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Music is pretty crazy isn't it? The power it has to hold memories, take us places, inspire, and fill the world with meaning is ridiculous! It captured me when I was pretty young and since then I've been doomed. I grew up in Dallas, TX listening to my parents' favorite singer-songwriters and having my dad sing James Taylor songs to my sister and me with his guitar to put us to sleep. Then there was this one trip to Colorado where my 9 year old self found an eight-track tape (old right!) of John Denver "An Evening with John Denver" and for whatever reason that's what hooked me....and I sang those songs at the top of my lungs going down the ski slopes the rest of the trip.... A few awkward and asthmatic life phases later I got my own acoustic guitar and started writing early in high school.
I have a serious problem staying in one place for a long time....so California, New Zealand, India, and East Africa later, now I'm in Nashville where you're always supposed to have a 3rd party write these bios for you....but one of my many problems is that I have a thing for honesty, and honestly, all mine seemed pretty stiff and further from the truth.
What's my music about? Life. Story. Journey. That's what made my imagination soar when I first heard it, and I can't imagine making it about anything else. Music is the way that I process reality and my experience - the good, the bad, and the crazy. Whatever is in me eventually comes out in my songs....which can be a scary thing....
So my influences would include, well, everything - from the lifeguard tower just north of the Manhattan beach pier, to my grandparents old TX ranch; the inverted fountain at USC, a bungee chord in New Zealand, streaking through New Mexico with some of my life's best friends, my sergeant instructor's yell at OCS, my sister's wedding...and most of the reception, Pierce Pettis, rafting the Nile with David and Rob, the Bay St. Louis, Mississippi coastline, a wooden cross, an Australian camper van, a kid in Africa that had the biggest smile I've ever seen in my life, and the music that filled all of these experiences.
I do have a particular love, though, for kids in the developing world that have been taken advantage of and really deeply hurt. Whether they be child soldiers that have been forced to fight and kill when they're as young as 6 years old, or kids that were sold or kidnapped into slavery through human trafficking. I'm really looking for ways to use my music and the power of story to bring HOPE to kids like this all over the world. If you have any interest in that PLEASE get in touch with me and I would LOVE to talk about ways to change the world!!
Anyways, if you listen to my music or read any of this you've joined my story and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to do that! - Jay