Hi! Want to know the whole nitty gritty? Fine. I grew up in Taos, NM. Taos is a mountain town and artist community ripe with creativity, snow,and contention - a good bit of jank and a lot of contrast between generational locals with zero money and bougie richness...
My dad played guitar and trombone in bars and clubs - and sang LOTS of songs in the living room - so I grew up loving old country and western swing. And then later, hip-hop - which is partially due to my aunt.
I first hit the stage at age 13, when my apparently blazing rendition of Martin Luther King, JR’s I have a dream speech drew school officials running down the hall. I actually kinda don't remember it, but apparently I gave it all I had. Because of that, I got cast in the school play as the bad guy sidekick - the bafoony captain in "Androcles and the Lion". That wouldn't be the last time I would play a bad guy sidekick...
I didn't really become a theater geek though. I wanted to be a jock. So I was a four sport athlete in high school - I played football, soccer, track and ice hockey. I also have been a practicing martial artist since I was 5.
All that exercise shit was basically to stay alive and defy the odds because I was born with a thing. I'm not too keen on my brand being about that thing, so I'll leave it nameless (but it's not a secret).
In 2013 I received a double lung transplant, which, if you haven’t done it, is an experience like none other. I actually ENJOYED it - well the part after - not the part leading up to it. I'm only telling you this because it's part of why I don't appear live as much as I used to.
Before that, I'd been on stage pretty much everywhere in the U.S. and some places outside (Denmark. I performed in Denmark once). I was once the 10th ranked slam poet in the world (or universe, or USA, depending on how braggy I feel). That's an old ass accomplishment but I'm proud of it. It took a lot of work.
Even earlier than that, my techno/classical fusion project Third Option was called “Wicked, totally amazing” by BBC Radio I’s Annie Nightingale - I'm also proud of that. And I'm proud of my Master’s degree in “Music, Science and Technology” from Stanford University.
I also built a label - NQuit Music - which is now one of the oldest still operating independent labels in the world, I would guess. It's definitely been online as long as anything. But now there's no label. That got stupid(er) and I simplified life. Dropped the other acts - dropped the "act" - of being anything but me. And now NQuit still exists, it's just the background business that I use to do my stuff. Ok, you can call it a vanity label if you want, but that's not really meaningful nowadays - everybody's their own label.
I haven't mentioned what I do, in case you don't know. I sing, I rap, I play the piano (I guess), I produce, I mix, I write. Writing's my "day job". I'm a regular contributor to Recording Magazine, the Carvin Audio Blog and bunches of other stuff. I've been published in stuff like Computer Music Magazine, Music Radar, Flypaper by Soundfly, Linux Journal, Cubase Newsletter, The National Poetry Slam Anthology, Adobe Walls Poetry Anthology, Fixed And Free Poetry Anthology, and blah blah blah blah on and on.
Oh and I just launched a new "brand" for helping musicians make tracks without spending as much by being knowledgeable - it's called Recording Like Macgyver.
Some fun memories from day of yore include opening for Ani Difranco, Buddy Wakefield, Sage Francis, and Saul Williams. I've recorded with a bunch of different kinds of musicians and here's another thing I'm proud of: I cut my audio engineer teeth recording Zimababwean musicians from the great Thomas Mapfumo’s band!
I have tons of musical influences from The Roots, who I love because they continue the oldest hip-hop tradition of honest, creative story telling without all the gangster posturing, to Rage Against The Machine, who I always liked because they’re revolutionaries who can rock, to Johhny Cash and Bob Wills, who remind me of my roots - BUT they buck the stifling traditions and closed mindedness of the country establishment, and were constantly looking to collaborate with people outside their box.
Most musicians can't describe their own music very well and I'm no different. Here's what one dude said:
“Aaron’s blending of hip-hop beats, rock n roll riffs, R&B melodies, rapping and vocals makes his music part of the un-genre typified by artists such as Gorillaz and Stereo MCs, as well as Digital Underground, Outkast and The Roots (for old skool junkies).”
Cool. Thanks, Sebastian!
That's enough of a bio, right?
Go listen to some music and buy yourself some sweet merch!
(C) Aaron J. Trumm - All Rights Reserved