What inspired you to start creating music?
I just wanted to get things I had experienced or observed or felt out of me and into the world. I believe songs are the best way for me to share. There’s an old saying about not dying with all your music still inside.
Did being raised in the greater St. Louis area have an influence on your music?
I’m not sure that it had any great influence, though there is a geographical reference in my song, “Not Too Bad for a Po’ Boy.” Also, in my song “Renaissance Man”, there’s a reference to Stan “The Man” Musial (great Cardinal Hall-of-Famer). I like the Blues, especially Muddy Waters, but overall, I think the influence was not substantial.
Why did you choose to direct and edit the music video for “Mother Tough”?
I did not trust anyone else to capture my vision. I guess I’m something of a control freak.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be bold and take more risks.
What inspired the visuals for the “Mother Tough” music video?
Considering that motherhood is universal, that is, regardless of race or ethnicity or religion or whatever, everyone’s got a mother, I wanted to depict the diversity of motherhood by showing a wide variety of women, women who looked different from one another but nevertheless were (or could be) mothers.
What is your favorite part about recording music?
Actually, it’s both the pre-recording and the post-recording phases. Pre-recording is of course the creative process of writing the song. Post-recording is when I perform the song live. The recording in the studio is the middle phase, which for me has a slight bit of excitement that rises only modestly above neutrality.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your time in the music industry?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my time in the music industry so far is the importance of staying true to myself and my unique artistic vision. As an emerging songwriter and performer, it’s incredibly easy to feel the pressure to please the gate-keepers or to conform to certain industry norms or fit into a specific genre. However, I firmly believe that my strength lies in my originality and eclecticism.
What is the most important thing that you want listeners to think about when they hear “Mother Tough”?
That being a good mother is a tough job. It’s generally harder for a single mom, but it’s a tough job for any mom, whether she has one kid or three or seven. Not that fathers have it easy; far from it. But in most families I think the mother takes the prize for most beleaguered.
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