Foxwoods is one of the biggest casinos in the U.S., and the new face and voice for it has been chosen. If you don't know him, you will soon. Nashville's very own singer and songwriter John Flanagan, who moved here from Boston, won the contest at the casino with next to no preparation, relying on his 'natural talent of creating melodies', as he put it, as his guide.
His music and stage performance fits the bill perfectly for such a contest. As he named his influences, the resemblances between his unique mixture of pop and broadway-style glitz and glamour, and a few of his favorite artists, were pretty apparent.
"My melodies are that of Ben Folds, but my gimmick is more David Bowie and Freddie Mercury," Flanagan illustrated. "I also have a touch of Lady Gaga, even though I'm not as electronic. I find that in order to make an impression, a gimmick is necessary, and with every song, a hook is needed to entice the audience. I try to write music that's not so 'One, two, three; peter, paul, and mary."
Speaking to him at Fido's in Hillsboro Village, he acted like anyone would, once they were given their first taste of fame; he was elated.
"My family and friends are beside themselves with ecstasy," Flanagan said. "Not too many people have heard of Foxwoods here in Tennessee, but my hometown practically considers me a celebrity."
This recent bout of new-found stardom took him by surprise, as he stated that he hasn't even had experience at casinos in the past.
"What's fascinating to me about this process is the fact that I've never even gambled before," Flanagan said. "Suddenly ive become the face and voice that is involved with just that. I'm just a part of their image, as they are a part of mine now. All it took was one small step, but I was thrust in to a completely new light."
The contest has given him high hopes for the future. The winning package included $25,000 worth of studio time and marketing benefits; $10,000 worth of that sum was dedicated to the promotions alone. With that amount of elbow room, he let his imagination roam and told me exactly what he was going to do with that money, once his EP was complete.
"I want to blast the northeast with news of it," Flanagan said. "Beyond the winnings, there's been talk of not only being the voice of Foxwoods, but the face of it as well. I'd love to be on television. They have mentioned commercials, and me even having a concert of my own."
For the time being, his upcoming show will be in my hometown, Clarksville, Tennessee, at their annual festival 'Rivers and Spires'. He mentioned that he was apprehensive about the small-town crowd being receptive to his extravagant style of performing, but that he planned on toning it down a little, while still showcasing his talent.
"I'll even wear a pair of jeans!" Flanagan said with a smile.