Where you grew up and where you live now.
I grew up in Beaumont, Texas, which is a nice working-class town not too far from the Louisiana border. We still go back to it here and there, and that’s where I still draw a lot of inspiration. I live in Brooklyn now with my wife Jacy and our two children.
Your first musical memory.
My earliest musical memories were of my dad playing/singing in church. We also had a lot of music at home, and we always sang, or listened to records, or played an instrument. We had the kind of family, aunts and uncles, etc., who gathered around the upright piano at my grandparents and sang.
Your first gig.
My first gig – or at least the first gig I chose to go to with friends – was for a band called The Nixons. I can’t remember how old I was, but it was around 1994 or 95…but they had this song called “Sister”, which was a big radio hit at the time! They were playing at the local fairgrounds one fall when the fair was coming to town. This is one of the first mosh pits I have ever seen.
Your favorite bands/musicians.
Sometimes I feel like I’m everywhere. Duck is forever my highest vibration. I keep coming back to so far gone, If you’re reading this, it’s too late, Nothing was the same on a weekly basis. I also have a pretty extensive vinyl collection of Bill Evanswho is my favorite jazz pianist of all time. On the street of green dolphins is such an amazing album! But generally I get a ton in my thoughts when I listen to music, so I devour artists who help with that. James Blake, Cole, Kendricketc… but then new vibes that I keep encountering like Haux, Bjear, Package, Toro Y Moi, Overlook and Luca Fogale. These and tons of others lead me to these places!
How do you get your music these days.
We have a very good Music & Talent team at Vevo who listen to new releases! They always suggest me new acts and let me know who I should listen to. I also find more artists with Shazam than ever at the cinema, at the store, etc. I always like to find up-and-coming artists and reach out to them—Strike is one of the newest I’ve contacted just to say “carry on” and then for day to day I use Spotify which is great for discovery.
Your favorite place to see a concert.
King’s Theater in Brooklyn was the best sounding room I had ever been in. I saw a few shows there, including Bon Iver, and couldn’t believe how great this venue sounded. Otherwise, I like the privacy of small rooms like Rockwood in New York which really brought the audience and the artist together in an intimate way.
Your favorite music video.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. I was exactly the right age when this video came out to understand what music could “sound like” – before I even knew what it fully meant. There was fashion, angst and emotion all rolled into one. Didn’t Kurt hate this video? I don’t remember, ah!
Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.
Scratched record with Rick Rubin. I love the conversation about craftsmanship, and no one does it better with more respect than Rick. I would kill to be in a room with him one day… can we get this to him to make this happen?!
A recent project you are proud of.
Ariana Grande official live performance for Vevo. Ariana’s vocal prowess, her dedication combined with the world we created was the best marriage! She was also personally a dream to work and collaborate with.