Hi Michael, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
In my 20+ year career in the music and entertainment industry, music has allowed me to see, hear, do, and be a part of things I never thought were imaginable. As a music industry professional, DJ, Producer, Label Owner, and Event Director, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of crisscrossing the world through various music projects, album production, curation of soundtracks, and proudly creating two of the largest award-winning festivals in Arizona. Music has opened doors to experiences beyond anything I could have imagined, and I am grateful! In my second act, they say! I have decided to create a new chapter in my life, one that gives me a newfound purpose in the Children’s market *Toys, Books, Animation, Merchandise, Licensing, and logistics. I have segued my career from the music & entertainment industry to the Children’s Media and edutainment industry. I want to be equally as effective and creative in the future. This story is just getting started!
We all face challenges, but would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oh, it’s never a smooth road. It’s been a learning curve, just like anything else. Transitioning from the Music and Entertainment world to the children’s edutainment world was a huge learning experience in education, fundamentals, communication, and the art of play. Being a father has its perks, and as you raise your own children, you see what it feels like to hear, do, and be present in a child’s life and sometimes their friends’ lives. It, too, can be scary, but it’s fun, it’s innocent, and you discover a vulnerability about you that you didn’t know you had or needed. Every day is a new day to start again and learn something new. I remember starting this new journey in the kid’s market; you learn very quickly that pre-k and kindergartners will teach you the importance of “patience,” ‘feelings, and emotions,” and look to you as someone who will help them, guide them, and be understanding.
Let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have lived and am currently living two very different lives through two very different forms of artistry. At least, that’s how it feels some days. On the one hand, for over 22 years, I have created a career as a music DJ, producer, and director on a global stage through world music and culture that has filled my soul with accolades and experiences I could have never dreamed of. From recording studios to large-scale festivals, it’s been a creative and artistic journey in front of and behind various productions. But today, those days have passed, and I have expanded my creative journey as an artist and innovative in design, illustration, art, author, and storytelling. I don’t specialize in any one thing, as I utilize the skills I have learned over the years to create art through different mediums and forms. There are days when I make a lot of illustrations in Photoshop and Illustrator, but just as many days sitting and drawing with markers, pen and paper, and craft art. As a children’s book author and owner of a children’s book brand called “Tubba and Friends,” I feel it has brought my career and creativity full circle.
We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Can you share something that might surprise us?
Most people don’t know I am a super introvert and recluse, haha. Although I have spent nearly every day of my professional career in front of crowds and being an entertainer, I am a very private person and a homebody. The polar opposite of my career choices. Haha!