By Justin Kielbasa
Peter Sprague has been a musician since he was 12.
Growing up in Cleveland in a musical family, Sprague, now of San Diego, began experimenting with different genres of music at a young age, focusing mainly on rock, jazz and Brazilian music.
He eventually played alongside vocalist Kevyn Lettau in a band called Dance of the Universe, later moving into producing records of his own.
"Spontaneous ideas sometimes trigger a song, but it's mainly the necessity that drives me into writing something," he said. "It usually depends on a specific style that I'm looking for, or who I'm playing with."
An important focus of Sprague's is integrating elements of music that he grew up with into his current work while maintaining a jazzy overtone.
Throughout his music career, Sprague has worked hard playing for and producing roughly 300 records, completing around 50 just last year alone. While he currently spends the majority of his time writing and recording original music, Sprague also puts a great deal of effort into running his own San Diego-based record label, SBE Records (Striving to Break Even), alongside his brother, Tripp, and his close friend, Fred Benedetti.
"Very early on, I had to become clear about what the label was in my life. I was losing focus on my desire to continue writing and recording music," he said.
While Sprague now utilizes his small-time label mainly as a vehicle to produce his own records, other local musicians have also published records under his label.
His latest release under SBE Records is the album "What is Enough," which reunites Sprague with his close friend and vocalist, Lettau, who last sang alongside Sprague during their Dance of the Universe days.
With inspirations such as The Beatles, John Mayer and Stevie Wonder, their latest album encompasses the vibrant sounds of rock, jazz, pop and the "wonderful grooves" of Brazilian music.
"Kevyn has a similar taste in music, which makes her a fun and easy person to collaborate with," Sprague said.
Although Peter's career was temporarily disrupted by a case of arthritis, which developed from years of guitar-playing, he has learned to control it and remains completely positive as far as his music is concerned, continuing to pick up his guitar daily, constantly writing and producing new music.
Besides strumming on the guitar and managing www.petersprague.com, Sprague also enjoys surfing the beaches of Del Mar, practicing yoga and spending time with his family. He plans a new release, "The Wild Blue, on Aug. 29.