This is the album I always wanted to make.
I was born a poet. Words came to me in my sleep, at school, on busses and airplanes. I was beautifully tormented by language. I wrote about my pain, my loss, but always had a knack for infusing hope and resolve.
It wasn’t until a fateful gang fight that the answer hit me like a ton of bricks. I was 16 and searching for purpose. My stepfather was the label boss of Death Row Records. ‘The Chronic’ had gone platinum and he had recently signed 2 Pac to the label.
I was standing on the side of a stage in an airplane hanger in Santa Monica. I was watching Dre, Snoop, The Dogg Pound and 2 Pac perform for a packed house. Suddenly gun shots ensued. Everyone scattered. I froze. 2 Pac grabbed me by my Kings jersey and pulled me out to the parking lot. We jumped in my Bronco and hightailed it out of there. I had no clue where my sister or parents were. For all I knew, they were dead.
We hit the 10 freeway and headed toward Encino, to my family’s house. That’s when Pac became my first mentor. He spoke of violence and how corruption was getting in the way of his true expression. I told him about my wrecked childhood and that poetry was my only escape. “I want to be a poet,” I told him. By this time we were cruising north on the 405. I remember where we were because he turned me into a musician at that moment. He said, “Nobody reads any more. Poetry is a lost craft. If you want to reach people, learn an instrument. Inject your words into songs.” By the time we reached the 101 freeway, my mind was changed. I would learn the guitar.
My family arrived safely and the next few years gave me even more material to write about. But that’s a different story entirely.
I began writing songs. And by songs I mean poems squeezed into chordal structures. It was a bit limiting and quite challenging at first. I found the folk genre to be a nice platform to lay my words upon, strumming and fingerpicking cowboy chords. Spitting melodic jargon. Adhering to some loose rules about song form.
I taped a bunch of tunes and sent the tapes, with an application, to Berklee college of music in Boston. I was accepted after a short stint at Santa Monica City college. I was 20 years old.
After spending two years there I felt overloaded with information. I dropped out and moved to the East Village of Manhattan for the real school: playing smokey dive bars, writing like a crazy person, falling in love and a slew of other deaths and rebirths. That city saved me.
A few years of that and I was ready to face LA again. I got a quick degree at Musician’s Institute for recording and then I began documenting my songs.
Long story short, I have been recording ever since. I now have a huge archive of work, spanning a decade. I’ve recorded with some of the most renowned producers and musicians LA has to offer. I have played hundreds of shows at LA’s finest venues. I have met with labels and showcased a ton. But I never released my work.
Now is the time.
Bosey Masket is my nom de plume for my music. You will find his story in the album insert.