At a very young age I decided that I wanted to play music but that the intention behind why I was playing music was to try and figure out the best way to like heal my community.
All of that sort of started with me going to William Frantz Elementary School which is the first desegregated school in this country.
It was desegregated by a little girl at the time named Ruby Bridges.
I walked into those buildings and could still feel that energy was very palpable.
On some levels there was a want for you to be in that space, and on other levels there wasn’t.
Like all spaces that were desegregated, in New Orleans there was a lot of what we call “white flight,” so a lot of whites that had the ability to be able to leave left.
And because of a very topical thing, you know race, they viewed each other as sort of like these antagonizing forces.
They were like Nemesis to each other.
That never made sense to me even as a child I can see it’s like yo, like all of these people are enduring the same things and really if you’re paying close attention they are the same people.
The only space that I could see as a young person where people in that rung were getting along was when music was playing.
And so musically I am mixing current traditional Korean music with a harmonic type that comes from an Indian raga and a song form style that comes from a Polish folk song with the fervor of the Delta blues and a rhythm from the Saramaccan and French Guiana and these sort of places.
If I can show the marriage between their cultural expression, then I’m showing the marriage between their cultures and these people, because this is the idea that I hold close to my heart which is that all people can get along together and be together.