My Story

I'm Kelvin, from the east coast; North Carolina, to be exact.  Now I'm in Oregon. In a town called Ashland.  Yes, here. Here where the pace pushed me to go inward to get direction.  Routines of paradiddles and practice pads grew stagnate.  Solos rollin', and rollin' and rollin'...  Fills. .. .  Was I just filling space?  Surely at 13, that age when music started to sound different, when I was developing an emotional connection with a song and the singer of a song, drums was all there was.  Luckily having a pair of sticks for me to air drum with, I learned the basic mechanics to be a Rock drummer.  By the time my big brother bought me a set of drums, I could already play.  When in high school I made a friend named Martin Newman, a really talented guitarist and songwriter.  We were listening to bands like The Cure, Fishbone, Siouxie and The Banshees and even Sade.  Heavily influenced by British Alternative Rock, we wrote riffs that reflected that sound, but blessed the moment with original words and melody and beats. Beats I pounded out of a red Pearl Export kit that I still play today.  Damn, it's high time for some new drums...  Anyway, I haven't  been playing drums much these days. ..

All of a sudden, right before graduating high school, I met a Japanese Taiko group called Za Ondekoza.  Their director said, "Hit that drum."  "I like that."  "Join us."  Pretty much just like that.  I left to Japan when I was 19 playing Rock and some Jazz, but never had I played Japanese music, or played in a theater before audiences of thousands, and I couldn't speak Japanese.  I did learn the language rather well after performing, touring and living communally with that group for 4 years.  I learned how to play Taiko too.

That was great and all, but after that four year span I needed to grow and learn to be a more well rounded musician.  I decided to take time to think.  Think about my next move.  Then, the thought to attend Berklee College of Music occurred to me.  I went there and learned a thing or two, like how to write songs and play guitar. I explored a lot of music there and lead a band for a while. Once I graduated, I left to the west coast with a Bacherlor of Arts degree and a lady named Rosie to Berkely, California.  There, I was exposed to the exquisite Brazilian fight/dance Capoeira and learned how to play the berimbau and pandeiro.  While in California, I teamed up with another Taiko group known as On Ensemble.  They're based in Los Angeles.  LA is cool, but being closer to family in a smaller town made more sense when Blaise and Ruby came into my world.  Yes, my two children.  They muse me. 

It was time to simplify.   Ashland, Oregon is now home.  It's where I performed three seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare festival, worked as a sideman, taught Taiko drumming and showcased my former project Meidoko.  Meidoko was a creation of mine that was comprised of most of what I had done musically at that point.  It was another instance of stretching and experimenting.  But pushing the limits in that fashion actually became limiting.  I felt as if I was growing further away from my center, and further away from the audience I seek to reach.  Because of that, I turned back to my roots of Rock. 

I've always been able to sing, but I never took it seriously.  I dabbled in songwriting, but repeatedly put it in a box in the back of that top shelf of mine.  Writing rhymes was always fun, and I've always loved all kinds of guitar styles.  It wasn't until I decided to get off my "disinterested in any kind of highly technological application to music ass" that I began to explore Garage Band, and then Logic Pro to bring my songs to fruition.  After wrapping my head around a few things in the process, my songs are being recorded in a small room with a laptop, two speakers, a firewire interface, one microphone, an acoustic and an electric guitar, miscellaneous percussion and my voice.  I've learned a lot about my craft from this.  Along with becoming a better songwriter, I'm learning a lot about tracking and mixing music.  Thank goodness for free tutorials...  Because if it were not for such things like that, I wouldn't be where I am today.  You see, I don't have a team; instead, it's just me and a relentless desire to get better, to be successful. 

It's challenging here, where the pace pushed me to go inward to get direction, to get this ship afloat.  But now I'm at the dock looking toward new horizons.  Coast to coast, city to city, and face to face is how I look forward to sharing my music.  This is how the story goes.  Hey!  Holla if you hear me.

                                                                                                          Space Challenger