Who inspired you to make music?
My music inspiration has come in a few different forms over the years. Growing up, I remember there was a lot of Reggae music around, as well as lots of western pop and West African highlife music.
In terms of what made me think about getting into music, there was just something about the beauty of music, the way it moved people. I remember watching concert clips in a documentary, and I saw people screaming and crying, and losing their minds and it just felt so powerful. The artists and musicians themselves seemed to be having so much fun, and they looked cool, and in their element. I don’t know what else can move people like music.
Then I came upon Bob Dylan’s music; Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright might just be the most influential for me. Everything from the storytelling to the instrumentation left a mark, I often say that’s probably where my interest in fingerpicking came from. Passenger’s music has also heavily influenced my musical journey, largely due to his lyricism and fingerstyle technique.
What is your creative process like? Do you start with lyrics? Instruments? Concept?
It could happen either way, it just depends on how the wind blows. Sometimes I start a song by noodling around with melodies on a guitar, and then I come up with lyrics based on what’s burning in my heart. Other times I take some words I’ve written and come up with suitable sounding melodies based on the vibes the song is headed in. Sometimes everything comes rushing altogether, all at once. When that happens, I have no choice but to drop everything and give in to the music.
What do you feel is the best song you have released/written and why?
The best song I’ve written is always the last thing I wrote. Due to the recency effect, the latest song usually holds a special place in my heart, and then it eventually finds its actual place in song list based on how I feel about it after a couple of days. Seriously though, I don’t know if it’s the best song I’ve written, but I can tell you that “Sweetest Thing I Know”, the lead track from my 2019 EP of the same name, is quite popular on my local scene. The song is simply about nice, often overlooked things, like the smile of a baby, sunrises and sunsets, double rainbows, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, you get the idea. When I wrote the song I wasn’t in the best place mentally. I made a conscious effort to notice and appreciate the nice things around me, however small or insignificant they were. I ended up writing a list and made it into a song, which as it turns out, is one of the happiest songs I’ve ever written. I also enjoy playing it so much because it’s almost impossible for me to not smile while playing it.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
In the music business, the music comes first, but don’t forget that it is also a business 😉
If you could be any kind of cookie, what would it be and why? (Most important question)
I’d be Raspberry and White Chocolate cookie, I have no doubt. The kind that bends rather than snaps because it’s warm, soft and chewy.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
The Internet has obviously changed all aspects of our lives, including the music business. On one hand it has made it a lot easier for artists (especially independent ones) to reach audiences directly; this is obviously great for artists, and there are some pretty cool success stories. On the other hand, one could argue that it has cheapened music as a commodity; this is debatable (and I’m not even comfortable making this argument because I’m still learning about the industry), but the increase in supply (because there are more artists and they’re more accessible) has led to a decline in value…basic economics and all. I’d rather not get bogged down by the question of how the Internet has impacted the music business. The fact is that it has, so we’ve got to adapt to the times.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
As I said earlier, I’ve still got a lot to learn about the music industry and I don’t know enough to make an informed decision. That said, from what I’ve seen, the artists seem to have the bad end of the stick. You’ve got innovations like streaming services that make a lot of music accessible to consumers for a bargain, and you’ve got big record label executives that seem to make killer profits, and then you’ve got artists and all the independent folks (including labels, promoters, bloggers) that are…”stuck in the middle”. Something doesn’t feel right about it. If I could change anything about the industry, that’s where I’d start.
What is the most useless talent you have?
Being able to leave a party undetected…
When you’re done with music, what do you want people to think when they talk about you and your work?
I’d want my name to be associated with feeling good. I’d love to be remembered for music that gives folks a warm, fuzzy feeling in their core, a feeling that reminds us of what it means to be human, to take pleasure in the little things and to be kind to each other.
What is your most recent project/upcoming project?
We’ve got plans to release a lot more music this year. I wrote a lot in 2020 and was fortunate to record a bunch of songs which will be coming out this year. Something Good is just the start, the first of those songs, so there’s a lot more coming later in the year. I’ve been writing away in lockdown and I’m looking forward to when we can get back in the studio to record more. When things get better, it would be nice to go out and play these songs live, maybe even go on tour when the logistics allow, but for now I’m focused on making music and building my online following.