1. Tell us about your craziest touring experience?
The first time I played SXSW, I was playing at the same time as Ghostface Killah. I had a photo shoot earlier that day and I mentioned to the photographer how disappointed I was that I would be missing his set. This same photographer came to my venue at the end of my show with an autographed copy of the Fader with Ghostface on the cover and my name on it! Then he was like, “you wanna come to dinner with him?”
And so that’s what we did. We went to a Chinese restaurant and I sat right next to Ghostface and about 15 people from Def Jam and a couple other journalists. I asked him about Dilla and some other nerdy stuff and I got a picture with him after the meal. He ordered fried rice “with mad eggs in it” and demanded that all the leftovers not be thrown away but be taken with them and given to any homeless people that they would see around town that night. He’s one of my idols so it was pretty cool.
2. What type of college class would you’d most want to take and why?
Probably a Philosophy class, I’ve always been interested in different perspectives and alternate ways of thinking.
3. What city in America is the most fun to visit and why?
I always have a really good time in New York. As soon as step foot there, I can feel the energy of the city pulsing around me. There’s always something going on.
4. What’s some of the best advice you were ever given?
I saw Van Dyke Parks speak two years ago in Montreal and he had amazing songwriting advice. He talked of empathy, reacting and getting out of the way and reduced songwriting to one question: “How did the boy get on the dolphin?”
5. What’s in heavy rotation in your MP3/CD player right now?
Lately I’ve been listening to the Cleaners From Venus, Future, Randy Newman, Death Grips, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland, Robert Wyatt, 2 Chainz, Jam City and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
6. The last good book you read or TV show you’re addicted to?
I’m really into HBO’s Girls. What Lena Dunham is doing is comparable to what Louie did but in a way that encapsulates the experience of people my age. She has a way of nailing these sentiments and these ambiguous relationships that haven’t really been explored by visual media before. It’s great.
7. What’s the first concert you ever saw – how was it?
The first concert I ever went to was Montell Jordan and Boys II Men at the Coliseum in Edmonton. It was totally awesome and I wish I still had my Montell Jordan “This Is How We Do It” hat today.
8. What are three items you can’t live without on tour?
My laptop, my iPod and my notebook.
9. Who are your major musical influences?
Neil Young, Prince, Ghostface Killah, Stevie Wonder, Nas, Native Tongues, James Brown, Talking Heads, Grace Jones, Timbaland, Aphex Twin, Prince Paul, Harry Nilsson.
Any random messages or tips you’d like to give to mtvU watchers?
Don’t join too many clubs in college!