James Andrews, Troy and Glen David Andrews are first cousins with my mom so I grew up around music. Glen David gave me my first horn when I was six; my dad begged him to give me a horn. He kept asking and finally Glen gave me a cornet. James, Glen Andrews from Rebirth and Derek Tabb would take me on gigs, make me sit in pretty much…and this is when I was hardly playing. Dad bought books, got me lessons, anything to open my mind and show me it was possible to get better at something.
One of my first teachers was Mrs. Perkins at John Dibert School. I was accepted to the talented music program so Hurley Blanchard would come to the school to give lessons. I did that until Katrina hit.
I moved to Memphis for a school year, sixth grade and that’s when I started taking music seriously. We moved back home a year later and I started the Baby Boyz Brass Band with some of my other cousins in the Andrews family.
During Baby Boyz I was going to NOCCA and met a lot of people that play in my band now—Greg Molinario, Austin Clements and Tyler Clements (who are Cranston Clements’ sons). We started to play in class, get gigs around town and I started Lil’ Glen and Backatown. In high school I realized I’d rather do music with a guitar player, bass player and a drummer compared to actual brass band music. Not to say that I’m not influenced by it, but I realized I wanted to do a different thing.
Shortly after that I got the call from Rebirth. It was kind of hard to pass up and I been doing that the past five years. It’s been a great journey with Rebirth; I learned a lot from them, being on the road with them, playing gigs with them, paying attention to their business decisions, and their approach to the music business in general. There’s definitely a lot I’ve learned.
I wrote one song for Rebirth so far. We haven’t recorded it yet but we been playing it quite a bit live. With my band I write all the music so we play, like, 90 percent original music. We’ve been casually recording, so possibly a demo should be coming out soon. We just are having some fun figuring out vibes and music, ideas and stuff.
As far as the future, the music business is very tough, but I’m determined to do as much as I can. I would really love to just do more gigs and some day tour and make records with my band. The band members enjoy playing with each other, and we all just need to find the time and see what it takes to go to the next level. In the meantime, I’m seeing the world with Rebirth.