SUPER EXCITED ABOUT GOING BACK TO EUROPE WITH MY BAND!!
My friends Hablot Brown which is a LA based trio comprised of Linus (Vocals), Austin (guitar) and John Brown (drums), remixed a track of mine called “Wish You Well.” Super clean production and hella smooth.
The past few months I’ve had the opportunity to play with the Marquis Hill Blacktet and Phony Ppl regularly. Let me tell you why they are the mf future!
The Blacktet sometimes rotates members but mainly consists of Marquis Hill on trumpet, Joel Ross aka “Young Genius” on vibes, Jeremiah Hunt on Bass, Jonathan Pinson on drums and either myself on Sax or Josh Johnson. Everyone in this group is insanely creative and Marquis being the great band leader he is allows for everyone’s voice to shine through to create this uniquely soulful, grounded and free form sound. Often Marquis will plays these extended Coltrane-Esque cadenzas that will connect the end of one song to the next or just be a stand alone solo trumpet feature. I love how you don’t know what’s coming next and anyone can step up and interject with an idea. It’s one of the only times I’ve experience a real musical democracy on stage.
Also this dude Joel Ross is an absolute genius on the vibraphone. He’s the youngest dude in the band but has a command over his instrument like no one I’ve ever seen. Joel is gonna take over the jazz world I’m sure of it and push music forward too.
Now I’m two weeks away from another tour with Marquis and the Blacktet and I literally can’t wait to get back out on the road. I learn so much from this band!!
I’ve also been playing with Phony Ppl the past year or so. I first guested on a track called
”Cookie Crumble” last year for their album Mosaic. Elijah Austin (guitarist) called me up and told me to pull up to the studio and he proceeded to teach me this guitar solo phrase by phrase. We recorded it in about 15 minutes and he put it on record. Ever since then, I would come sit in when they had shows at The Blue Note and jam with them.
Getting to watch this bands process in recording and songwriting has opened my eyes up to another way of creating music. Like the Blacktet this band allows everyones’ personalities to shine through and contribute on an equal level. It’s literally a band of brothers and friends that all go back to middle school or high school. I’m probably the only person that’s not from Brooklyn but I feel right at home when I play with these dudes. They all are individually incredible songwriters, producers and multi instrumentalists. It’s inspiring as hell to see all of them switch instruments and come up with parts for each other with literally NO EGO. That’s the best part. It’s literally all love and no hate with these dudes which is super refreshing.
Most recently we all performed at Steve McQueen’s Soundtrack of America at The Shed for a packed room of music fans. It was a magical night that celebrated the evolution of Black Music and it was very fitting that Phony Ppl ended the night. Their music covers Jazz, Soul, Blues, Hip Hop and Rock in a very honest way. Black music is in good hands and I’m so fortunate to be contributing to it…#futureisbright
All the artists I look up to, I’m finally starting to work with and it’s crazy.... Hanging backstage at Coachella with H.E.R and Daniel Caesar, Tyler the Creator, the Internet, Alina Baraz, Jorja Smith was amazing. I even got to hang with Gabriel Garzon Montano for a few east coast shows. Literally my Spotify playlist in real life. The best part is my world and brother Bryndon’s world (aka Starchild) are starting to cross and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
I'm gonna call it now. One day me and my brother will work together on music, film and/or T.V and its gonna be legendary. #goals
The recording process for me second time around is way different. A lot more pre- production. I made tracks in logic at my house and wrote to the songs. Then we went to the studio and recorded to the tracks. The next phase is arranging and figuring what parts I want acoustic and which parts I want samples. This is kinda the most crucial part in crafting the sound... I don’t subscribe to the idea that your album should sound exactly like your live show by any means however I still want the two to be related if that makes sense. So in this project im really trying to marry production and jazz in a natural way. With the help of my producer friends Drew Moore and Rocket Jackson we are really shaping a new sound... #millennialmusic
Since releasing Somewhere in Between last year I’ve been touring with my own band supporting the album. I’ve also been producing and writing way more music. I like to use January through March to write music when work is more slow. Since January I’ve been to Europe twice, hit the recording studio twice working on my next project and had multiple mixing sessions. I’m very excited to say that we’ve finally got some new amazing music coming out soon! I can sum up this next project in 3 phase. Each one has its own aesthetic. I may roll it out in 3 EPs or just jumble it up. The subject matter of the songs chronicles my development as an artist. I can’t wait to share it with the world!
I just got home from a month long tour with Tom Misch. For those that don’t know, he’s a multi-instrumentalist and singer from the U.K. He’s released a few beat tapes and EPs and just dropped his debut album Geography. It’s fire! So I was asked to join only a couple weeks before and I was ecstatic about it when I got the call! I quickly checked out the music and before I knew it I’m on the west coast ready to start the national run. As soon as I arrive to the Warfield in San Francisco I realized just how large of a production was! There was a tour bus with 12 bunks, a trailer with a full lighting rig, multiple sound engineers and 5 killin musicians from London. Definitely a culture shock to say the least. We got through soundcheck and I got acquainted with the music and the chemistry with the band was immediately there!! I knew this tour would be ridiculously fun. The next show was Coachella and that was amazing!! I saw some of my favorite of all time perform. Daniel Caesar, Jorja Smith, Jamiroquai, and Beyoncé were definitely highlights for me! Such a dope hang! After Coachella it was smooth sailing. We drove the tour bus from Cali to Vegas, Colorado, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York, Philly and DC!! Saw parts of North America I’ve never been to. We ended the tour with a Tiny Desk performance and a show in Dc! My parents even came through. Couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a fun ass tour! Such a blessing!
Special shoutout to Rudi Creswick on Bass, Joe Price on keys, Jamie Houghton on drums, Tobie Tripp on violin/guitar and of course Tom Misch on vocals/guitar!! Looking forward to the next one...