Life Update: It's The Journey That Matters In The End

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This is a story about new beginnings.

The text on the bench reads: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” I saw this bench while hiking recently at Topanga State Park. It’s not the prettiest picture but the message spoke to me.

The photo was taken on a day I made a big decision. I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors recently. Fresh air and peaceful views have helped me to reflect on my life, what is important to me and what I want to do next.

The last few years have been an incredible ride. After beginning my career in marketing, I started writing a blog to express my passion for music. The blog opened many new doors and helped me to turn my love for music into a full-time job. My time working in music has been such a humbling and gratifying experience. Stewarding the state of Pop has been a privilege.

I thrive in uncharted territory and I find the experience of taking a left turn and exploring something new exciting. As the quote on the bench reads (and as trivial as it may sound), life’s a journey and I’d like to embark on that adventure and see where it takes me. That’s why I have decided to reach beyond music, and explore my broader love for art and culture.

This flying Dutchman is a charting a new path forward at the same company that I love and admire. I couldn’t more excited. I will explain in due time what has me so thrilled about the new direction I have chosen.Thank you to all the wonderful artists, writers and producers who have made the last few years so incredibly special. I cherish the time I spent with them. I feel so honored to have heard their stories and have learned about their art. It made me a better human. They have taught me to trust my instincts and take risks. I salute you all.

Thank you also to my peers and everyone I worked with. We are friends for life and I owe you immense gratitude for your partnership over the years. Our paths will cross again - at a show or elsewhere.

And on another exciting note - I'm looking forward to blogging again a little more to share things that I love and admire. Whether that is music, movies and travel. Check back often. We're only just getting started.

Looking Back at Attending The GRAMMYS for A Decade (So Many Great Memories)

My view of the Dolly Parton tribute at The GRAMMYs tonight

I just returned from Staples Center here in Los Angeles where artists, fans and the music industry at large celebrated the 61st GRAMMY Awards. The annual event hosted by The Recording Academy and CBS truly is Music's Biggest Night. For over 6 decades now, The GRAMMY Awards celebrates the finest in music for a mainstream audience. Tonight's show was particularly special with its emphasis on diversity - in representation and musical performances. Once again, the show's producers came up with some fitting and gutsy pairings that will be memorable beyond tonight.

Tonight also has a special meaning to me. It's the tenth year that I'm attending the GRAMMYs. For the first few years, I covered the GRAMMYS backstage for The Recording Academy while blogging and live-tweeting the proceedings. I will never forget when I received the call from The Recording Academy with an invite to take part in covering the show for them. It was an incredible experience to have so much access and get a peek behind the scenes. I covered the GRAMMY telecast, the pre-telecast (where a lot of the awards are being handed out) and I spent time in the press room during the show to ask nominees, presenters and winners questions along with many mainstream outlets. It was an incredible learning experience and I will forever be grateful to the social media team at The Recording Academy for their trust and the opportunity. I freelanced for them for 5 years covering the GRAMMYs thru 2014. 

There are so many great moments I can remember from the last decade. Lady Gaga's performance with Elton John opening the 2010 telecast definitely stands out. Another pairing to remember was the teaming of Madonna with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in 2014. I also loved Bruno Mars' performance of "Nothin' On You" and "Grenade" alongside Janelle Monáe and B.o.B. in 2011. A personal highlight for me was a video series I made for The GRAMMYs in 2015 with artists like Ed Sheeran and Robyn. What I treasure most about a decade of GRAMMYs is spending time in the press room and having the opportunity to be around the artists that just had won. To share the excitement and career-defining achievement with them is such a humbling and gratifying experience.

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Discovering the History of the American West


I’ve been diving into the history of the American West to better understand its past, culture and people - specifically the history of Native American tribes. Hostiles is a film that provides an honest glimpse at the dark history of the American West. Written and directed by Scott Cooper, it’s a beautifully pictured film that chronicles the journey of army captain Joe Blocker (Christian Bale) in 1892 on a journey from New Mexico to escort the ailing Cheyenne chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) to his native land in Great Bear Wilderness, Montana. Along the way, the relationship between the two rivals grows from deep distrust into a genuine bond of compassion and respect. The brutal journey northwards is a fitting metaphor to illustrate the effort it can take to foster understanding and reconciliation.

Watch Hostiles on Netflix now.

Rare Invader Exhibit in Downtown Los Angeles


I ventured out to Los Angeles downtown arts district to see the new Over The Influence Gallery. The space is currently hosting a rare Invader exhibit. Invader is a french street artist who plasters fun, playful and unique 8-bit mosaics on buildings in cities all over the world. I’ve been obsessed with finding invader mosaics in cities i go to. Tthere’s an app where you log all the ones you find and score points. I’ve found them in Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Hong kong, Tokyo and Daejon, Korea. This exhibit is a greatest hits of some of Invader’s finest work and is a reminder that art can be fun.

Taking A Left-Turn: Driving from Arizona to West Texas

Heading east on the Interstate 10 in Arizona (Photo by me)

In recent years, I’ve taken advantage of the long, end-of-year holiday break to head out of the country to far-away spots in Asia. It felt freeing to pick a place remote and be completely immersed in a foreign culture to get a break from the L.A. hustle.

For the most recent break, however, I opted to stay in America and find a travel challenge closer to home. I’ve lived in the U.S. for 20 years now and I’ve come to the realization that there are so many places in America that I haven’t seen yet. I have traveled to all major cities but I haven’t wandered off the beaten path and seen parts of this country that make it so unique.

Following a trip to Phoenix back in November, I decided I wanted to go back there to explore. I picked to head to Sedona for a couple of days to explore its many trails and vistas. From there, I planned to roadtrip all the way down to West Texas to Marfa – an outpost of artists, writers and other bohemians. I’ve read about Marfa over the years and I figured it would be the perfect place to check out and see a part of America that’s off the grid and pretty much a perfect place to get a break from Los Angeles.

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