Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a musician and songwriter from Toronto, Canada. I travel quite a bit and the change of scenery frequently influences my writing. I’m currently living in Seoul, South Korea.
How did you get your start in music?
I come from a West-Indian family and we constantly had music playing around the house—everything from Soca, Bob Marley, to MJ, Bread, and The Beatles. So it’s always been an important part of my life. I remember my dad playing guitar and singing every moment he could. He wasn’t very good, but he had a passion that was contagious and it always lit up the room. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been trying to capture the same thing. I started playing guitar to capture the feelings I grew up with and all I’ve ever wanted was to make the people in a room feel that kinda joy.
In 2011, you were diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and you suffered a relapse that left you without mobility in your hands or feet. How difficult was it to keep positive and learn to play guitar all over again once you started to regain your physical functions?
I can’t say that I was positive at first. After having a relapse, I really didn’t know what to expect or how much mobility I would regain. I took it day-by-day and was grateful for each new movement, feeling or sensation I had. Rather than being positive, what got me through it was gratitude. I was grateful for every little thing I could do. I was grateful that I could somewhat strum the guitar, then I was grateful for plucking a few strings. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but it made me realize how much music means to me.
How would you describe your musical style?
I would describe my musical style as breathy, smooth vocals with an inescapable popish sound.
What have you learned since your EP, “The Equinox” in 2017?
Since “The Equinox” in 2017, I’ve loosened my grip on what I know and what I’m used to musically. Before that EP, I stuck strictly to writing acoustic material. I was tethered to my acoustic guitar. I noticed that I formed patterns in writing. It was difficult to find new ways to sing and compose chord progressions. So, against all fears, I started writing by humming whatever melodies popped in my head. This process felt strange at first, but through it, I’ve learned to trust in myself and my writing capabilities more.
What prompted you to go from a more acoustic approach with that EP to your electric Hagstrom guitar now?
I started listening to a lot of rhythm and soul songs. There’s one song in particular that inspired me to pick up the electric guitar: “People Get Ready – The Impressions”. I had a little taste of using the electric again for the song “Faded” from “The Equinox” and the desire to keep with it grew from there. Once I did, I started creating some interesting chord progressions and just had fun with it.
What can you tell us about your latest single, “Friends With Benefits”?
I can tell you that “Friends With Benefits” is such a milestone for me. It prompted me to challenge myself much more than I had before. It was the first released song that I wrote without a guitar in hand. I began the song by humming the chorus. From there, I built the song around that piece. Lyrically, the song speaks to how I’ve been feeling about relationships. We always want more out of intimate relationships than just being friends, but it’s becoming harder to connect on that level.
You have another single coming out this summer called, “Silence”. What can audiences expect from that single?
Audiences can expect an upbeat, smooth pop tune with R&B undertones. “Silence” is about differences in a relationship and how those differences can shape who you are for better or worse. It’s a tug of war and I think it’s a challenge we can all relate to—how do you maintain a sense of yourself with another person?
What’s next for your career? Do you have any plans to tour?
In August, I’m releasing the music video for “Silence” which I’m very excited about! Also, I’m releasing “The Solstice EP” in September. I’ve got some other exciting things coming up in January. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
What’s your life like outside of music?
My family is my center. We’re very close so I miss them a lot. But right now I’m traveling as much as I can. I love to experience lifestyles and cultures that are different from my own. I think it brings us closer to learning who we are and connects us to others more than we realize. I just got back from Japan and I’m hoping to go to Bali soon.
Otherwise, I’m staying active and working harder than ever and I’m really enjoying the process, so thanks for having me and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride!