I grew up on a small island in the middle of the Pacific, the sunrise chain of coral outcroppings seven degrees above the equator known as the Republic of the Marshall Islands. From ages four to seventeen years old my physical world was a total of six miles around, and yet within those coral outcroppings the limitlessness of the ocean and her cradles of sand felt as expansive as the Pacific’s own milky way.
My home was moon-shaped Kwajalein, where tropical storms would flood the streets at high tide and where the stars were as bright as radioactive dreams. My parents were always listening to music and they threw incredible parties, which always involved dancing by the night’s end. My musical influences growing up included Brazilian mix-tapes jazz and folk records, reggae, R&B and hip-hop. These feelings of freedom and community shape my music; a universal expansion that continues to grow and share good vibes.
Surrounded by ocean and isolated from a lot of TV, advertising and high-end civilization, I was able to develop a strong relationship with nature which gave me a confidence and toughness in my body, and an unconscious irreverence for the socially constructed tiers of materialism. Growing up we had no cars, one grocery store, one store to buy clothes, one local hardware shop and three TV channels which very much affected my world view and songwriting. Lyrically I constantly reflect upon how materialism is affecting today’s youth as well as the fight to stay motivated in an age of so much information. There is a constant battle between authentic value and the world of appearances.
From the time I was a preteen, I suppressed that feeling in my gut that is was my true and authentic voice. I felt like I had to hide myself, to be sweet, appealing and unthreatening in social situations. But the trumpet was always the place I could be raw, unapologetic and wildly free.
My roots are the islands, and the trumpet is my method of storytelling, a modern conch shell weaving melodies and sharing the idea that music is a way of connecting and celebrating the joy and pain of existence.