I’m going to Stevie Wonder tonight. I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder. We all did—if you were born in the last 40 years, then you know who Stevie Wonder is. The first record of his that I listened to all the way through was Songs in the Key of Life, just because it was so deep. I could hear how deep it was, even as a kid. Back then, I used to listen to records by looking at their covers and be like, ‘This looks cool,’ and pick that one. Songs in the Key of Life, that’s one of the coolest album covers of all time.
I play keyboards, I sing, I play bass. I play all instruments, really, but keyboards are my thing. I never had lessons, so I don’t know what formal music is. I know people that know what formal music is, and it’s really difficult. I can’t read music, never been able to. There was a point where I felt like I wanted to, but I don’t think I really need to. It’s still something that I don’t think I could wrap my head around, even to this day. I’ve talked to professors about it. I could write a chart and say, ‘This is G major,’ and I know enough to know the difference between major and minor and I know my chords. But I don’t know what the flat seven is. I don’t know what the flat five is. I don’t know what any of that is. But if I hear it, I can play it. If I hear it one time, maybe two times, then I can play it.
I was four when I can first actually remember touching a piano. My grandmother had a piano, and when I pressed a note and it made a sound, the way it sounded—that did something to me. I’m 33 now, and I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.
I like playing with a band—I really can’t stand doing solo gigs. It’s too much pressure on me. There’s nobody to hide behind. I love playing in New Orleans, there’s nothing better than playing in New Orleans. I go out on the road for weeks at a time and play everywhere, and you’d think I’d be tired of playing by the time I got home. But if I come home and I got a gig, then I’m ready to play. I’m always ready to play. I’m always playing with my friends—it’s all my homies. It’s like, ‘Okay let’s get together and have some fun. Have a couple of drinks and have some fun.’
I’m not from here. I’m from D.C. I’ve lived here for a couple of years.
But I’m in. I’m having fun. This is definitely home—I’m not going anywhere.