October 20, 2018, 9:00 pm at Aisle 5, 1123 Euclid Ave, Atlanta, GA
I was born in Southern California to a South African father and a mother from New York in the very last year of the millennium. Raised on The Carpenters, Green Day, and 80s New Wave, I always looked forward to rides in my mom's car where she played her " mixtapes", whether it was on a compilation CD or an ancient iPod. Inspiration struck when my six-year-old self first heard the haunting piano melody in "My Immortal" by Evanescence. I distinctly remember a five hour plane ride that consisted of that one song blasting repeatedly into my ears. So I begged my parents for piano lessons, and after they finally relented, they were then begging me to not practice at five in the morning every day. I did it anyway, and my love for piano just grew stronger.
Life changed when my family bought the game Rockband for Xbox. After mastering the drums to "Dani California" on Expert Mode, I thought I was ready to rock (thank you, Chad Smith). It took a lot more to convince my parents I needed drum lessons, but I managed to wear them down with my obsessive talk and relentless requests. Luckily, at that time we were living on a 2-acre former chicken farm in the middle of nowhere, so the decibel change from piano to drums was irrelevant.
A few months after finding my way around an actual drum kit, my parents realized that I was serious about drumming, so they supported my cause and enrolled me in School of Rock, where I learned how to play and perform with other young musicians. Being one of the youngest only pushed me harder to keep up with the older kids. From Mitch Mitchell's jazz-rock waltz on Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" to the syncopated groove of Richard Bailey on Jeff Beck's "Blow by Blow" to the funky feel of Tower of Power's David Garibaldi, I wanted to learn it all.
During my high school years, I started reading charts in band, and jazz became another component of my musicality. At the same time, I began writing both on piano and guitar, spending hours before, after, and even during school to fulfill my creative desires. Because of my dedication to music and growing following on social media, I graduated early to commit fully to music and the creation of my first album. The decision to perform all of the instrumental and vocal tracks on the recordings stemmed from my desire to learn more about recording and to push myself beyond my own limits.
People ask me "What genre is your music?" With songs in 5/4 and 7/4, chords that you'd normally find in The Real Book next to "Take Five," and influences like Radiohead, The Police, and Steely Dan, I'm really not sure what box I fit into- I'll leave that up to you.