AYNOR, SC (WMBF) - It all started with cowboy boots and getting a guitar when he was three years old.
Now, there could be a future country singing star in the making in Aynor, and he's doing what he can do to make that happen from Aynor High School.
He's garnered local and state recognition for his talents and has big plans to be like his idols Josh Turner and Scotty McCreary one day.
Sophomore Emory West has been noticed already at Aynor.
"I'm really involved in our chorus; man I love to sing," Emory said. "My grandma and my grandpa got me a guitar when I was three and I would just sit out there and strum and play my guitar, and she said I'd sit out there in my little cowboy hat."
The tunes started early for West. He said his parents sing gospel music and they have family karaoke nights.
"Any chance I get, I try to get out there and play," he said with a smile.
From playing guitar to singing country and gospel, West said he's particular about what he sings but likes to listen to all genres. He plays guitar in Aynor High's jazz band, coming early to school to do so.
He also plays guitar and sings at local beauty pageants, talent shows, area concerts, churches and the annual Aynor Hoe Down.
West said he's made the all-county chorus every year and made the all-state chorus in the tenor base choir this school year.
"I would like to be more like Josh Turner and like, because as long as I can remember I've always been listening to Josh Turner," he said of his singing style.
He added Scotty McCreary is his other idol, and he likes to sing Jon Pardi.
West thanks his chorus teacher for how much more he's learned about singing in high school. He has two more years of high school, but is considering Clemson for engineering or Charleston Southern for music.
That is, if his other plan doesn't come through.
"We're maybe thinking about going to American Idol. The audition's for that coming up this year. And I'm going to audition for that so I feel like that'd be a great experience," West said.
He'll bring his guitar with him too, which also has a special meaning.
West used to have a plain, black guitar until a family friend from church offered him a Martin guitar with one promise to keep.
That promise? West had to "keep singing for the Lord." Both men followed through on their ends of the deal.
"One Sunday he called me out to his truck and he gave me this guitar. And I'm telling you I've played this guitar … like the song by I believe Dierks Bentley, 'I Hold On' talks about a flat top guitar and the dents and scratches in the wood, and I'm telling you this thing's just, I love this guitar. This thing's just got me kicked off," West said.