Up Close With Daymon Osborn (Indiana '16)
Daymon Osborn’s journey from the Orchard Ridge Country Club caddie shack in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to stages once graced by Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons began on a whim.
Daymon, an Indiana Evans Scholar, was in sixth grade and looking for a way to express himself creatively – so he picked up a guitar.
“I got into playing because I wanted to write songs,” said Daymon, now a junior studying secondary education. “I needed something to help turn my thoughts into lyrics, so guitar became my outlet. Like most beginners, I struggled initially, but the more I practiced, the better I became.”
Influenced by singer/songwriters Jack Johnson, John Mayer and others, Daymon kept practicing, kept writing and kept performing whenever possible.
Unlike many budding musicians, Daymon wasn’t content to land gigs by promising a set of tried-and-true covers. He instead opted to play original songs interspersed with covers of contemporary hits and older favorites.
“I put a lot of time into writing, so I’ve always enjoyed performing my own tunes the most,” he said. “Covers are definitely fun and I’ll play just about anything, but I learned what worked with audiences and what didn’t. I was learning something new every time I performed.”
His act slowly began to gain traction in Bloomington, where he performed for his fellow Scholars and at the Big Man on Campus philanthropy event hosted each year by Zeta Tau Alpha, where Daymon works in the kitchen.
Daymon quickly became addicted to the feedback from the audience and the thrill of performing.
“I love when an audience can relate to a song I’ve written,” he said. “Hearing a crowd cheer is satisfying and keeps me coming back. That feeling I get just makes me thankful for the opportunity to do something I enjoy so much.”
Earlier this year, Daymon was booked to open for another act at The Bluebird, a famed local music club that opened in 1973 and has hosted Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Bloomington resident John Mellencamp and recent Grammy winners Mumford & Sons and Kings of Leon.
Though some may have been intimidated by the prospect of performing at such a venerable music venue, Daymon relished the opportunity.
“In my life, music has created so many great memories and that was one of them,” he said. “I always try to remember to make the most of the opportunities I’m given no matter if I’m playing for one person or 100. You just never know when the last performance could be.”
Daymon continues to perform in and around Bloomington as he prepares for a future career in education, always remembering the opportunity that gave him a chance to attend Indiana University.
“The Evans Scholarship is such a blessing,” he said. “Being a Scholar at Indiana has meant being part of such a vibrant and scenic campus community. It’s truly hard to beat. I’m around people I really enjoy, and together we make each other’s experience a life-changing one.”
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A COUNTRY MUSIC FAN
Though his own songs tend to have more of a pop sound, Daymon leans heavily on the narrative storytelling stylings more common to country music when writing.
“I think country music has had a huge influence in how I write,” he said. “I love telling a story, and being able to share my own experience or someone else’s experience through music is very meaningful to me.”
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Daymon is the third in his family to earn the Evans Scholarship. His brother David (Indiana ’12) and his sister Kendy (Indiana ’13) preceded him in caddying and in Bloomington.
“When I was younger, I would ride along with my parents to pick them up from the golf course and hear them talk about their caddie experiences,” Daymon said. “There was no doubt that when I was old enough I was going to be a caddie. Seeing the benefits they received as Evan Scholars only intensified my desire to do the same. The Scholarship has changed our lives.”
As he gigs around Bloomington and elsewhere, Daymon is always on the lookout for new music and new artists while staying on top of current pop trends.
“I really love ‘Shut Up and Dance’ by Walk The Moon. It’s a total jam,” he said. “’Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars is another song I love, and I can’t get enough of ‘Mean to Me’ by Brett Eldredge.