Born and raised in Merritt, Bobby Garcia has been belting his voice out around the Nicola Valley since he was a kid.

“I just grew up listening to country music and listening to my dad play country music on his guitar,” he said. “I used to sing all the time with my dad at parties.”

The music talent was passed through generations in his family. The many singers and musicians in the Garcia family inspired him to follow the same track. His dad, George Garcia, was the biggest influence on his life. 

“He taught me how to play guitar and taught me the songs that I sing now,” he said. 

As a Nlaka’pamux First Nations, Garcia said being in a minority in the country music industry didn’t stop him from achieving his goals.

“I think I’ve had a lot of opportunities along the way to showcase my talent. And I’m proud to be Indigenous and just keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. “Hopefully, you know, I can be a mentor for some other Indigenous people that want to follow this journey.”

Garcia added that performing in Merritt is always special to him.

“It feels really good to perform in my hometown in front of family and friends and you know, just have everyone come out enlisted and have a good time and stuff like that.”

His next performance in town will be today, Aug. 3, at the Weekly Music in the Park starting at 6 p.m. on Rotary Park. On Sept. 3, Garcia will perform twice, one performance at the Merritt Street Market at 10 a.m., and another one at Merritt Civic Centre, at 7 p.m.

With songs about small town life and his previous experiences, Garcia hopes his music continues to inspire those who listen to it.

“Maybe they can put themselves right into my song and you know, take them back to a past experience or something or they can grow and listen to it,” Garcia said.