Tell us a little about the music you make. I make music that I like to call “nap-rock”: gentle and flowing but with a dissonant bite to it. I write all the songs to be played just with me and my guitar, but add soundscapes and tons of flutes to round it out.
How did your musical education start? I started piano lessons when I was about 7, and then started playing guitar when I was 8. My dad and my brother both played guitar and I picked up a lot of musical knowledge from them. I basically learned how to play guitar by learning my favorite rock and roll songs at the time. In middle school I started playing flute, and then in high school I started performing at a Thai restaurant in my hometown.
What’s been the most challenging aspect of your musical education? My biggest challenge was finding the time to play and practice – and that still is one of my biggest challenges. I try to put in at least 20 minutes a day, because I know once I start playing it’s hard to put it down!
Tell us about your current music goals. I’d like to see V.V. Lightbody go really far – hopefully tour the nation and eventually Europe. I just released my debut record with this project and am ready to record my next record. I also want to keep a constant practice routine and keep improving at my main instrument (guitar) as well as flute, vocals, keyboards, and drums.
What music gets you excited about making music? I love seeing my Chicago musician friends constantly creating and writing – going to see shows in the city is a huge inspiration to me. I like making really soft music, and it excites me that there are still a lot of people who want to listen to soft and beautiful music.
Why did you decide to teach music? I’ve always loved working with kids, and my musical education is not from a classical approach. Intonation is great because the students can form a connection with the song they are learning right away, which in my opinion is 100% rock and roll.
How long have you been involved with Intonation? I’ve been working with Intonation since November of 2014 – coming up on 4 years!
Tell us about your upcoming release. My record, Bathing Peach is now out on all streaming platforms or you can purchase it digitally (or on tape/CD) on Bandcamp. Bathing Peach took me about 3 years to record, and I am so happy to show it to the world. It’s a love and heartbreak record, with tons of ocean imagery and flutes.
Why do you believe music education is important? We’d be nothing without music (or art in general). We need to be able to express ourselves in more ways than words. Music is peaceful and promotes important self-reflection. Also, have you ever been to a good party without music? I think not!