How has 2018 been treating you so far?
It’s been great. Learning a lot about myself and been focusing on my career more than ever before. I’m excited to see where the year takes me.
What prompted you to get into music?
I’ve been playing instruments all my life, starting with violin and piano in school at 10. It took me until 16 to really enjoying it, but I always had a competitive streak in me, which kept me going. Around 14, I started to sing in plays and gospel choirs, which really planted the music bug in me. It was all uphill from there, adding different interests to my arsenal – production, recording, songwriting, the whole lot. I still play violin (and viola) to this day.
Was it clear that your interest in music was going to manifest itself in songwriting?
I’ve always been writing poetry since a young age, but I never expected or considered songwriting. It sort of happened naturally and out of necessity. I started writing during college in a band called Trackless. I wanted to bring something to the table, so I challenged myself to write in that context. Now I can’t see myself doing anything else!
Has R&B always been a passion for you?
Definitely, and maybe even subconsciously a passion. A lot of the jazz and gospel flavours are heard in R&B. I think many R&B singers get started in church choir because of those similarities, me included. As a violinist, my ear is very sensitive to chords and melodies, and I really loved the chord progressions that music. Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu. Loved that stuff.
When did you make the move to LA?
About two years ago. Me and a friend of mine drove across the country from Indiana. Such a great memory – I’ll never forget the feeling of not turning back.
How do you feel it’s affected your sound?
It’s really sharpened my sound and musicianship. As we know, some of the best talents are in a city like LA, and that reality puts a fire under you. When I first moved here I was inspired by the carefree attitude, fashion, and weather. But if you’re not careful it can eat you up and all of your cash. For me, it’s important to know myself and what I want so I don’t get sucked up in the matrix. A lot of my new music is about that.
Tell us a bit about how the new single came about.
I started it about a year ago. It was just an idea then, brushed to the side – as most songs start. It had a meditative vibe to it and I just started placeholder mumbles in falsetto. The words “Lonely Road” kept popping up – and it started to turn into a song about loneliness, but being okay with it.
How did it evolve in the studio?
I did the production at my little home studio. After brushing it to the side, it took me about 9 months to revive it. At that time it was just a simple Ableton loop, but I loved the vibe when I started it and I loved it 9 months later. That’s always a good sign, when you revive a song and it still gives you the same good feeling. I added synths and drums to give it modern feel but still wanted maintain the meditative soul vibe. It’s probably my favourite song so far because of that reason!
What can fans look forward to over the next few months?
The music video for Road is coming out later in April, so that’s pretty exciting. I’m also starting a cover series, called #Latebloomersessions, where I do live covers of my favourite songs using Ableton Push. It’s really fun! People have seemed to like it so far. I’m releasing new music in May and planning on a new song every month this year. I’ve also been writing with some really talented artists and am excited for their projects. So much stuff! 2018 is looking good.