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In February of this year, I packed a bag and set out on a journey to find myself in the desert. After 5 years in New York, I moved down to Nashville hoping to record the new Brent Shuttleworth record, ‘Fire and the Flood.’ I had been playing in New York for a little while and always felt like there was something missing. I didn’t feel like myself or like I was giving people the full range of my life experience or who I am as a person. I thought the only truth I could tell was in the darkness. I was depressed and confused. I needed to find something different and fresh. I felt stagnated and stuck in my life and in my music. I had been doing a lot of co-writing for the past few months and thought I had a solid start on the first few tunes we would record. The romantic ideas of Nashville began to fade after I moved to TN. I felt out of place and considered leaving the dream of being an artist.
My best friend Carlos, came to visit me on my birthday in Nashville this year. I had just moved down there and was jumped by six guys when I was walking out of a club the night of my birthday celebration. I wound up falling from the sidewalk and splitting my head open on the concrete and when Carlos turned around to see what had happened, I was laying in the street as the guys who jumped me ran off. I was bleeding so badly from my head that people thought I had been shot and pulled over their cars to help out. I was unconscious for most of the time and was unable to communicate with any of the EMT’s or doctors. A scary place to be, to say the least. I had been asking where I was and what had happened over and over again for around 5 hours. I remember seeing Carlos’ face for the first time. I will never forget it. It all became so simple. Life is too short. I felt like I had been staring at my feet for my entire life. I wanted every ounce of my being to celebrate this life. Celebrate everything. The good, the bad, the perfect, the imperfect, all of it. On my birthday, I had been reborn in every way possible. I woke up to a new world. All of the heaviness lifted as I was welcomed back by Carlos. Carlos is my best friend, but also the one artist who challenges me to love, appreciate, honor and celebrate the wonder of the simple things in my life. I wanted to let go of all my insecurities, fear of failure, need for validation, everything. This was my Johnny Cash moment. If I had only one song to sing to the world, it wouldn’t be another indulgent song about love lost. I want to sing about the things that make me feel happy to be alive. And thus, the starchild, Mojo B, was born.
I had been making trips down to Nashville the year prior to write with another one of my best friends, Mike Shimshack. Mike is the silver lining of my life. He is full of life, love and positive energy. He never settles for anything ordinary. He is fearless and the most talented songwriter and producer I have ever heard. Two weeks after the incident, Mike invited me over to work on some new music. We opened the windows to his studio and wrote, ‘Gimme Some Sugar.’ We put everything in the track that made us laugh and feel good. This was the most defining moment in my entire life. It sounded like nothing I had ever heard before. Over the next nine months, we have worked tirelessly on songs and a sound that lacks all inhibition. It is a testament. A reason to believe. A reason to wake up in the morning, look someone in the eye, say something kind and mean it. A reason to be a better person. I will forever be indebted to Mike. He is a beacon of talent, perseverance and generosity.