We asked our Rising Star a few questions in advance, so you’d get to know him quickly and well before you go see him on Sunday June 3rd at the Temecula Balloon & Wine Festival.
Tell us how you got into music?
I was in a Christian band in college. When I joined, I knew next to nothing about music, but I had a guitar and loved to sing. I made some great friends and soaked up everything I possibly could. This was also when I first started writing songs.
What bands or artists influenced you?
I was raised almost exclusively on Jimmy Buffett and Disney. Jimmy taught me how to tell a complete story, to have fun with your lyrics, and to play around with your style. I love artists who aren’t confined to a genre. Billy Joel has 3 or 4 different singing voices and a bunch of different sounds. In college, it was Jason Mraz, and more recently Ed Sheeran. Justin Timberlake, of course.
I molded my voice after Brian from the Backstreet Boys. Disney molded me.
What was you first ever gig?
When I was little, I used to make song parodies (I was a big Weird Al fan). In 3rd grade, I entered the school talent show with “Home on the Driving Range” – a perfectly random golfing parody. The best part was, I was dressed like Payne Stewart, hat, socks and all, and lugged my Dad’s giant Titleist bag onto the stage. It was bigger than me.
What was your best ever gig?
In 5th grade when I made my triumphant return to the talent show. This time, I did a parody of “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas, about how much I hated school and wanted more recess time. The chorus went: “You’ve got the kind of recess that can be so cruel, yeah. Gimme recess, make it long, or else forget about it.” I think I may have peaked in elementary school… :D
What is best song you have ever written?
I’m guilty of always thinking my latest song is my best. There’s a song called “Forever Tonight” that I wrote last month for my sister’s wedding. It’s been a while since I’ve written a true love song, and I’m really proud of how it turned out. I’m heading to the studio this month to record it.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
I’d like to win a Grammy and tour the world.
What artist would you most like to collaborate with?
How would you describe your music?
It’s lyrically driven and heavy on the acoustic guitar, but not in a traditional way. I like quick, witty rhymes and fast lyrics, but also a nice chill, beach vibe. Think of it like Jack Johnson jamming on the beach, then all of a sudden Eminem shows up with his buddy Jason Mraz, and then Justin Timberlake comes along and makes it a party.