist. I don’t know, opportunities just lined up and it just made sense.”

Moakler’s craft of writing led to working with artists like Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, and a big co-writing credit for Dierks Bentley on his 2015 hit “The Riser”.

Eventually the spotlight shifted to Moakler himself with the success of his single “Suitcase” and his latest album Steel Town. Today he headlines the SirusXM Presents The Highway Finds Tour that’s currently crossing the country.

“It feels really good and kind of unnatural for how long I’ve been making independent records” laughs Moaker. “It’s been an unbelievable year. This past year has had more first-times and monumental moments than any other year I’ve been doing music and it’s a huge gift. I’m just taking it all in and enjoying the ride.”

It’s been a long road for Moakler and like many musicians he has found some creative ways to make ends meet before things took off.

“I used to travel around to different body shops in the greater Nashville area and I’d buy busted headlights off of mechanics, and I’d resell them to my ex-girlfriend’s stepdad’s company” remembers Moakler.

“I’d bring in a big pile of busted headlights that had potential. He’d fix them up, shine them up, sell them online. So I was kind of the guy running around to different body shops and occasionally getting chased by a junkyard dog.”

“It was a brief period of time but I learned a lot” he laughs.

Steve Moakler comes to Philadelphia this Saturday May 13th at The Foundry at The Fillmore in Fishtown. It’s a gig that’s much better than being a headlight scavenger.

“It’s a lot better. Now the only vehicle issues I deal with are my own.”

To hear more from Steve Moakler, check out the full interview below.

 

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