What is your display name?
Where do you come from? (Provide a bit of your background, have you moved, etc.)
I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan. My family moved to the Bay Area just south of San Francisco when I was 4. I grew up there, then moved to Los Angeles when I was 18. I commuted a bit between San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles for a few years, but eventually settled in Los Angeles. I have been for about 20 years now.
Can you tell us about your background and what led you to become an artist and eventually experiment with NFTs?
It’s a long story, but here’s a quick summary….
I started drawing at age 3 and playing guitar at age 5. Although I loved to draw, around the age of 10, the idea of being a rock guitarist took precedence over my love for the visual arts. I moved to LA at 18 and played lead guitar in a few bands and had moderate success at first. I also became very interested in music production, which took me in a slightly different direction.
By the time I was 25, I had produced major label albums, but unfortunately I also started going down a dark road with drugs and alcohol around the same time. For a few years I really struggled and to say it was bad is an understatement. I finally got sober a few years later and I’m still gratefully sober, I’m still sober to this day.
I wasn’t sure where life would take me after that, but I kind of let myself go into making music for high-end commercials, which took off for me. I had a pretty good run with it for about 10 years and was involved in several feature films as well. During this time, I also started licensing my music for many movies and TV shows. Things were going pretty well, but somewhere along the line I lost my connection to who I was as an artist. A lot of what I was doing was for someone else, it was much more service-based and what I really wanted to do creatively.
Around 2017, when I was just beginning to acquire my skills with orchestral composition for feature films and trailers, I suddenly had a catastrophic hearing problem. Long story short, I thought it was ‘game over’ for me with the music. After a few months of treatment, I decided that life should go on and moved into visual arts as my main creative focus for the foreseeable future. During this period, I developed my own style by experimenting with painting, digital art and more recently movement and graphic design.
Luckily my hearing recovered after a few years and then I found myself with these two sides of me developing as an artist. I discovered NFTs at the Clubhouse in early 2021 and was immediately captivated. I wanted to learn everything I could and feel that we were just at the very beginning!
When did you hit your first NFT? Which platform did you choose and why?
The first NFT I created was on OpenSea in April 2021. I think OpenSea is a good place to start. It’s all been kind of an ongoing experience for me and the different platforms all seem to have strengths and weaknesses. The two platforms I’m not on yet that I would like the opportunity to have my work on are Nifty Gateway and SuperRare.
How did you hear about The Crypt Gallery?
I heard about the Crypt Gallery at the Dream Hotel in Los Angeles earlier this year. I don’t remember how, but it was probably on Twitter or through a friend. I was planning on going to a party you were having there, but got the date wrong and went the next day by mistake. Vasia was still there and happened to be working in the lobby. I noticed she had stickers on her laptop related to NFTs. I asked her if she knew the Crypt Gallery and that’s how we met!
Why do you think FIR is so important in space?
When Clubhouse started during covid, all we had was a virtual connection. The friendships I’ve made are some of the most satisfying I’ve ever had in my life and over the past year watching this come to life in real life with talks and galleries popping up more and more confirms that NFTs are here to stay. We get together and since artists and collectors can also meet in person, it also strengthens these relationships. Even though everything behind NFTs exists in the digital realm, we are human and nothing can replace the IRL experience.
Can you tell us one thing you can’t live without? (and why)
I would say the one thing I can’t live without is music but I did that for a few years when my hearing went away so I guess I can live without it but man that’s the thing that life is worth living for me… and art is the same.
What is your favorite artist(s) (Non NFT)? What about their style that resonates with you
Olafur Eliasson. It may sound strange, but his installations have always inspired me. Especially with my music. I think I’m destined to pursue some kind of way to present my music and art in a similar way IRL. Having the resources to pursue this is my dream.
Who is your favorite NFT artist? What makes this artist unique?
I have so many but, if I had to choose one, it would be ThankyouX. I would love to put music to his tracks and I think the combination of our work together would be really epic. I also like Parin Heidari’s work with Christian Burns.
What prompted you to get into NFT art?
I’ve created a lot of work over the past 10-15 years, but haven’t published a lot. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that, especially when it comes to music, I absolutely hated the paradigm we had found ourselves in. I didn’t even really want to be a part of it, so I basically just worked my craft for years for myself. I became obsessed with perfecting every aspect of my work, from the visual side to the musical side, including production, engineering, mixing and mastering. NFTs renewed my interest in getting my work out there. I started last year with my visual illustrations and will move more into music and the combination of the two later this year.
What’s the NFT you wish you’d bought but missed out on
Bored monkeys. I sat there and watched them the night they fell. I didn’t understand…lol. never mind!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why this location?
Greece. My family has a spot on Loutraki beach and I haven’t been there for many years. I would like to go there next year 🙂
What are your other passions besides art? Why?
hmmm… well, I try to take care of myself, so working out and eating well is a major interest for me. I’m also fascinated by quantum physics and like to listen to Lex Fridmen’s podcasts when I have time!
Do you do other art forms?
I make music and visual art… under these two headings are as many sub-categories of art. Music production and engineering are also art forms. I am also drawn to very technical things. I think I like to engage both hemispheres of the brain.
Are you self-taught or trained?
I’m self-taught, but I’ve learned a lot from some amazing mentors along the way with art and music.
How did you find your specific style?
Short answer: by process of elimination and failure. Trying things out and deciding what I don’t like or what isn’t working has led me to really find and stick with the things that resonate with me.
I think with music and art, I like rough edges and look for beauty in accidents and synchronicity.
How has your style evolved over the years?
The music and my art evolved differently and I think the visual side was a bit off. I think he’s now catching up and they’re becoming more defined and unified. I really want my work to be instantly recognizable and at various times over the last few years I think I’ve sometimes experimented wrong.
What’s coming in the near future?
In the near future I will be involving my music more with my own NFTs and as collaborations.
I have an ongoing partnership and collaboration with my friend Chris Cuffaro. We will be releasing many more pieces in the coming months: https://cuffarohits.com/
Also, I have a collaboration already finished with Freddy Morales: https://www.instagram.com/lufreddy77/
and I’m also working on collaborations with Parin: https://www.instagram.com/parindesigns/
I would love to do some larger gallery shows and nights later this fall, possibly with Cuffaro and his photographs.
If you could collaborate with an artist, who would it be? (and why)
If I had to choose one, it would be MerciX. I would love to put music to his tracks and I think the combination of our work together would be really epic.
What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
I had many. Rough seas make great sailors. Without them, I wouldn’t be as tough as I am. I think my biggest failure was probably my drug addiction many years ago. I had a pretty low bottom, but this experience gave me a unique ability and perspective to help others. I also learned that sometimes you just have to surrender and through that there is a power that is greater than me.
I’ve been creating in one form or another all my life and overcoming so many obstacles. I never knew where the motivation came from, but it was always there, regardless of the outside influence. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my life and money has never been the determining factor. I consider failure to be an extremely important part of creating art or starting any kind of business.
What is your biggest piece sold
Strangely, it was a derivative of Force 0N1.
How much did it sell
These coins sold for 3 ETH in August last year. My second biggest piece was Mohawk Red. I listed it on OpenSea as an edition of 10. I sold 8 at 0.6 ETH.H.
Do you have any drops coming?
Yes, this week and I’m so excited and grateful to be able to show my new work in the Crypt Gallery here in LA!
Link to website