Neil Grover admits he is what some would call a late bloomer.
Though he first picked up a guitar at 7-years-old, it was not until he turned 25 when he felt the time was right to start performing in public.
He first started playing around the Lehigh Valley, though sporadically, in 2011. Fast-forward five years and Grover is in what he described as "full-force" state of mind. The Allentown native has spent the past year and change becoming more aggressive in booking gigs. Earlier this month, Grover made his Musikfest debut.
"It's been really, really impressive to see all the talent that's here," Grover said during a recent phone interview. "I'm surprised at the incredible amount of talent who are much younger than me. I'm really appreciative of the music scene here in the Lehigh Valley."
Grover released his debut single, "Whoa," on Aug. 14. The sing-a-long-tailored track will be featured on Grover's forthcoming debut, EP, which is due out later in the fall.
Lyrically speaking, Grover described "Whoa" as embracing feeling different and trying to escape what seems like a "mundane life."
"For me, it's a very personal song. It's about taking that opportunity because you only get so many chances in life," he said. "It's all about trying to make people think on those terms and reevaluate their lives and see if they're doing what they want to be doing; trying to find your courage to go out and establish yourself in the way you've always dreamt of establishing yourself."
Grover said he is already planning his second EP and would like to eventually release a full-length album at some point, though nothing has been set in stone regarding the latter. He added that he is constantly learning and trying to improve as a singer, songwriter and musician, whether it's taking vocal or guitar lessons.
He is also hoping to grow and expand his fanbase beyond the Lehigh Valley, including performing at The Bowery Electric in New York City.
"I've been really appreciative to the Lehigh Valley for giving me opportunities," Grover said. "I think, for me, it's just about taking big, bold risks and not really caring what other people think about you."
Catch Grover 9:30 tonight at Pearly Baker's Alehouse in Easton and Sept. 10 during Lehigh Valley Pitbull Awareness Club's "Paws 4 a Beat" event at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.