My EP, When Pigs Fly, is the first body of music I’ve ever released. I purchased my first guitar little over a year and a half ago and only began writing songs after a year of learning to play guitar. However, when I found out how enjoyable it was to write songs, I knew that I was onto something.
Much of my childhood is hazy in my memory because of its ever-shifting nature. The one thing that I can still recall with rather unhindered detail is finding my voice as an artist even when life itself was uncertain.
When my parents split, it was messy. The house foreclosed, my mom and I moved in with my grandparents four hours north, and my two older sisters stayed in Cincinnati with my dad. As my mom struggled to find a job and a sense of new permanence in Akron, my aunts and grandparents stepped up and helped with caretaking duties. I was eight or nine years old.
Almost anything can be a metaphor for songwriting. Prying open a jar of pickles? Yes. Playing Russian Roulette? Sure. Tending to a plant. Why not? If writing songs is inseparable from life itself, then it must fall somewhere between meditating and giving birth, at the equator of zen and utter pain; the middle path between the sacred and mundane.
In the first grade, I carried history books around like spell books. There was this magic about language that I felt compelled to keep close, like it had secret powers that I didn’t have access to yet. Clinging to an impressive-looking pile of books every day at school was also how I prevented my classmates from realizing I couldn’t read.
It is not uncommon for artists to create bodies of work surrounding one incident, such as a breakup; Adele’s 21, and Joni Mitchell’s Blue come to mind as examples of this very thing. Myself, I went through a heartbreaking experience over four years ago which created the agony I needed to inspire myself to pick up a guitar and begin writing in a big way. I believe that that pain was the push I needed to put me where I am today. I released my debut album two months ago.
For a one-man band like myself, it could easily be perceived that collaboration is not of interest to me. When you produce and record your own material, the singularity of that can become very comfortable and sometimes it’s easy to forget that working with collaborators can give you new perspectives and angles on your own music. While I’ve only worked with a handful over the years, each has made their fitsindelible mark on my music, and for this I am forever grateful. Here I will give a short overview of each of my four primary collaborators and their contributions.