La Bella Strings Endorsement and My 2018 Year in Review

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2018 was about finding the right path.

At the start of 2018, I felt motivated but unproven. X of Wands hadn’t been built yet. I had just launched an exploration into the world of busking around New York City streets and subways. My “lead bassist” identity began clashing more with convention, with purists criticizing my style and telling me that I was quite simply playing the wrong instrument.

Back in September, I was preparing for a bass solo competition that would prove to be a pivotal moment on this long musical journey. The competition was intense, with players from three different countries and professionals with careers dating back to the 80s.

For my performance, I took a modified approach to “El Faro,” mixing advanced sweeping, tapping, and melody with the whole damn pedalboard. While I did not win, I made some great connections and had more than a few tell me that my solo performance was a personal favorite; something that I was honored to hear given the phenomenal talent pool.

One of those people was the Vice President of La Bella Strings, one of the longest-standing string companies in the industry. I’m very excited to announce that I am now an endorsed artist representing La Bella!

By joining La Bella’s roster as an officially endorsed artist, I’m proudly representing quality, handcrafted strings alongside the bassists for Paul Simon, Alabama Shakes, and Jack White (to name a few). La Bella’s were an essential ingredient in James Jamerson’s Motown sound and continue to be a standard for excellence. You’ll be seeing their strings on my basses and a couple new hashtags on some of my Insta posts.

Earning my first endorsement was a proving moment in 2018. Tripling my follower count on Instagram was a proving moment in 2018. Doing it with my own style despite the critics was all the more gratifying. As 2019 rolls in, I’m more confident than ever that I’m exactly where I should be (and that I’m playing the right instrument).