Every time Trey Gonzalez tried to tell others about his appreciation for Aggieland, the words just came out wrong. So the up-and-coming musician turned those words into song lyrics.
The self-promoted, song writing psychology graduate student has been performing country music for open mic crowds across San Antonio and Bryan-College Station for the last two years. In 2018, Gonzalez released his debut album, “The Journey,” featuring the single “Here I Am,” which appeared at No. 54 on the Texas Country Music Chart and No. 97 on the Texas Regional Radio Report. On Aug. 24, Gonzalez released his latest single, “Welcome to the Home of the 12th Man,” as a love letter to Texas A&M.
Balancing a musician’s lifestyle with the obligations of a student has not been easy, but Gonzalez said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“This is always something I wanted to do,” Gonzalez said. “When you’re an independent musician, everything is funded by yourself, so my pockets are only so deep as a grad student. It’s a slow process, but things are going well.”
Leading up to the release of his recent single, Gonzalez drew inspiration from the artists of his youth. The swing of George Strait and Alan Jackson laid the foundation for his writing, but Gonzalez said he attributes just as much passion to the oldies as he does to one contemporary artist.
“I know Taylor Swift doesn’t always have the best reputation or perception from people, but her ability to be vulnerable on that stage and share part of her life with you is something that really hit home for me,” Gonzalez said. “At the end of the day, country music really is songwriting and relating to people, and that’s something that I’ve learned since my first album.”
However, the driving motivator behind Gonzalez’s work on “Welcome to the Home of the 12th Man” is the A&M community he has longed to call family.
“Growing up, my dad was an Aggie, Class of 1986,” Gonzalez said. “As a kid, I would always see him put his ring on the counter after work. I would look at it and say, ‘Well I want one of those,’ and I would put the ring on while he was in the shower.
“One day he came out and asked ‘What are you doing with that’ and I asked if I could have it. He said ‘No, you have to go get your own.’ I said ‘Why can’t I have yours,’ and he said, ‘You’ll understand the day you get it.’”
With his latest release, Gonzalez said he wants to recapture the emotional response people had listening to Granger Smith’s “We Bleed Maroon” and give Aggies a high-energy football song to boot.
"For me, when I get to come to Kyle Field and be a part of the 12th Man, it’s such an exhilarating experience. I just want people to walk away with the sense of family spirit that’s really unique to Aggies.”
Gonzalez said he is proud to have distilled the thrill of a Midnight Yell Practice into his latest song, and he plans to re-release “Welcome to the Home of the 12th Man” with an Aggie War Hymn twist later this fall.
“This song was written by an Aggie for Aggies,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just really proud to be a student here, and it’s a dream come true. I hope people are able to enjoy the song the same way I have been able to enjoy writing it.”
To listen to "Welcome to the Home of the 12th Man", visit Spotify.