Our family first moved to Montserrat, a tiny island in the Caribbean, in autumn of 1980 from Los Angeles. I was 17yrs old. My brother and I were the only two surfers on Montserrat, and at the time we focused on doing just that.
It seemed like Montserrat inspired both my brother and I discover our talents. Carrll was really getting into photography and writing; I began making music. I had been playing on a tiny Casio keyboard with button like keys. When I was 20 years old (in 1983), my parents brought home a piano. I was determined to learn the piano by myself. I played 2 hours a day making up music by ear.
Year by year my music improved, and in 1988 I recorded my first piano compositions at Air Studios. Air Studios Montserrat was a famous but secret recording studio where top artists went to record. I had the pleasure of meeting Sir George Martin. It was a great experience, I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to record there. The Bosendorfer piano was very beautiful…the room was very cool, a wood tone as I remember, and some great stone work. It was strange to see the grand piano halfway placed into the stone wall.
A few days after recording, we were hanging out at Rendezvous Bay, Sir George Martin was there with his family. My dad asked if he could give him a cassette of my recent recording. He agreed, and a few days later he wrote me a very nice letter which made a huge impact and inspired me very much.
After Hurricane Hugo hit Montserrat in 1989, we moved to Maui. In 1991 dad bought me a Yamaha SY77 Synthesizer workstation. I discovered I can arrange music...I was totally blown away by its capabilities. I could record on 16 tracks using any sound I wished, and could save my music on floppy-disc, wow!
Missing Montserrat, we moved back (1994). But on August of 1995 the first volcanic ash cloud flew over the town of Plymouth...then more and more. We decided to leave and returned to Maui. That was the last time our entire family would live on Montserrat. Unfortunately Montserrat's volcano exploded violently off and on from 1997 to 2010. In my attempt to help the island and the people, I recorded a benefit album in 1997 titled "Project: Montserrat". It did ok at Virgin Megastores, and locally in Hawaii, but nothing huge. Over some time I secured two recording contracts, but never got that big break.
My inspiration I suppose comes from many things...I wasn't the type of person that would throw a record on and listen, but I would hear music from my brother's collection of course. During the late 70's and early 80's, Carrll played some great music which most likely inspired me and sunk in my head. As a young teen I loved to get drum sticks and "play alone" on books and other objects to whatever music was blaring.
Some of that music was: The Police, which to this day is my favorite band! Sting, The Cars, Supertramp, Kansas, Boston, The Eagles, Van Halen, Foreigner, Styx, Steely Dan, Journey, Heart, U2, and of course other stuff from early 70's. Prior to that, I heard my dad's 8 tracks in the car...all the cool 60's stuff.
My equipment today is: a Korg Extreme 88 Workstation with a 16 track recorder that I need to slap to get the screen to come on!
A Boss BR 1600 Digital Recorder which has been awesome.
Some old Yamaha monitor speakers.
A Rode Mic for the occasional acoustic guitar tracks and voice from my wife or daughter.
A cheap Squire acoustic guitar.
An electric guitar branded "J. Steele" which I bought for $65.00. Have no clue what this guitar is....I don't have too many guitar tracks, but those with guitar I spent many hours on. I don't consider myself a guitarist, I play easy chords, and leads with a finger or two.
I hope you'll enjoy some of my tracks. I can't figure out what genre to call my music...it's different I suppose. I'll be adding a lot of music here, so please check back from time to time. Feel free to email me with any questions. I'd love to have an orchestra perform one of my songs one day, that's a dream I have...Stewart Copeland at the drums of course!
Cheers, and Aloha,