Then I moved from Boulder to Chapel Hill, NC. I established myself in the music scene there, started connecting with other musicians. I formed my second band Sleeping With The Enemy. It was me, another songwriter Grant Withington, and a drummer Casey. We lived together for a while, writing songs and playing shows around town. Our sound had more of a rock influence with gritty guitar tones than my previous ballad-heavy singer-songwriter material. We added a violinist, Pepe, who had a great ear and surprising talent for improvisation seeing as he came from the world of classical music. It was a cool experience. I was growing up. I never lived with my bandmates before. We recorded a few songs at home, but never released an album of that material. Thankfully I write down and capture all my songs so that they can be recorded at a later date.
As a solo artist, I entered the North Carolina Songwriters Co-Op’s songwriting contest and had the honor of being one of the select few finalists that got to perform in the competition. It felt good as a songwriter to be acknowledged for my craft and to have the reflection that my material was noteworthy.
Later on, I met a drummer named Josh Stohl. We hit it off from the start. Our love for funk, soul, and hip-hop took the music in a new direction. I bought an 8-string guitar from local luthier Wes Lambe that allowed me to play bass and guitar at the same time. Josh got a sample pad that would allow him to trigger prerecorded samples while playing the drums. We formed my third band Old Soul, a powerful duo project. We played shows together around town and became great friends through the process. We released my second album Old Soul, a minimalist, duo album with more of an R&B twist than my previous album. We recorded the album at home as opposed to in the studio. All we could afford at the time was to record the album ourselves. Though we managed to get several songs on the album, there were still many more that we didn’t have a chance to record.