What drives you in life?
This question made me reevaluate what I thought drove me. My reflexive response for the last ten years has been to say making art or music, but in recent years that flame had slowly been flickering out, much like a candle dripping into a puddle of itself. So what drives me then, if music for the sake of music is no longer enough? What I knew, but had forgotten was that experience and emotion is what drives music. Without life experience to draw on for inspiration, music comes out flat, matte, and uninspired. It’s falling in and out of love, meeting new people, seeing new little corners of the world that drive the soul to sing. New experience is what awakes the artist buried beneath the nine to five grind that most of us have to endure.
What’s your biggest fear?
To answer this, I need to tell a little story. When I was in Puerto Rico I met a man who owned a little hostel I was staying at. It was on a small island called Vieques, even more remote than Puerto Rico itself. While throwing back a few drinks I learned that he used to work in New York for a big TV network and his wife had been doing the same. They had won awards in their own fields and were doing well, but they both had the epiphany that the life they were living was turning into something that they didn’t want forever. They quit their jobs, took their savings and bought the little hostel. I asked him what caused him to give up a successful career and uproot his life , and he looked at me with the most dry direct sure response said, “Death.”
I was a little taken aback. I said that seems somewhat pessimistic, shouldn’t he have had a more positive drive to push him through life? He elaborated more, but what it came down to was the fact that we will all die, whether you believe in heaven or reincarnation, all we have is now, these moments that lay before us. I’ve heard it said in many different ways, but being present in the moment is everything. It is how we enjoy life and appreciate it in the purest sense. My biggest fear is not death; my biggest fear is not being present and appreciating the moments in front of me.
Who or what do you live for?
This is an interesting question. I think most people live for themselves. I know that at the very least, I partially live for myself, but life is a shared experience. I think the perfect explanation is shown through music. The reason I make music is partly for myself, as it is a reflection of my soul and my identity, but the purpose of music is to connect with others. Music, after all, is the universal language; it is our ability to feel connected with others without complex language. So I live for myself, in the sense that I want to take care of myself, but I live for shared experience with others, because that is what connects me to the world.
What's the biggest lesson you learned?
For me, the biggest lesson is one that I am still learning. It is to shed expectations others have of me and live how I truly want to. This is mostly derived from my relationship with my parents. I was very fortunate to have parents and family who are supportive and loving. My gratitude towards my parents translates into the feeling that I owe them everything that I have and am. I know they don’t expect this of me and it’s not a realistic way to live my life or grow into who I want to be. Like many people in my generation that sense of individuality and self comes from the ability to support myself financially and emotionally. As I’ve moved through my twenties that sense of self has solidified more and more, but there will always be a sense of gratitude. That said, Catholic guilt is a real thing.
Why do you travel?
I travel for the aforementioned life experience. It is fuel for my soul and art. My long term goals are to work for myself and generate a schedule which allows me to create art and travel periodically. We live in a world full of beautiful souls and places and I would like to see and meet as many of them as possible. If I’m lucky enough, I will get to bring my art along and share with the world.