Although actor Rob Mayes has been interested in music his “whole entire life,” he hasn’t seriously pursued it until now. His already impressive resume is getting even lengthier with single releases and Spotify spins and he owes it all to fate.
Mayes’ interest in music started when he was a kid. His dad surprised him with a piano one day after kindergarten. Like most kids, Mayes despised practicing but he quickly realized he could create his own music with different chords and progressions.
“It was a way for me to express myself and put my thoughts and feelings and emotions into something that wasn’t conversation,” he recalled. He picked up some other instruments and carried his love for music with him as he went into the military. After his return, he moved back to Cleveland and decided to pursue his other love — acting.
Acting turned out to be the perfect first stop on his journey with fate. He started landing successful roles including his role as John in John Dies at the End. Mayes also had roles in popular TV shows, The Client List and Mistresses. When his fellow castmembers discovered that Mayes was also an actor, that became a part of their on-set breaks and even his storyline in Mistresses.
That storyline is weaving into his real-life now as he’s getting serious about his music and unlike many other actor-musicians, he’s actually writing his own music. He’s been doing that since he was in grade school and got a lot of support from a teacher who would let him perform his original pieces for the class.
“At that age, it’s so easy to just squash somebody’s talent or a way they’re expressing themselves in a form of art,” he says. “It’s such a delicate thing… You can tenderly cultivate that and support it and it can flourish into who knows what? At the very least, something you can enjoy for the rest of your life that gives you an outlet and a new form of expression… I owe a lot to my teachers.”
If his teachers are watching him now, they’re definitely beaming with pride as he pursues music professionally. Earlier this year, Mayes released his debut single, “Closer.”As soon as the song was finished, he knew it was the perfect way to introduce himself to the world as a musician.
“It kept getting stuck in my head… I would just keep listening to it again and again and again while we were making tweaks. I just fell in love with the song over and over again. I just wanted to lead with that ‘cause it’s a fun song that I hope people connect with. I did and I still do.”
People also seem to be connecting with another one of his releases, “Road with No Lines.” It’s currently his most-played song on Spotify with over 120,000 plays.
“That one is really special to me because it’s so different than ‘Closer.’ It doesn’t have a pop lean to it, it’s more throwback country which is what I grew up listening to, which is what I listen to a lot,” he explains. “It’s not about being in a relationship, not flirty, it’s you in a car or truck alone with loneliness, or lonesomeness or self-care or whatever it is. [It’s you alone to] think thoughts or don’t.”
“It’s an important thing to just take that time, take that breath, take that space to pause and just enjoy that moment. It’s a healthy thing.”
It’s also healthy to follow your heart and let fate lead you to your dreams, much like Mayes has done. He’s not finished acting and he’s certainly not finished with music, either. He’ll release another track, “Kiss the Night,” on Aug. 23 and he’s got a Christmas movie coming out as well as a western with Val Kilmer.
Stay tuned for more from Mayes and check out all of his releases on Spotify below.