By Melonie McLaurin
ROCKINGHAM — Not many people in North Carolina’s small towns can say one of their neighbors made it to the top 70 in the nation on NBC’s hit talent show “The Voice” — but you can.
This week’s notable neighbor has been a performer from an early age despite working hard to win non-musical honors while growing up in our county. He’s young, but focused. At first glance you’d think he might be a Richmond Raider basketball star.
He’s definitely got star quality, but don’t expect to see him on the court — he’s orbiting a far different world.
NAME: Weston Wilson
BIRTHPLACE: Moore County
EDUCATION: “I graduated from Richmond Early College High School and already have a two-year degree. I was accepted into UNC Chapel Hill’s biology department, but I’m taking a gap year and going another route until I find out what I really want to do with my life.”
CAREER: “I’m already self employed. I gig. I’ve made enough money that I have to file taxes, so that gives you some idea.”
FAMILY: “I have a younger brother, 16, who is very good at golf. He made a hole-in-one yesterday. Dad works for FirstHealth, and my mom works in the family business, Municipal Tank Coating.”
WHAT MOTIVATES HIM
“Whenever I have a show and there’s people, even (if it is) just three, who actually listen. A lot of times you go somewhere and the music is background to them. So having people listening is motivating. ”
“I just played at Summerfest Milwaukee, the world’s largest music festival. And also making the top 70 in the nation on ‘The Voice.”
“My grandpa, Floyd Pridgen, who was in a band when he was younger. He passed away in April, but he used to tell me stories of the bands he opened for and playing proms, back when bands actually played for proms. He gave me all of my guitars when I was growing up.”
HOW HE UNWINDS
“Usually I’m playing in Pinehurst and that’s about a 45 minute drive. So I go to Cookout and get a strawberry milkshake. I do that every time. I never liked strawberry much before that but it was my grandpa’s favorite, so that’s what I do.”
“I can’t see myself doing anything but music. I’m flying out to LA (Los Angeles) a week from tomorrow (Thursday) and I’m going to stay as long as I can. I’m going to go and see what happens. I won’t be one of those people who never went after what I really wanted to do.”
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin. Notable Neighbors is a series of personality profiles featuring Richmond County residents from all walks of life. Stories will appear in the Daily Journal on Thursdays and online at YourDailyJournal.com. To nominate a Notable Neighbor, email Corey Friedman at email@example.com.