Who/What inspired you to pursue music?
I have always loved music. I grew up singing & playing piano in church. I took piano lessons, I was in my school band, my mom even tells me I was humming at age two! Music has always been a big part of my life. When I saw my first concert, Five Iron Frenzy, in middle school, it was all over. I wanted nothing more than to play music. So I began writing music and "released" my first CD in high school and have been doing something music-related ever since. My mom and dad have been very encouraging when it comes to my music.
How do you usually write your songs?
Songwriting has always been an interesting process for me. I have been writing songs since I was ten years old and I keep thinking that I will fall into some kind of "groove" of writing. But, songs never happen the same way twice for me. One time I sat down and wrote a song from start to finish, and it was done. Another song came together from three different songs that I had written. Sometimes the music comes first, sometimes a lyric. It's just very random. I guess creativity hits different artists different ways, but it hits me every which-way.
What is the first artist you remember loving as a child?
Five Iron Frenzy. They were awesome. Incredible vocals, tight rhythms, and catchy melodies. They were a ska band out of Denver, CO and they were phenomenal. I think it was the horn section that hooked me. I played alto & baritone sax in middle school band and us band geeks weren't too cool... until ska became mainstream for a brief time (thanks to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones). FIF has remained my favorite band over the years and I'll admit... I cried a little when they dismembered in 2003. Their farewell concert gets me every time.
If you could collaborate with one musician,dead or alive, who would it be?
Well, I'm not sure I would have much to contribute, but I would love to collaborate with Dave Matthews. He has been a musical hero of mine for a long time. His band is solid, his songs are great, and the energy in his live shows are incredible.
What is your dream venue to play?
My dream performance is for the President of the United States, so I suppose my dream venue to play is the White House. My mom inspired this one. She told me once that she dreamed that I performed for the President. I thought it was a good idea. Still haven't found the booking agent for that venue, though.
If you could experience another decade of music first hand, which would it be?
I would love to go back and experience the Big Band Era! I was a member of "The Original Red Hot Royal Sugar Boy Jass Ensemble" (my high school jazz band) and we covered a lot of tunes from the 30s and 40s. It would be awesome to see/hear Count Basie and Louis Armstrong and the musicians who pioneered jazz and swing. And yes, that spelling of "jass" is intentional.
If a movie is ever made about your life, who would play you?
There are a couple of actors that people have told me I look like. One is French Stewert (I wouldn't want him to play me) the other is Kevin Spacey. But, I think that by the time a movie is made about me, there will be only one person who would fit the bill. Justin Bieber. I think this could really launch Bieber's career. I'd be happy to do that for him. ;)
If you could pick a gemstone to symbolize you and your music what would it be?
Sapphire. I love the color blue. Actually, when I proposed to my wife (after singing "Oh How You Keep Me"), I got her a ring with a Sapphire (at her request) instead of the traditional diamond. To me, the blue in a sapphire gemstone represents a cleansing or refreshing that water brings. I hope that my music is refreshing and has a sense of renewal to it. I like encouraging people and knowing that I've made a positive difference.
Is there anything that I haven't asked that you'd like to say?
I want to thank you for the interview. I appreciate you reaching out. I am really excited about getting the word out about my new EP "Crash". Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share!