by Natalie Wearstler • photo by Agnes Lopez • From the January 2013 issue of Jacksonville Magazine
Little boys have strapped on guitars and dreamt of musical stardom since rock music first hit the airwaves. However, most kids never book a gig outside of their parents’ garage. Not Dalton Cyr (pronounced “sear”). The 12-year-old singer and songwriter from Jacksonville Beach has spent most of his young life tuning his musical chops, and it’s paying off. Just last year, he released an 11-song album, embarked on an eight-city tour, and sang the National Anthem at a Jaguars game.
Jacksonville Magazine caught up with the pre-teen at his favorite store, Guitar Center. Here’s what we learned while talking to Dalton before he had to go finish his homework.
• He’s proficient on the guitar, piano, ukelele and drums. “I’ve tried out mandolins, French horns, cellos, stuff like that. Because of all the musical things I do, it’s easier to pick up new ones.”
• Dalton’s parents gave him an iPhone, but it’s strictly for business (i.e., keeping up with his fans on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). “They keep telling me, ‘The only reason you have that phone is to do social media, and so we can contact you.’” At the time of this interview, Dalton had over 7,000 followers on Twitter and 5,000 Facebook fans.
• Yes, he still has to do chores at home. And, no, he’s not particularly fond of them.“I do my own laundry, and my brother and I do towels.”
• Though he doesn’t have a girlfriend (“I’m taking a break from all that!”), this seventh grader is definitely interested in his female classmates at LaVilla School of the Arts. “When we’re at lunch, the guys talk about music and guy things. We rarely talk about girls, which I think is kind of sad, since it’s middle school. Everyone should be talking about girls.”
• Dalton has a second-degree black belt in karate. He used to play soccer and basketball, as well. These days, he enjoys skateboarding and parkour (free running).
• Learning another language is one of his biggest goals. “In chorus, we sing songs in different languages. My goal is to learn French, Italian, and Russian, because it sounds awesome.”
• One day, he hopes to land a record deal that will allow him to buy a house and put some money away. After that, his first priority will be to install two fountains in his house: one to dispense sparkling grape juice, the other for V8.
• When Dalton turns 13 in July, he doesn’t want a lavish celebration. Instead, he wants to have a food fight with all of his closest friends and family members. “We had a food fight for my brother a long time ago, and it was so cool. We laid out a tarp and put down relish, mustard, ketchup, Twinkies, whipped cream, and butter at the corners.”