Just some subtraction for funsies? Nah. Taking a math test? Nope. Confused? Me too. Let me break it down for you. 2017 = right now. 1987 = the year I was born. What's that mean? I. Just. Turned. 30. That's right, 3 decades here on planet Earth. Unbelievable. Time really does fly.
It's been an amazing 30 years if I do say so myself. I wouldn't trade my childhood for anything. It was when my love for music was born. I still remember listening to oldies radio in car rides, digging through my dad's cassette tapes of 50's doo-wop music, and singing in church. Looking back I can see how those early years really set the stage for the role that music would play in my life.
My first "double digit" decade saw this role solidify even more. Starting with band (I rocked the alto followed by the bari saxophone) and choir in middle school, I found a love of performing. This continued through high school as I was involved in pretty much every musical extra-curricular I could be. And I loved every second of it. I was bitten by the bug of performance.
People tend to really find themselves in their 20's. This decade was no different for me. It's such a weird time of life. You're kind of stuck between being a kid and being an adult. The major hang up is you're waaaay more of a kid than you'd like to admit and you don't realize it until you're older! It's such a strange time that I'm actually going to split this decade into 2 parts: 20-25 and 25-29.
My college years were a continuation of performing. I was heavily involved in my dorm and used my passion for music to create for that community (you can watch my latest music video filled with college Easter eggs here!). I really started writing during these years. I also performed in many talent shows and found I was a pretty decent dancer. It was something I became known for on campus. My love for hip-hop, music and dance, really solidified during this time. In the last year of my time in college I joined a DJ crew and started throwing parties. This opened up a whole new avenue of music and performing to me that slingshot me through the rest of my 20's. The first couple years after college I started a DJ company, got a business partner, and did every kind of event from bars to middle schools to fairs to weddings and everything in between. In those years, S&E Entertainment and Stovetop Productions grew to be one of the best known DJ companies in NW Iowa. And we're continuing to grow now. Musically I wrote, recorded, and released 3 mixtapes and many singles in 3-4 years. I even had a song played on our local radio station (shoutout to KIWA, hear the song here!) I booked shows and worked on performing my original music for the first time. It was a struggle because making music was slowly becoming my dream and I shied away from it often due to fear and other excuses. Some legitimate, like working full time. Some not so much, like video games, social life, and mindless tv... :) It was an exciting and frustrating few years all at the same time.
The reason I'm starting the second part of this decade at 25 is because that is the year I got married. Life definitely changed for me. In the best ways. My whole life changed and I could no longer just worry about myself. Music still remained a love of mine but now it was no longer THE love of my life. The back and forth of working on music intensified. My life experience was changing, my outlook was changing, my point of view was changing. This, combined with my day job, becoming a husband and then a father, changed how I saw the world and the music I wanted to create. It led me to a place of really just wanting God to use my passions in any way possible. I began wanting to write about things that mattered. What that means, I'm still not sure. I just know there's more to the music I want to make than just lookin fly and partying. I still like to look good and have a good time, don't get me wrong. But at the end of the day those things can leave you empty. I want to point people to the thing that won't leave you empty, Jesus.
So what now? I wish I knew. What I DO know is that I'm excited for my 4th decade (WHAT?!?!?) on this Earth. I'm 4 years into marriage, 2 years into parenthood (with baby #2 on the way), and 30 years into music being an intricate part of my life. I'm stoked to continue this journey. Thanks for joining me. We're just getting started!
PS - as a way to celebrate my bday, I wanted to give YOU something! For a limited time you can download my three most popular songs on Spotify for free on SoundCloud. Click the link here and on each track select "More" to download. You can also still buy them on iTunes and add them to your music on Spotify. That would be the best birthday present ;) Enjoy!