When I was a child, I never dreamed I could play an instrument. I was born without most fingers on my hands and most toes on my left foot. But nowadays, I perform my own music live, singing and playing a keyboard.
I just did an interview with American Pride magazine. The headline for the article was “Working around your hurdles”. And that may as well be the headline for my life.
At a very early age I was told I had a very good singing voice but I was too shy to sing in front of people. I knew I looked different and it made me self-conscious.
As an adult, I’d sit and watch people perform karaoke. One day I got up the courage to jump onstage. The feedback I got convinced me that music was worth pursuing.
After taking some time to develop my music skills, I collaborated on a six-song demo. That demo helped me win a contest that had me perform in New York. After that, I decided Nashville was a good place to find my direction.
In Nashville, I started writing songs and performing as half of the duo Partners Rhyme. We recording an album’s worth of music and I was hooked on the experience. Ultimately, I found myself wanting to take responsibility for creating even more of the music, including instrumentation. But this was going to be a big challenge, given my disabilities.
I taught myself to play chords on a keyboard, sometimes having to use both hands to play one chord. I learned to write songs on my own and developed my own style. that reflects the sound and music that I grew up with. It took years to be able to play along with my original songs using my keyboard and backing tracks. But I did it.
A surgery related to my left foot brought me back to Vancouver, where I continued writing songs and performing. There I recorded the album Possibilities. I was able to have a big influence on every part of the recording, from vocals, harmonies, keyboards, harmonica, arrangements, mixing, editing, and producing. I have also written my next full-length album, and am making preparations to enter the studio again.
I played The Cultch Theatre last week. Just doing a sound check.
I've spent the last year on arrangement and studio work creating and learning my sound. I was never very good at doing harmonies now it's part of my sound. Sometimes it take determination and hard work for good results. Who knew?
Hi Howard, Let me start off by saying that there really isn't anything to critique with your song! I think that you are on point with everything, The production and mix are good, the music is the right level, the vocals are not being overshadowed by the harmonies or the music. It is an upbeat catch song that makes you want to dance in your seat. great job!