Describe your sound in 3 words
Chill Space Beats
Tell us a few things about your new song “M87”. What is the story behind it?
The song is really a celebration of how far we all have come…as a species, as a society, as people. It celebrates the release of the first-ever picture of a black hole. A REAL black hole. Einstein had theorized about them a hundred years earlier, but to observe one in real life was yet to happen. The Event Horizon Telescope’s global team of astronomers, engineers, and scientists forever changed how we view our place in the universe, and it’s a beautiful thing to realize there is just so much more out there. When I saw the picture when it was released in April 2019, I went into my studio full of inspiration and the basis for this song was created. I asked my good friend Steve Honz (who I play with in Freddie Jackson’s backing band and in a group called JUTAUN) to add his synth and piano specialties onto it and what emerged is this wonderful piece of music.It’s a wonderful way to follow up the success of my song Eclipse (about, well, an eclipse!) that has almost 2,000,000 streams across platforms!
Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?
I enjoy collaborating and have been fortunate enough to work with some truly amazing artists as a songwriter, producer, and musician. But I do also enjoy creating on my own. It’s not that it’s ‘lonely,’ but there is something to taking yourself into a different plane of mind and soul and to come back with something new and unique like new music often is. Plus, you can be a little more truthful with yourself, though the hope is to share that truth with the world through collaboration and releasing music anyway.
Who is your favourite beat maker?
I have many and the top of the list is Dr Dre, J Dilla, Nujabes, and Flying Lotus, and some of the new generation like OddKidOut, the Kount, Kaelin Ellis, and Thelonious Monk.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?
That’s an interesting question. I think staying confident in myself and my music has been the most challenging thing. I remember someone I once worked with saying ‘Even if you don’t believe in yourself, believe in the people who believe in you.’ Maybe he was inspired by Gurren Laggan’s Kamina, but it’s still true. So, when I feel down on myself or uninspired, I remember it’s not just me. My music has evolved since I’ve started making it 15 or so years ago and I’m so glad to have found such great fans and friends to support my journey.
If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?
It may be a little ‘on brand’ for my stuff but I’d definitely love to do that with Interstellar. Not that it wasn’t good music, but just to have fun with the feelings and visuals!
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
To be honest, I don’t think I’ve gotten into too much trouble. I mean… I guess more correctly is I haven’t gotten caught with said trouble (knocks on wood). But when I was a teenager at lacrosse camp, I thought it was a great and hilarious idea to pull a prank on one of the coaches who was stricter with us (but not mean… just strict). After it happened and everyone had a good laugh, I got in SO MUCH trouble from my parents. Even the coaches were like ‘don’t be that mad at him’, but I learned my lesson…. Don’t try to show off doing something stupid like that… not everyone thinks it’s as funny as you… (laughs out loud)
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