When I was little, I would always hide from people. My parents took me to the doctor, and the doctor said, “Try giving him an instrument to express himself.”
But I didn’t fall in love with music until much later. In the sixth grade, I was playing on the piano one day, practicing scales, arpeggios, very boring stuff. I thought to myself, “Why can’t I just play something I like?” And the music just flowed through me and I didn’t notice the time. I had been playing for two hours; improvising for two hours.
In the way I perform, I try to bring closer the gap and tell the audience: “I’m the artist. But I’m also speaking with you. We’re interacting, experiencing this moment together.” That’s what music does for me.
By bringing people’s cultures and also musical backgrounds, you’re speaking to them directly with the language they’re familiar with. Music keeps the audience open-minded about things. It broadens the heart and the mind.