Saturday, October 14, 2023
As an artist, I’m a singer, songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist, and music teacher. Making art brings this level of joy and of aliveness that I don’t get anywhere else. It brings emotions up from way below the surface. Music brings together all the seemingly-disparate worlds I grew up in–being a black boy learning band and classical music, playing gospel and contemporary christian music in church, listening to hip-hop, RnB, and pop with my friends, and discovering musicians like the Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, and Frank Ocean as an adult. I love that, through music, I can bring all these different parts of me together, under one roof. My debut art project is my EP and Visual EP called Canopy. It came out just last year. I’m so proud of the work that was put in, and the end product. A lot of people believed in me and in what I had to say. They rallied together to create a piece of art I never envisioned I’d be able to make, but is so… me. Haha. I’ve been a student of music since I was a kid–a few years in piano lessons, learning drums at church, playing trombone in band class, humming to myself in the halls. I saw that music could be a legitimate career through my private lesson teacher–Brian Logan. He taught me trombone lessons, played with the Houston Symphony, contracted gigs for churches, for musicals, and for plays. Had (and has) a good relationship with his partner, and seemed to enjoy a comfortable life. Not famous, and not struggling to make ends meet, like I believed were your only options as an artist. Brian was (and still is!) doing what he loved, and on a really high level. I think that inspired me a lot. In my mind, fame and fortune are not markers of success. To me, success is doing what you love and sharing it. It’s being able to provide for yourself and your family. Keeping the process, the doing, the creating, the sharing a top priority. Giving freely, with the realization that everything you give comes back 10-fold. I believe that so strongly. I’ve seen it in my life over and over again.