Commentary

Notre Dame swimmer hits right tune

Originally Published: March 9, 2012
By Dave Wilson | ESPN Music

Dave Moisan would seem like a candidate to end up on ESPN.

The native of Louisville, Ky., was an All-America swimmer in high school, landing a scholarship to Notre Dame, where he earned all-Big East honors.

But it was a different talent he discovered while in South Bend that led him to get some airtime during a national sports broadcast.

Moisan's song "Don't Need to Worry Bout Me" won the "Who's Next?" competition on ESPN Home Court's Facebook page. The contest featured songs by indie bands from the home states of teams featured on recent college basketball broadcasts.

As a result, the song will be featured during ESPN's college basketball coverage Saturday.

Unsurprisingly, Moisan spent most of his life in the pool, working toward becoming an accomplished swimmer. Music came much later.

"I started playing music when I was a sophomore in college, so I was kind of a late bloomer," Moisan said. "I started writing and it snowballed from there."

Moisan, now 29, credits his musical inspiration to all that time spent in the water.

"I was in the pool like five hours a day," Moisan said. "You get pretty creative when you're staring at a line at the bottom of a pool for that long of your life -- and you have that many chemicals surrounding you."

Moisan said he was intent on leaving Kentucky when he went to college but chose to return to Louisville upon graduation to take a job in medical device sales. The unintended byproduct, however, was the impact the local scene had in helping him improve his music.

"When I got back to Louisville, I got involved in a community of musicians at my church [Sojurn Community Church] where the musicians are unbelievable," he said. "On any sports team you surround yourself with people better than you, and you're going to get better. I was surrounded by people who were much better writers, much better singers, much better players. It forced me to hone my skill and step up my game."

The result is a polished sound, which Moisan said has been called "indie folk-pop" or his favorite, "throwback soul-pop."

"It depends on the song on the record," Moisan said. "It's got elements of modern pop, but hints of Chicago, hints of Bill Withers. But I've also heard people compare it to Maroon 5."

The fusion is a product of Moisan's musical upbringing, listening to soul music by Sam Cooke, Ray Charles or Withers.

"I'm heavily influenced by that kind of music," he said. "But I also listen to a lot of pop music as well."

Moisan has a busy schedule in the near future. He's currently completely renovating his house, with a deadline to meet, because he's getting married next month, also.

After that, he's hoping to get the music career in gear a bit, including working on putting a tour together.

But he doesn't have to leave home again to do it, he says.

"I'm open to anything. I'm open to any opportunity," he said. "But musically, Louisville is an amazing place to build a career. In a place like Los Angeles, everybody's a musician. They're critics. They're competitors. In Louisville, I've got friends, and I've got people who enjoy the music. My producer, Neil DeGraide, who co-wrote 'Don't Need To Worry Bout Me,' lives here as well and his studio is here. Everything really that I need is here. I love Louisville."

Follow Dave Moisan on Facebook.

Dave Wilson is an editor for ESPN Music.

Dave Wilson is a college football editor for ESPN.com. He joined ESPN.com in 2010 and previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun.