What is one motto you live by? Why do you resonate with it?
This is easy… I have two of them! Of course I do, lol. 1) You will never be great if you’re afraid to make a mistake and 2) Progress over perfection.
They resonate with me because a lot of times I would not start something because I’m concerned about how it’s going to turn out. However, anytime I just jumped right in? “I built the parachute on the way down” – Steve Harvey quote. If you’re not pushing the envelope, are you really challenging yourself? Everyone has to start somewhere hence progress over perfection. Perfection is almost a false ideal to me but as long as at the end of the day I’m making progress, I am getting better. I have to remind myself of this very often as it’s human nature to have doubts when you’re swimming upstream like, “What am I doing?” and “why do I think this is going to work?” then it’s back to mantra – Naj remember you will never be great if you’re afraid to make a mistake and progress over perfection so relax!!
Which skills have you gained that help you perform effectively as a musician?
Number one thing I have gained and honed is my stage presence. Performing in front of family from an early age and my sales background for work have given me an early start and then the tools to be genuine and get my point across. From door-to-door sales to Costco roadshows with Vitamix in a pitch to a crowd mindset. You have to develop rapport in 10 to 15 seconds so you can then deliver your message to get the sale. It’s been instrumental in my live performances. Also picking up a guitar has helped immensely in the songwriting process, as I dabble in multiple music genres. I came from a love for rap music before joining bands and getting influenced in other ways. I can write songs and take them to more seasoned musicians to build on or to a producer to make a beat surrounding it. Hence, this is exactly what I did for this release of “I’m Good.”
Tell me about your favorite performance in your career.
Opening for the Black Eyed Peas and hanging out with Justin Timberlake and Wesley Snipes was surreal for sure; it was trippy because it was only a year after I had left another dream I was already engulfed in, playing N.C.A.A Division 1 soccer but I quit school to start a band and do music. So that was crazy, just a year later to be there opening!