By The Why
"Why" has always been the most interesting question to me. It represents intention, purpose, and history. So I decided to sit down with some pretty interesting people and talk about the "whys" in their life. From struggles to successes, we'll talk about everything that brought them to where they are today.
This week, I had the honor to sit down with the keyboardist for the iconic band, SURVIVOR. Besides being in a legendary band, Jeffrey is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitar player. He writes for a variety of TV networks, and has worked with some incredible artists over the years. We have a great conversation about his experiences with SURVIVOR, thoughts on the music industry today, and how technology has played both a positive and negative role in the quality of modern music being produced. It was great getting to have such a deep, creative discussion with someone who has such a wide range of musical experiences, and I think you're going to enjoy this talk just as much as I did.
January 4, 2021
Tara had climbed the corporate ladder and was making six-figures at a successful job, but still felt like there was something missing in her life. She always had a drive to help people, and eventually realized it was more than just a passion. Almost two years ago, Tara released Blessed. It’s an app with a simple idea: “share a need; meet a need”. If you have any kind of need, whether it be material, emotional, or anything else, you can share it on the app. Or you can be proactive and share how you’d like to help people, even if there isn’t a need publicly shared. Tara has been able to provide a platform free of ads and gimmicks, which has already helped thousands of people across the planet.
November 23, 2020
Dr. Ashley Glenn
Ashley has spent his life teaching and mentoring. From his time in the band room to his years spent as an alumni leader of Phi Mu Alpha, Ashley has been an inspiration to those around him, and one of my personal mentors. You will hear Ashley speak about his time in the classroom, the fraternity, and also a hospital bed, because in March of 2013 Ashley lost his right leg. But despite that physical handicap and trauma, he has persevered and gone on to accomplish so many incredible things. Over the decade I’ve known him, he has continued to inspire me, and I have no doubt that you will walk away from this conversation changed for the better.
November 16, 2020
When COVID-19 hit, Jordan was put in a position like many others where he had to suddenly adapt his career to the circumstances. Luckily, life had been preparing him for this opportunity. Through hard work and perseverance, Jordan has not only been able to adjust, but has grown exponentially in his professional life to exceed the challenges that our world has presented to musicians and other artists. I really enjoyed talking to Jordan about how he rose to meet these challenges, and has been working with his church and students to help them succeed despite these new limitations. We talk about his experience with recording and producing music at home, and the types of opportunities he’s taken because he chooses personal growth over complacency.
November 9, 2020
I’ve known Jonathan for over half my life, and it has been a privilege to watch him excel in every aspect of his professional career. From traveling internationally with a band while in high school, to collaborating with musicians from across the country for his “Quarantine Collabs”, the passion and excitement that he has for music is palpable. Jonathan has such a refreshing perspective on the music industry, and has always focused on letting his enthusiasm and collaborative attitude open the doors in his career purely through word of mouth. We also talk about the process of how he found his musical identity, and the similarities that has to learning a new language.
November 2, 2020
Matt is an incredible guitar player, who picks up other instruments as he sees fit to help connect with the music that inspires him. He also has had opportunities to travel around the world, which has continued to stoke his passion of international cuisine and culture. Matt’s connection with his roots has intrigued me for a long time, and I’m so glad I finally had a chance to talk about it with him. We discuss how he didn’t always have a passion for “hillbilly” music, and what caused that initial spark. He also gets into his feelings for modern country music and what the focus for most of it seems to be today. Matt is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of these topics, which has given me a much deeper appreciation and understanding of topics I had some misconceptions about. I know you’ll find this conversation just as enlightening as I did.
October 5, 2020
Today, I got to sit down with comedian Bridgette Martin. Bridgette has traveled the country performing stand up and opening for people like DeAnne Smith, Pauly Shore, and TJ Miller. She is a host at The Comedy Catch in Chattanooga, and creator of the Facebook group Comedy 423, which features a comprehensive compilation of comedy events going on in Chattanooga. We talk about her inspirations and influences, and about her experiences while touring. We also get into how COVID has affected the local comedy scene, but how comedians are innovating to bring some levity to such a dark time.
September 28, 2020
I had the privilege to sit down with Emmy-nominated voice actor, Bob Bergen. Bob has made a career out of voicing beloved characters, from Looney Tunes like Porky Pig and Tweety Bird, to Luke Skywalker and others from Star Wars in more than a dozen video games and films. We talk about how the animation industry has had to adapt to because of Covid-19. He talks about his experience when he took over the role of Porky Pig from Mel Blanc, and how he processed that as a 26 year old actor. Stick around to the end to hear Bob improvise as a few of his characters while I ask them questions. I had a blast speaking with Bob, and his warm and generous heart really shines through in each of his answers.
September 21, 2020
I got to sit down with my long-time friend, Chuck Wongus. He's committed the majority of his adult life to political activism and pouring back into young people as an educator, where he focuses on studying game-based learning and it's applications today. We talk about his time working on political campaigns and what moving every few months taught him about himself and the world around him. He also discusses how he's using MMO RPGs to help people struggling with their personal and sexual identity. Lastly, we talk about our experiences with Greek Life, common misconceptions, and how these organizations prepared us for our future careers.
September 14, 2020
I had the privilege to sit down with professional opera singer, Kaylee Nichols. She studied at McGill University and has gone on to sing with major companies in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Columbus. Kaylee has participated in the Dandelion Opera Institute and Fort Worth Opera's Masterclass Series. In this episode, we talk about some common misconceptions about opera and how it's truly one of the most emotionally immersive art forms. We also discuss how she's using her opportunities to help rising artists by giving an authentic behind the scenes look into every aspect of performing, from auditioning to what goes on backstage during a production. Make sure to follow her on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook @TheScrappyMezzo.
September 6, 2020
I had the privilege to sit down with singer/songwriter, JJ Williamson. In college, he joined a touring a cappella group that helped him hone his craft as he performed all over the world. Since then, he’s been writing and performing his music around Atlanta, and collaborating with other talented artists. We talk about his myriad of influences, the development of his songwriting, and how his personal and musical identity have evolved into the incredible artist he is today. Make sure to follow him on all social media @TheJJShowOfficial, because he’s got some great new music coming your way soon.
September 6, 2020
For this episode, I had the privilege to sit down with filmmaker Trevor Hancock. He's worked on music videos for people like Clark Beckham, a Video Editor at DDP YOGA, Worked on the film Death To Life by Nate Powers, and Host of the Portable Trevor Show. We talk about his unique experience of moving from a small town in Tennessee to a house in Atlanta with nearly half a dozen other filmmakers where they've been creating content and collaborating for over a year. We also discuss his personal influences and how he even used a lack of opportunities in his past to propel him to his success today. Make sure you stick around to the end to hear about The Portable Trevor Show, where he live streams interviews with some pretty incredible guests.
September 6, 2020