OCCUPATION: Musician /activist / reserve soldier.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Born in New London, raised in Westerly (through high school), grew up in the Army (West Point, Missouri, Germany, Iraq, California, Korea, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C.)
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Thanking volunteers and organizations for attending my protest vigil in Providence and prepping for my five upcoming weekend shows.
I AM COPING WITH LIFE IN THE AGE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BY: Paddleboarding. I love being out on the water, and with the gym closed it was the next best thing.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Bringing all my soldiers back from Baghdad alive.
TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: To perform at the Newport Jazz Festival.
I ALWAYS CARRY: My violin! Just playing. I wear wood and stone necklaces that represent world cultures and religions.
FAVORITE QUOTATION: "No one is free until we are all free." — MLK
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: I wanted to be a musician. I never in a million years thought I would have the chance.
MY HEROES ARE: John Lewis, Charlie Parker, Lin-Manuel Miranda and my grandfather, Avant Lowther.
FAVORITE AUTHORS: Ta Nahesi Coates, Stephen King, Isaac Asimov.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," by Steven Covey.
SONGS ON MY PLAYLIST: "Swimming Pools" by Kendrick Lamar, "One Step" by Black Violin and "Rockstar" by Da Baby.
FAVORITE MOVIE: "The Matrix."
FAVORITE TV SHOW: "Cowboy Bebop."
FAVORITE RADIO SHOW: "The Breakfast Club."
FAVORITE SONG/GENRE OF MUSIC: Hip-hop.
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Instagram and (sigh) Facebook. But you can reach me at email@example.com if you need me!
TRAITS I MOST ADMIRE: People who can maximize the gifts they have been given. People who can change their minds. People who have empathy.
PET PEEVES: People who do not recognize that their privilege is real. We are all so fortunate to be living in this place and time.
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: Soupy.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Basketball — playing or watching Marcus Smart do Marcus Smart things for the Celtics.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I majored in Chinese in undergrad, concentrated in real estate for my MBA.
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: "People eliminate themselves."
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: "When you follow your dreams, you become the best version of yourself." I said it at my TED talk and it guides my life.
IF I RULED THE WORLD: All people would be equal and have equal opportunity to succeed. And we would dance a lot.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: The Carlton Dance from "Fresh Prince."
I DRIVE A: This is PII.
I WISH I DROVE A: Van big enough for all my gear!
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Seltzer.
IF I COULD INVITE ONE SPECIAL PERSON TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER AND CONVERSATION, I WOULD INVITE: Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) is one of my favorite creators and he seems like a really good dude.
— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro