What is your role with DIME & DIME ONLINE?
I am a songwriting instructor at DIME and on DIME ONLINE.
Who were some of your influences as you progressed as a musician?
I was highly influenced by the great songwriters of the late 60’s and early 70’s. It was a very charged moment in this countries history and the music of the time worked in tandem with the movement of youth. Folks like – Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Nina Simone, and Marvin Gaye, were voices of this generation and were creating music that questioned and drove the counterculture of the time. I tend to write songs that work to dig into our comfort zones and pick at our minds.
How did you establish yourself in music education?
I began giving private guitar, piano, and songwriting lesson about 15 years ago. As I continued, my practice grew and eventually I was asked to bring my skills into Detroit Public Schools. Over the years I have developed musical lesson plans for students from Pre-k to College level.
What was the first record you ever bought?
U2’s Joshua Tree
Best experience in music?
I have had so many great moments, but if I had to pick one, it would be the first time I recorded in a legit studio. I was recording my first national album and I remember the moment I stepped into the vocal booth. I was blow away. I could hear myself so well, it almost scared me how clear I sounded. I can still see myself sitting at the board listening to the producer mix.
What gear and equipment are you using (or any studio tips or favourite gear)?
I play a few different acoustic guitars. I really love my Seagull, it has a beautiful round sound, I like when the strings are old and muted. I stay away from bright sounding strings.
What projects / bands are you involved with at the moment?
I am currently performing with an amazing trio. Each of us are solo singer-songwriters and have come together to support each other’s songs. There are tons of harmonies! We are called Kubat, Finlay, and Rose.
What’s your top tip for being a professional musician in the modern age?
Be early, be prepared, be kind!
Any last words?
Songwriting isn’t an exact science, the search for one’s own true voice can be life long, and can be the source of the greatest songs.