Bombing Hills Near Town in Bermuda (PARSONS, BARKERS, GLEBE)
December does not necessarily mean cold in Bermuda, in fact this day was hot, hot, HOT. The roads were a bit busy so I kept my pushing around the quieter hills. These were all hills I skated in the past, but it felt good to get my reps in and to get footy on hills that you usually are not going on see in a video (skating or otherwise). I think these are about the limit of what I feel comfortable doing with a hand cam, I need to get a bite mount or a dedicated filmer for anything bigger. I was grateful to get these lines, though, especially the 'tunnel' feel of those overgrown roads by the water store.
Bombing A Hill In The Rain On Christmas Eve In Bermuda (McGALL'S HILL)
The Stoke drew me to Knapton, the rain pushed me to McGall's. Our island may never reach recognition as a skating paradise — but with the right eye, patience and commitment, there is a tonne of fun to be had. This was me scratching the surface .......
Through music I am learning to embrace failure.
I learn so much more from my mistakes than I do from my victories. As I lean into approaches that are uncomfortable for me (like voice and mixing) I am developing a deeper appreciation for the production process. I am learning that chasing the "sound I like" means chasing a moving target--the sound I want to make one day is different from the sound I want to make the next day. This constant evolution of taste and preference makes it important for me to seize the moment, to follow through on my impulses and inspirations and to trust that I can create a sound that represents my true and authentic self. I am grateful for this journey and all it has taught me.
I hope that you will also follow through on the things you are curious about, even those things (especially those things) which frighten you. You are ready.
"The mind is meant to create ideas, not to store them." My best friend Miles told me that. I am hoping to live up to that maxim by sharing my material more regularly.
I always keep a lot of material waiting in the wings, whether it is footage I share here, writing for my website or some other creative endeavour. I obsess over perfection, but I am coming to notice that what I call "perfection" is just an avoidance strategy for me to weave past the things that make me uncomfortable.
Vocals is definitely one of the things I avoid when making music. For this video I tried to face the challenge head-on. This was my first attempt at recording my voice without any effects on the lead track. I am pretty self-conscious about my voice, especially my accent and my self-imposed need to constantly code-switch as I traverse different environments. I usually hide behind 8 layers of guitar tracks and a tonne of autotune and distortion, but here I was more conservative. I am excited by the learning that comes with being uncomfortable.
I am very fired up to share another video. It has been a while! I love creating videos because it is an opportunity for me to combine so many things I enjoy: filming, editing, song writing, music production and, of course, my love for the subject matter. In this case, I wanted to create a compilation about water. I first had this idea when I was sailing offshore with my father in 2019. We were a couple days out from Portland, ME and the way the sun played across the leathery surface of the water and the yards lurched with faithful tension, it put me in awe at all the different permutations we find in this simple yet amazing chemical: H2O !! Over the next couple of years, I snatched at my phone whenever I saw water doing cool things. There was so many videos that did not make this cut, but once I wrote this song I knew I wanted to make something that was short and sweet. So here ya go! I hope to make a bunch more videos this year. I was on a roll for a bit last year, but then when I moved home it sorta shocked my system and it's taken me several months to settle into a routine that allows me to not only work on self-expression but also pushes me to become an irreplaceable asset to my community and society. It's a moving target, something I don't hope to achieve so much as constantly pursue. That said, I am hopeful to be at a stage where I can be more outwardly creative in a way that I can share the things I am working on. Thank you to everyone who has helped me through this wild transition period. It is such a privilege to call you my friends and mentors. <3
Love Your Friends.
2020 was a tough year for me, as I am sure it was for a lot of people. Part of what made it so difficult for me was not being able to see my homies as often as I usually do. When the pandemic started I stayed within Marin County to adhere to the local safety protocols (though most of my friends lived in other areas of the San Francisco Bay). Even within my neighbourhood, I found that it was difficult to get together with others. Wind and rain which normally meant cozying up inside making music or playing cards with friends instead meant passing the days in my room. I was also injured during this time so when the sunny days of summer rolled around I found it difficult to join my friends in outdoor activities like biking and hiking. Thankfully, my health improved and by the end of the year I was able to confidently pursue outdoor activities again. That meant finally getting back on my skateboard and getting to spend time with friends that I hadn't seen all year. I am tremendously grateful to all of the homies that I skate with. Skating has opened up a new window for me to experience the world and getting to share in this activity with others brings me a deep sense of joy and fulfilment. If you are reading this, I hope that you connect with other people who share your passions! If you cannot find a physical group of people you might check out some sites like Reddit or Facebook where you can probably find other people to connect with. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I know that for me getting to connect with my homies on a regular basis is a major boost for my mental health. I love y'all !! Let's keep skating :)
Song: "Thinning" Written by Snail Mail, Performed by Me
I filmed this in 2019, the year after I broke my leg. The whole year leading up to this, I was so afraid to skate, so afraid to injury myself again. At the same time, recovering from my injury was forcing me to skate with a new style, to try new tricks that allowed me to rely on new areas of my body, to work more on balance and agility than on strength. A year into my recovery, I started to realise that I could push myself with these new tricks the way I was pushing myself with my old tricks before my injury. But that meant facing my fears. Instead of working on a trick until I got it once and calling it a day, I made a commitment to land every trick more than once. I call this video "Take Two" because I decided during this session that I wasn't going to walk away without getting two of each of these tricks. When I skated this spot before I broke my leg, I couldn't do many of these tricks. This time, I got each trick at least twice. I was stoked on that and also stoked on this song. It was the first song in the Supreme skate video "Blessed" when Ben Kadow rolled up to the handrail. I really like this song, it makes me feel good and it fits with the video because I felt really good during this session as well. Thanks for watching !!
Song: "Birthday Boy" Written by Ween, Performed by Me
Black People Skate.
I made this video in grad school in my environmental communication class. We are tasked to produce a video about an environmental issue that was important to us. Our instructor, Sachi Cunningham, was extremely supportive of my aspiration to do a video about skateboarding. For me, the urban landscape is as much a part of the environment as the coral reef, the kelp forest or the desert and I believe skateboarding makes it easier for people to see the environmental side of urban space. Skateboarding physically connects you with the elements of urban reality and by allowing you to cover more ground it helps you to see the different ecosystems that exist within a cityscape. I made this video to highlight the fact that skateboarding also gives people of colour the opportunity to make that environmental connection. I appreciate you for watching it !!
Songs: "Please Be Mine" by Molly Burch; "how did i ever" by clairo