As my birthday approaches, the one thing I want more than any gift is to finally share my personal music with the world, but these things take time. Art is far better when left to simmer to perfection. So, I’m trying my best to remain patient.
While I’m sharpening my skills and building my portfolio with game soundtracks, I work on Reverie, my ambitious Patreon project. For new visitors, Reverie is a contemporary music series reimagining stories from popular media as infectious records. I’d like to give some backstory as to what inspires the project. My father and his brother were aspiring comic book artists. Uncle especially took to it, amassing a large comic book collection and working as an concept artist for a while. Dad had a different life path, but my brother and I were lucky enough to see an unofficial Batman comic he had collaboratively drawn with Uncle. It amazed me that something so incredible came from my family. We’ve always been artists in some way.
Naturally, my dad introduced his kids to his interests. I preferred to read traditional novels over comics, but we grew up on video games, anime and Saturday morning cartoons. We marathoned Dragon Ball Z and collected the series’ VHS tapes, the ones that created a sequential image if you had all the covers. My brother and I would stay up late watching Toonami (though I always fell asleep trying to make it to Sailor Moon). The boys finished Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on N64 while I watched from the sidelines because the giant spider that dropped down from the ceiling scared me. However, I did enjoy Tekken, Mario Party 3, and later Crash Bandicoot and Final Fantasy VII once we got a Playstation. It was “Every Heart”, my favorite ending theme from Inuyasha, that introduced me to Japanese music. This is how my dad shaped my interests.
My mom, on the other hand, was never into that kind of art. She would still marathon anime and play Yugioh (I know, LOL) with us. But she has always been more of a music enthusiast. The artists she introduced me to were the likes of Anita Baker, Aaliyah, Brandy, Whitney Houston, Teena Marie, Luther Vandross – the list goes on and on. My dad also had valuable contributions with his favorites, The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind, & Fire. It was my mother who taught me to sing, tone deaf and all. She emphasized the value of harmony, which is now my specialty and my favorite part of making music today.
Both music and animation have played a significant part of my life, from my formative years into adulthood. It’s been a dream of mine to merge the two in my own work for awhile now. You have shows like Steven Universe, Adventure Time and Regular Show with a beautiful emphasis on music. You have gorgeous game and anime soundtracks from creatives like Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Kanno and Joe Hisaishi. You have fandoms creating original music for their beloved series, like the Chinese fandom for 魔道祖师. Arguably, the best part of Disney movies are the songs. These art forms are inseparable.
To wrap up this dissertation on how nerdy I am, Reverie fulfills a long-held wish of mine. That’s part of the reason I’m so anxious to release even one track. For the first time, I’ve found my identity as an artist, and I love the music I’m making. It’s a humbling experience to draw from my family and countless musicians before me to create something undeniably me. When the time comes to release it, I hope you’ll love the songs as much as I do. As always, thanks for reading!