I was born in Germany. I lived there for quite a few years, spoke German a little bit but came over to the states forgot it. I would say the majority of my life was in Las Vegas. And growing up here, being who I am was always really fucking weird. I was always the black sheep of the family. Like, obviously, my nails are painted.
Growing up going through that phase of me being a musician and me liking music that wasn't necessarily for my demographic or my community was definitely difficult at first. My mom would say certain things to try to get me to sway a different way, pretty horrible things. But that doesn't need to be on the record.
I would get called white a lot by my black colleagues for talking the way I talk, for being articulate, or for not using enough slang... not throwing the N word around all the time. But I grew up in both worlds. I always went to private schools, predominantly white. But then the sports teams I would play on would be predominantly black. My dad made sure both me and my brother were infused in both worlds. Even in placing me and both of those worlds I didn't fit in, in any world. I was too black for my white friends or I was too white for my black friends. So I was always alone. I don't know why. I think it's just because of the way my brain ticks. My brother was accepted by both worlds. He never had any issues, but I always took heat for everything. I got made fun of. My parents didn't know what to do with me. They would say things like "You're really smart. But, you're so weird. We don't know what to do with you. How do we fix you?" I didn't think I need to be fixed. So that led to a lot of drinking, partying, and all that stuff— more than I should have.
Being the youngest of five, my relationships with my siblings were tumultuous. Especially being the black sheep. No one understood what the fuck was going on with me. I was always the most oppositional and the most argumentative. My brother and I would always get into it, the one that's close to me in age. A lot of my siblings were so much older. there's such a large age gap so I would see them in passing, but I didn't like grow up with them. Now, as I'm older, I'm close with all of them. We don't fight. They accept me for who I am. There's no bad blood or anything like that. Growing up with all five of them, it was a lot, but it was because of who I was.
Growing up was definitely a bit weird for me, but then I started finding my place. I mean, I went through a lot of bullshit, some run ins with the law, and then got out of that. I got my career started and somehow ended up coming out on top. My parents started respecting me as a musician when I was in my 20s. I am in a rock bank. The love of that type of music came from when I was a kid. I was maybe 10 or 11 and MTV plug was on at 5:00 AM and Linkin Park comes on. The song Crawling came on. I was like, "Oh my god, what is this?". I'd never been introduced to music like that really ever, so I heard that and I was like, "Whoa, this is fucking phenomenal!" I started researching more and then I started playing piano first. That was forced upon me by my mom. Then I got into guitar, which like I just didn't really like, because my hands don't do weird things like that. I picked up drums in like eighth grade and I was taught by a Blue Man, he played out on the Las Vegas Strip. After he taught me how to play I started joining bands in like ninth grade. I started meeting people that listen to the same type of music and being educated by them. It started at a really young age, and then it just grew from there.
Coming into myself and being confident has been my biggest hardship so far. From childhood, a lot of people were very unaccepting of my views or the way I portrayed myself. My mom always thought I was living to impress other people. I have like zero confidence half the time. But I am confident enough to stay true to my own ideals and my own perspectives.
My parents are the most amazing people in the world, though. So I wouldn't take it back for the world. I was just an outcast and a black sheep and they didn't know how to deal with me. So I kind of had to pave my own way and deal with everything myself because I wouldn't conform.
That was pretty much upbringing. I always did good in school. Never came to school intoxicated, never never fucked with pills or anything like that. But uh, definitely got wild a little bit after high school, but I'm doing okay, now.