Before I could write in cursive or tie my shoes, I fell completely and irreversibly in love. Whether it was the chime of a toy piano or the sweet hum of my dad’s or grandpa’s harmonica I don’t recall, but before all my memories there came a point when I realized that music and I belonged together. Now that I’m old enough to articulate what I felt back then, I can say that creating music is like breathing: taking things in, and giving myself out in exchange. Music changes the world, and it helps me find my place in it.

I have never been really content to listen to songs idly. When I was a kid, I picked out the instrumentation and listened to how they were arranged, tapping out the beat of the drums. Whenever I got a new CD, I would listen to it over and over again from beginning to end, singing along with every word and analyzing the meaning behind every line. I wrestled with them until they became mine. It seems natural now that I began to write. From fourth grade on, I became a prolific poet; and at some point along the way, the words I was writing in my notebooks wanted to be sung. I became a songwriter, and I have defined myself that way ever since.

Still as fascinated by any musical sound as I was as a child, I’ve become a sort of jack-of-all-trades instrumentally. I like to experiment, and while I don’t pretend to be cello virtuoso or a concert pianist, I still enjoy pulling music out of anything that will make a sound. Music as an art form is a beautiful and powerful thing: it can convey emotion without verse, and can amplify the reach of words beyond their own devices. It’s a wonderful language, and there is always something new to learn.

Somewhere inside, I still think like a poet, and I still wrestle with music - especially mine. If others enjoy it, I’m glad. And if some of those are like me and fight for what’s behind each letter, I hope they find what I have. To them I say, if you find something worthy of love, embrace it. Take it home, and make it yours.