HHM: How long have you been plugging away, working on music?
I have been doing music for my entire life. My mom pushed me up on stage when I was seven and I was scared to death! But, after the crowd applauded after that first performance it was over. I had to be on the stage. So I did talent shows, church services, fairs, pretty much anything that I could do. If they had I microphone and a karaoke track I was there!
HHM: When was the moment that you knew you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I honestly think it was that very day of my first performance. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just knew. It was just something I had to do. It was all I could think about.
HHM: What were some of the biggest musical influences on you growing up?
Wow! Well I grew up in the south so a lot of my influences as a kid were church musicians. There was Andre Crouch, uh..The Winans, Commissioned, all of those guys and then I went to college and it all changed. I discovered Nirvana, and Tupac, and Sheryl Crow, Warren G, and Classic stuff like Bonnie Raitt and Eric Claption, The Rolling Stones. It was around that time that I just fell in love with rock music. I even had a rock band called Moses for a while. We toured opening for Steve Miller and Gov’t Mule. Man those guys can PLAY!
HHM: As you got older, did your influences change, once you acquired a real grasp of music on the production side?
Well, yes and no, I still love all of those artists. I mean, Nirvana’s Nervermind, that album is just genius, um I think that later I started falling in love with the musicians like Prince and Zappa. You know the guys that play ridiculously hard stuff just to let you know that you really don’t know how to play. Ha!
HHM: What is the major driving force for you as an artist?
Full disclosure. At first it was just to be rich and famous; anyone who tells you different is LYING. But then I got a little older and I realized the power of what I do, what we do! Musicians change people’s lives and I wanted to make people’s lives better. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it is also a lot of joy. We have a gift that can be used to make people’s lives better. Who can say that they can do that with their job?
HHM: How tough is it on a day to day basis having to rely so much on your own devices to progress your career?
I don’t think that it is any tougher than owning a business. I think the tough part comes in when we don’t realize that there are two parts to our industry the music and the business. I think it would help us out if we started calling it the Business Music. I say that because I know some really talented folks who are a business coach away from the success they want. It’s tough because we are so connected with our emotions. I think that is what makes musicians good, but we have to also understand that this is also a business. Ya know?
HHM: Besides reaching new fans obviously, what is your biggest aspirations for your music? In terms of what you hope to achieve.
The number one thing that I hope to do with my music from this point on is to make other people’s lives better. Point Blank Period! There are a lot of people who need inspiration there are a lot of people that need to know that they can do anything and if the music I write can help them achieve their dreams or goals or just help them through a tough day I will have achieved my goal.
HHM: Can you tell us a little bit about your Kickstarter Project for “Monsters Inside My Head”?
So the Kickstarter Project “Monsters Inside My Head” is a project close to my heart. I called It “Monsters Inside My Head” because I am secretly crazy… Nah but seriously, we all have these inside our head voices that tell us that we suck or we aren’t any good at what we do, or that people don’t like us or love us, or whatever. This project is my way of quieting mine and hopefully helping other people quiet theirs, because, and this is for those few others who know what I’m talking about, those voices are LYING!
We are all limitless. We literally can do anything. If you stick around this industry long enough you get a chance to work with or around successful artists and the one thing you discover is often times they aren’t better than you or magical. Often times the difference between their level of success and your level of success is their belief that they can do it.
So my Kickstarter Project is my hopeful step towards reaching more people in the hopes of helping them see that anything is possible.
HHM: It seems to have gotten off to a pretty good start. The song “More Than Enough” on the pledge page is great, for real. It’s quite moving.
Thanks for saying that. I lost my Mom last September to cancer and my Brother-in-law in 2010 to suicide. There isn’t anything …… sorry. Umm, you know I don’t regret anything in life really except that I didn’t have some way to save them. You know some kind of super power to just make them healthy or happy. Maybe it’s me being selfish I don’t know, but man I miss them both a lot. If I can help one person out there, if I can make one person happy or help someone through a tough time or whatever I will have done what I am suppose to do on this planet.
HHM: When you set out to write new material, where do you start, the melody, the lyrics, song idea…etc?
It’s different for every song. Sometimes I get a lyric and I am like “That is fun! I don’t know how I’m going to use it but that line is sick.” And other times it’s like a melody will just drop out the sky and then I won’t be able to think of a lyric for months. I feel like the good stuff comes when I don’t force it and just let it happen, however it is supposed to happen.
HHM: Where does most of your inspiration for songs come from?
Life. It all comes from life or thoughts. Ha! The monsters inside my head get all of the credit. They are pretty creative sometimes. I guess that is why they can be so effective.
HHM: How much time do you spend writing?
How much time is in the day. No I am writing is some form or another all of the time. It doesn’t stop.
HHM: I know ever artist puts a piece of their heart into everything they put out there, I have to say, I feel like you’re giving everything you’ve got for this record.
You know this one is going to be my Abbey Road. My Starry Night. This is going to be the album that I made with no worries about what the record labels might think is marketable or what the radio stations might like. This is going to be the one that I hope that my kids can play when I’m gone and say “Man I think I get this life thing a little better now.” Hell I hope that is the case for any and everyone who listens to this album.
HHM: Once you’re able to get “Monsters Inside My Head” produced, mastered and sent out to the world, will you feel like some weight has been lifted off your shoulders?
I think so. I think that after this album I will have exercised all of the proverbial demons and angels for that matter, and again, I hope that it will help others do the same.
HHM: Anything else you’d like to share besides your goals for the new record?
Wow… Well let’s see It was the best of times it was the worst of times… No um.
I guess that I would like to share something that I feel like I was lucky enough to discover recently. We can create ANYTHING we wish. We can create the life we want to have if we work on believing that we can have the life we dream about. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. However, if you can find a way to wake up during this dream called life or die while you are alive like the Poet Rumi says you will be amazed at what you can do. Thanks you so much for interviewing me! This has been amazing! Thank you!