What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I’ve told this story so many times. It was 1980 and I was eight years old. The first time I heard “Keep on Loving You” by Reo Speedwagon on the radio. I just loved the power chords, vocals and harmonies on that track. I begged my dad to take me to the record store and “Hi-Infidelity”, the album which the song is on, was the first album I ever purchased with my own money. I played it until it turned to dust. That was the A-Ha moment that I wanted to create music. I would study the linear notes & listen repeatedly. I was taking it all in & still am wrapped into it all to this day. My influences grew to many other artists past REO, but that was the moment.

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

I am an independent composer, arranger, lyricist, & songwriter born & raised in New Jersey. I’ve written songs for such artists as Natalie Jean, Dennis Sy, & Christina Gaudet to name a few. I released my first solo album, Life’s Little Accidents back in September of 2021.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?

The music business certainly is very difficult. Every field is difficult for that matter. Sometimes you do wonder why you ever picked that instrument. The lows can break you, yet the highs can heal those wounds. You have to keep at it & do it for the love of the craft. Everything else will take care of itself. I’m progressing along. I’ve evolved into creating music under my own name. I released my first solo record in 2021 & my second, yet untitled record will be coming out later this year.

How have your songwriting skills developed over time?

Lyrics used to be my strongest suit as a writer. Through the years I have had to work hard at writing melodies. The biggest obstacle was translating what I was hearing in my head & get it down in the musical form. That is something I’ve worked a very long time at.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

I wasn’t aware of this. It certainly isn’t the case in the United States. Music is universal. Music unites people of all genders, race, ethnicity. Listening to music at concerts should be safe for everyone. It’s a place to escape what’s going on in the world. We should do all we can to make sure everyone feels safe.

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

The beauty of social media companies like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram is that it allows you to reach a global audience in a matter of seconds. These tools allow your music to be heard by so many people. Just keep sharing your content. Keep creating & sharing your music. In the end though, it always starts & ends with the song. It’s always about the song.

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

What I love about Spotify is that it’s a wonderful platform for indie artists to distribute their work. On the same token, being a monopoly isn’t a good thing either because it becomes the end all be all. They do not pay enough in streaming rates & still favor the record labels. Spotify should be used as a tool for indie artists but not the only resource.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?

This question came out of the blue (laughs). I normally do not take too much stock in conspiracy theories. Only for the fact that it takes too many people to keep their mouths shut & as humans, we can’t do that. Keeping something a secret is almost impossible these days. That & the fact that everyone has a cellphone, & everyone knows everything about everyone, it’s almost impossible to not have something filmed.

Did you buy anything you didn’t need during the pandemic?

I did not. I usually don’t buy things I don’t need. I know it’s a boring answer, but it’s the truth.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.

I’m pretty much an open book when it comes to things in my life. One thing that maybe some do not know is that I nearly died in 2017 from Stage 4 colon cancer. I experienced a near-death experience (NED) while being operated on. It took me a while to come to grips with what I experienced. I also suffer from epilepsy. It is under control. It doesn’t define me though. It was all part of my story. I’m healthy again & that is what is most important. I’m in a good place.

What makes you stand out as an artist?

I think what makes me stand out is that I write about experiences that are relatable to everyone. My work is very heartfelt & it shows. After you listen to my work, you come away with the feeling that you have listened to a good song. That it helped you feel good & is relatable to whatever you are going through. You know you’re not alone.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

I’m working on a new album. There are seven songs completed. I’m thinking the album will have about 10 songs. I’m not sure yet. It’s going to have a few stripped-down versions of the songs as well as a few instrumentals. It’s something I have never attempted before. I’m really excited about it. The first single, Rewind, featuring Maris Frantz on vocals & Matthew Shell, will be available on January 10, 2023. The song reflects on how many people struggle with the struggles in today’s world & how they long for a time in their lives when all seemed fine. There was no stress or struggle. Those moments from the past help comfort them today. It’s a toughing song that hopefully brings the audience some comfort.

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

The difference between this album & the last one is that I wrote most of the music first before I had any concrete lyrics. This usually doesn’t happen to me. I almost always have the lyrics first. I wrote all these songs on the piano & they are very piano melody driven. It’s a very chill, relaxing-sounding set of songs. An ode to the 70’s style Pop/Rock sound with a modern feel. It’s an era that I loved & it reflects in this collection. Once the basic outline for the songs was completed, I sent it off to Marisa Frantz for her vocals. She is a wonderful artist, who I’ve worked with before. She will be singing on every song on the new album. I’m very proud of every song & everyone who worked on Life’s Little Accidents, but unlike the last record, I wanted a more consistent sound. My sound. Having one vocalist provides that. She also fits so well with my songs. It was almost a no-brainer.

What was the recording process like?

As with my last record, everyone working on this new collection is in different parts of the world. I’m just outside NYC. Marisa is in Oregon, & the musicians are all over the globe. We all record or parts in our home studios & then they are pieced together. It’s the beauty of technology & it saves on money. I write the songs (piano, lyrics) in my studio. I then send it over to Marisa for her vocal parts & then we arrange for the other musicians to do what they do. We come together on Zoom calls to go over everything & then come up with a final product.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Lyrics were difficult for me this time around. And yet the melodies came easier. Learning to write fresh lyrics was a challenge. I’ve learned that there truly are no rules when it comes to writing songs. Just go with it. Let the story you want to tell come to you. Be patient because it will.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

No. I’m very proud of the songs. I hope people will enjoy them.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Thank you for supporting indie artists. I wish you & your readers all the best & I hope you enjoy my work. Keep supporting the arts!