Barrage. They had it all: style, skill and dancing! In their hands the violin looked cool. I found out about them when they performed on a PBS special back when I was in high school and I automatically knew that this was a band I'd be wishing I was in one day. If I was any good at Photoshop I'd paint myself on their album cover just for fun.
They were pretty much everything my orchestra training told be not to be. You were supposed to lose yourself in the great composers symphonies, when I was dying to find myself in something all my own. It was all classical, all the time… with the exception of a Disney piece or a Jingle Bell rock around Christmas time. I always knew that I could spice up my viola playing by being bold and creative, which most of the time landed me in trouble with my orchestra teacher. It's not that I don't enjoy the classical stuff, because I do. It's just that there's so much you can do with those four strings — they can harvest such raw emotional tunes in ways that a guitar never could. And if done right, it would be cool.
This brings me to the next evolution of four string fury: Nuttin' But Stringz. They take violin playing to another level… Hip-Hop. I found out about them in 2006, first in the movie Step Up and then I heard them play on The Tavis Smiley Show. And man, are they good! If you'd blend them and Barrage together you'd get something close to the style I'm trying to create. They're trailblazers.
I'm all about mixing genres together. I'm experimenting with some goth rock and country elements, plus inspirational Christian lyrics that don't shy away from asking the tough questions. I'm still developing my style but it's a fun process. Oh — and I've been working on some cover songs too like: "Come Clean" by Hilary Duff, "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson, "Rush" & "Chemicals React" by Aly & AJ, "Push It to the Limit" by Corbin Bleu and "Kiss the Girl" — the Ashley Tisdale version as well some other pop stuff and countless Christian worship songs.
One day I'll get my band thing together and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to inspire some teens like Barrage inspired me because it's all about making music and worshiping Jesus with your own beat.