1. When did you fall in love with music(what age and the story of how it happened)?
Well, when I was probably about ten years old my parents got me piano lessons and I really wasn’t into it. I never practiced, I would make up excuses not to go, and never really understood what I was doing. Then, the video game guitar hero 3 came out and all my friends were playing it and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was so cool, so that game started to peak my interest into music. Then, I was at a local amusement park and I won a guitar by playing some wacky amusement park game, and I was so excited. The guitar was terrible by the way. It was incredibly hard to play and sounded awful but I loved it. Now that my dad saw me really interested in the guitar he decided to buy me a real one that was actually playable and I’ve been in love ever since.
2. When someone hears your music what do you want them to feel?
First, I definitely want someone to feel connected to me. Whatever I’m playing, I really want to make sure that it is coming from me and who I am and for others to feel that. After that it’s just about the song. Not every song is the same and I have a lot to express, so to say that I want everyone to feel happy isn’t totally accurate. I want them to feel the message of the song in that moment.
3. Who was that person(s) that believed in you the most?
Me and my parents moved to San Diego shortly after I started playing and they got me this teacher named Steve Langdon. Best teacher I could have had for that moment. He taught first about music and expression and to make sure that I was playing with a lot of emotion and enthusiasm. That was the right lesson for me to hear at the time and I’ve built all the music around his concepts ever since then. To make sure that the music was always filled with passion.
4. What was the greatest struggle you had to overcome?
Later, me and my parents moved to Tampa at the start of high school and I started playing at a mega church called Bell Shoals Baptist Church at the age of 14. I thought I was so cool playing in front of thousands of people at such a young age and I certainly let it go to my head. Maybe about a year after I started playing they hired another guitarist to fill in on some stuff around christmas and that really got to me cause they basically told me I wasn’t good enough to play this complicated stuff. Anyway that story is just a small example of the overarching struggle of having to overcome the competition of guitar players. And what I mean by that is not to beat everybody else but to just come to terms with the fact that other guys are good too. That doesn’t make me less good. It should inspire me though, not scare me or make me want to give up. Just to be honest, here at Berklee that’s probably a huge struggle for a lot of people. Or even on Instagram where I’ve gain some recognition lately, there are tons of guys on there just playing beautifully, However, that ought to inspire guitar players, not make them scared or something.
5. What advice would you give an up and coming musician?
Be yourself! Everybody is gonna try to tell you how to play, how to write, and how to get gigs but at the end of the day it’ll be you doing all of that and not them. I absolutely believe that we should thirst for knowledge and always try to get better but you have to decide what to do with the knowledge once you learn it. It’ll always be you calling the shots for yourself so get comfortable with that idea. Sure you are gonna make mistakes playing but that’s ok. Just be yourself. Keep loving what you are doing and make sure that playing is always a blast. After that it doesn’t really matter what happens.
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