Story behind "Brother"

Songwriting for me has primarily two forms. Most of the time, I write as a way to deal with what I’m going through or simply to tell the current story of my life. The other half of the time, I write to tell someone else’s story. 

    “Brother” was an entirely new style of writing for me. When I wrote “Brother,” I wrote it as a ‘letter’ to my younger brother. I have never done this. The song is essentially a message to my younger brother, written from my perspective as his older brother. 

My whole life, me and my brother have been really close. He is my best friend. I have never encountered anyone more like me, but also completely different in other ways. I am convinced that we have the same brain. How it manifests itself is different, but we both have an intense obsessiveness with creativity. 

For me, this looks like creating music. I have written music since I was 12, it has been my life. For my younger brother, he builds things. He has been building random things since he was probably about 12 as well. For example, when he was fifteen he literally built a hover board using a high powered leaf blower and a piece of plywood. 

He is a genius. 

Because we have the same brain, I have come to see that we also struggle in similar ways. When either of us goes through something painful, it seems to be able to wreck us in the same way. When either of us gets heartbroken, we hurt the same. We bleed the same. 

On one hand, as an older brother that is a beautiful thing. I can help him with his struggle because I understand it fully. On the other hand, it is extremely painful. I know all the ways that I am thankful for a creative brain, but I also know that when things are rough having a creative brain can also result in “negative creativity,” aka when destructive thoughts become near impossible to break. I wish he didn’t have to wrestle with what I have had to wrestle, it is hard to watch. 

“Brother” is written as an encouragement. I wrote the verses to tell him that I wish I could be there for him more. It is hard to see him struggle and to not be able to “save” him. The chorus is a reminder that as humans we all really bleed the same, so having love for each other is the only way we will get through. 

Even though I wrote this song for my brother, I hope the song can speak to all of you. Let it remind you that we really are all the same in this world, and regardless of our weaknesses, beliefs, or peculiarities choosing to love the people around you is far greater than choosing to divide based on those differences. You cannot do this thing called life alone, so “hold onto your strength.” 

As the Wolf Pack, I always want the focus to be one resounding thing: love. I know that is pop-culture right now to say. But I mean that. Life is too short and frail to hate, to hurt other people, and to waste your life on comparison or fear. I think it is important to keep standards for yourself regardless of what you feel. For me, I have a few rules that I live by. One of those rules is “people are worth loving.” No matter what. I do my best to not let myself ever let that go, even when I have been hurt by people. 

Wolf Pack, remember that we’re all the same, and love will make a way.




     As a Recording Artist, one of the questions I get maybe the most often from people is “do you write your own songs?” I love that question, because I get to tell them yes. If my career ever came to a place where I wasn’t doing the lead writing with my songs, it would be a lot harder to put my name next to those tracks. Now, just like all things that are done at the higher levels in any industry, I absolutely have done cowrites with big time songwriters in the hopes of learning from them, but ultimately, when I release a song under my name, I am telling my story.

    I think that Artists write for a variety of reasons. Some write because they want to express every element of their emotional life, and others write because they want to portray their life in a very specific way, often in a way that is not accurate. There is nothing wrong with either styles of writing in my opinion. Those decisions of how you write simply determine what kind of Artist you will be, and what kind of connection will you have with your fans. Will you be untouchable for them, never revealing the deeper parts of your humanity, or will you strip the shit back, and let them see you for who you are? Once again, I see nothing wrong with either approach, it is simply a choice. 

    For me, I write for primarily two reasons. The first is to deal with my heart. I would say that nearly half of my songs are direct entries from my “journal” of life, giving you a window into something I am either feeling at the very moment of the writing or into something that previously happened. The second reason I write is to convey someone else’s story, usually a friends or someone I respect or love. These songs tend to have more of a narrative built around them, drawing you a picture of what I want you to see about the situation.     

    Whatever mode I’m in while writing, whether strictly a literal situation in my life or a story about another’s, I always include elements of myself. I do this in fairly unique (maybe just weird) ways to be honest. I have a few songs where I wrote a story about how a girl broke my heart, but essentially flipped it so that in the song a girl is getting her heart broken in the same way I got mine broken. This is a way for me to process something I went through but then flip it so that someone else can relate to it apart from me. 

    Songwriting is therapeutic for me, and it is my love language. It is how I say I love you whether you know I am writing about you or not. My last release was a song called “Brother,” which is my bleeding anthem written to my younger brother. This song has no facade to it, it is literally a letter written to my brother that I put into song form. When I perform this song, it is all the more real then because it is about one of the most important people in my life. 

    Writing in a vulnerable way is not always easy as an Artist, if I’m being honest. While for the listener, songs that are “real” help because then you feel included into the Artist’s life, for the Artist it can be horrifying. It is like you are ripping a page out of your journal from some of life’s darkest moments and then putting it up on FaceBook for the world to see, judge, and determine if it’s a story worth telling. That is not easy to do. I commend all the Artists, whether known or unknown, who are willingly putting themselves out there in the form of their art. It is beautiful, and it is worth the pain. 

    The core behind sharing my life in song is quite simple, to bring hope. I have learned that unfortunately, life is not always easy. There are times when life tries to take you into pits of depression, anxiety, fear, or other dark emotions. For me, to write about the times in my life that have been deep struggles is to provide a place of hope for someone else. It is to say, “you are not alone, no matter how dark it feels.” I know that in my own life it was listening to songs that spoke to struggle that gave me strength in those hellish moments. As an Artist, I will always strive to let you all into that reality, the reality that life is beautiful, but sometimes it hurts. The reality that as humans we’re all the same, no matter what we believe. There is hope and there is life for us all, no matter how dark your demons are. Whoever you are, thank you for reading, don’t give up. 


End of Summer Thoughts

Everyday is a gift, I really have come to believe and see that. Not in some generic “happy-clappy” sort of way, but in an honest sort of way.

This summer has been good. We always have different expectations for summer, based on what we’re told it should look like, or even sometimes based on previous summer experiences. I always find myself hoping to have a similar summer to Ryan Gosling and Rachel Macadams in The Notebook, but so far that hasn’t happened. It always ends up a bit less dramatic than theirs. 

    I really do feel as if I have learned a lot this summer. If you know me personally, you know that I am extremely big goal oriented, and am always pushing myself towards something outside of myself. For those of you who know and enjoy the Enneagram personality test (I’m not one of those), I am a 3. Basically that means that I am driven by success and making a global impact, but can rely too heavily on the opinions of others while i’m trying to get there. 

    All that said, I have a tendency to never really settle into the present moment. The present is cool and all, but until I’m President of the United Nation and have 14 Grammy’s, I don’t see the point. It is hard for me to be okay with who I am right now, and with my experience of the world around me right now. This is not altogether bad, as it keeps me moving forward and settling is something I simply will not do. Conversely, it has caused me to miss a lot of the beauty of the people and things in my life today, when I’ve been too invested in planning for the greatness of tomorrow. 

    Somehow, that has shifted this summer. Not in the sense that I no longer have the desire for great impact in our culture, because I do. If I die without significantly positively impacting the world’s culture at large I will feel like I failed. But, I have seen a massive shift this summer in seeing the beauty of every day. I have learned that the sweetness of life is really in the present, and it is really in learning to savor the moment. I say learning because it is not easy. It is rather a self discipline to remain in “the now,” and to not only be here mentally but to eat the fruit of the day. 

    Let me tell you, for all of my “3’s” on the Enneagram out there, remaining present is worth the work it takes. I have never enjoyed life more than I do right now. It is not as if my circumstances are so great and easy that I am simply taking it all in. Rather, I am truly conscious every day to realize that today is all that I have, and although I want to work hard, I almost must take time to stop and smell the roses.

     It is hard for me to put this practice into words, because it is more experienced than it is articulated. For me it really looks like starting my mornings slow, and savoring every interaction I have. Personally, I am not a morning person. I am usually pretty irritated in the morning, and don’t like talking. So, I don’t talk. But what I do is take everything moment by moment, being thankful that I have each moment to enjoy even if I’m feeling irritated by all the words “morning people” use at the crack of dawn. 

    Not everyone in the world had the privilege of waking up today, but you did. If you are still here on planet earth, it is a gift. Not a gift to waste away in anguish, but a gift to take in one breath at a time. I know that is far easier said than done, but start trying to make that shift. I promise you, abundant living day to day is possible, all through your perspective of what is in front of you. Keep your goals, your dreams, your hopes, but never forget to feast on the wonder that is every moment, because moments are all we will ever get.



    For this blog, my first written blog, I wanted to delve further into who I am as an Artist; my struggles, joys, insecurities, influences, the good times, the shitty times, and all that fun stuff. In short, I wanted to go deeper. I have told my story on my first video blog, but I think that as a Creative it is important to keep the story unfolding, to continually reveal different parts of yourself so that you can be fully understood. That being said, if I say anything that you already know, I apologize. 

    Before I begin my story, I want to give you a brief description of who I am and what I’m about. As a person, watching my generation grow up, I have seen a lack of hope and a lack of faith for the future in people. I know many others have seen this hopelessness grow. In response, as an Artist my desire is to make music that connects with people in places of struggle. I myself have been in those dark mental spaces, and sometimes you need to know that you're not the only one. Even still my music speaks to the human experience as a whole, hoping to show that we're all the same. I believe that as I pursue this as an Artist people will join me in this journey. 

    And now…begin…

    I grew up outside of Portland Proper in a city called Beaverton. For those of you who know the area, I grew up in Aloha (which sadly had nothing to do with Hawaii). I was homeschooled until the third grade, where I was enrolled in Christian Community School. Like I have previously stated, my family members are all followers of Jesus, and not religiously Christian. What that means, at least for me, is that I believe in Jesus as God, believe that He is good, and contrary to some pop culture Christians, I believe that Jesus loves every gay, straight, black, or white, Muslim or Jewish person (and everything in between) the same. 

    After joining a proper school, it was soon obvious to myself and every teacher I would have over the course of my education, school was not my thing. That is putting it lightly. I hated school. Not to mention I was ridiculously hyper active, so sitting still in a classroom setting for more than 30 minutes just about took my life. 

    The first real encounter with tragedy that I had came in the third grade, my first year of real school. Ever since I was born, and even before, my dad had been traveling to different parts of the world to bring aid to people in third world nations. One of the places he frequented was Nigeria. He had built a school there and medical clinics to help the poorest of the poor. The main contact he worked with was a Pastor named Samuel Folahan. 

    Samuel had over the years become a second dad to me. He visited us often, and when he did me and him became incredibly close. He even became my “official” Godfather; my dad held a legitimate ceremony for it because he was truly that close to our family. Then, one day, we got a phone call. Sam was in surgery, and had contacted some sort of virus due to the poor medical facilities in Nigeria. Within a few hours, he had passed away. It hit our family really hard, perhaps harder than any other death our family has experienced. Beyond this loss, I had a pretty amazing upbringing. I never went hungry, and my parents were and are some of the most loving parents I’ve ever met. 

    During my sophomore year of high school, I had my first girlfriend, Samantha Wetter (sorry Sam). I loved her, naturally. We dated about two months, and then she called me up one night, dumped my ass on the phone, and that was that. A flash in the pan. Being the emotional being that I was and am, I’m pretty sure that I cried for three months straight. I was depressed about the relationship far longer than I was actually in it. Unfortunately the pattern of over-mourning has not gotten much better.

    My senior year of high school was difficult. It was then that I first began to deal with actual Depression. I can literally remember the second it hit; I was driving into the parking lot the first day of my senior year when what felt like a heavy blanket of sadness and gloom descended on me. Looking back, it was most likely chemical, because of how it onset. I struggled all year through it, and I have to thank my girlfriend at the time for really helping me through it. There were several times that I can recall where she literally held me as I cried because I didn’t know “what was wrong with me”. 

    Life moved on, and I was admitted into Azusa Pacific University for College. For those of you that don’t know it, it’s a private Liberal Arts University outside of Los Angeles. College was a mixture of awkward growing up moments, 2 am taco runs, and somewhat regular moments of streaking through the night. I still hated school with everything in me, but I really enjoyed the social interaction of college. If I remember correctly, I tried to drop about 4 or 5 times because I hated the school part so much. If it wasn’t for my gracious professors who barely passed me, I would have failed out or been kicked out.  

    Somewhat ironically parallel to my senior year of high school, it was my senior year of College that I struggled the hardest I’ve ever struggled (and ever will) with Depression and Anxiety. I really, really, was in a rut. There were circumstances that made it worse, but to some it up, it was hell. I ended up on a high dosage of Lexapro for several months, which helped a bit. If it wasn’t for my family and friends and God (not just saying that), I don’t know where I would be. But hey, I made it :)

    Since my College Graduation, I have been pursuing music as my professional career. I wrote a lot of songs and took professional vocal lessons in College, and through the ring of school, I realized that with my personality unless I pursued what I am most passionate about I could not get very motivated. Therefore, music it was. Now, you have to know that no one in my family has ever pursued a career in any type of art. My mom was an amazing concerto Violinist, but she went to law school. My dad, mom, sister, and grandpa, are all lawyers. My announcement that I wasn’t going to endure law school to take over the family practice was blasphemy at the time; but I was going to prove them wrong.

    I knew that I was made to make music, and that I was going to be able to figure out how to do it full time. Of course that would be (and is) a risk, but it was one that I was absolutely going to take. How could I deny who I was? How could I bury the very thing that I was meant to show the world? For as long as I remember, my dream has been to be an Artist. My first memory is me asking Jesus to make me become a “famous singer” (not even kidding). 

    The journey in what it would look like has matured and changed along the way, but I am glad with where it has landed. For a long time, I wanted to be in some big church group. Than I wanted to be in a boy band. The more I wrote, it soon became clear that Secular Artist was the way I was going to go. It was the only thing that didn’t feel fake when I did it. I realized that I had to be able to just be who I am, and not try to become something for anyone. That may sound very millennial of me, and maybe it is. But I genuinely believe that the only way to bring anyone hope is to lay out your journey as honestly as possible, trying not to give a fu*k about opinions, and let people read it. Music is my was of letting people read my life’s journal.  

    Shortly after starting my career, I soon got recognized by an Artist Manager in London. It wasn’t overnight though, not even a little bit. She essentially “discovered” me, and told me that I wasn’t good enough yet, but could be if I tried hard enough. So I signed up for several online courses in music production, and began producing my first album. By the end of the process, about six months later, after multiple online courses and dozens of Youtube video tutorials, I independently tracked, wrote, mixed, and mastered my first album. Because of the time it took to learn this side of the music process, I still and will always do the lead writing of my own music, a majority of the production, even down to the mixing and mastering, mostly because I’m cocky and don’t want anyone else doing something that I can learn on my own. 

    After I finished this album, I started playing small shows in Portland and selling hard copies of my album (old school I know). A few short months later, I got an email from the London Manager who now felt that I was good enough for us to start working together. A month later, I was in Italy recording on a beach front studio with one the top producers in the business. The next year would be spent in trips to London, mentorships by producers and PR people, meet and greets with big names in the industry, and multiple studio sessions across the globe. 

    We recently just finished mastering 5 songs that I recorded in January 2017 in Manchester, which will be released in the next few months most likely via radio in the U.S. At the same time, I just released my first single in a while, “Brother,” a song that I wrote, produced, and mixed/mastered here in Portland with the help of some of my Portland musician buddies. (It’s up on SoundCloud, click here to check it out and to share it with your friends and everyone you know!).

     I will be playing plenty of local shows in my hometown of Portland while I record my second full length album (click here for show dates), set to be released early December 2017 to early January 2018. This album will be given away for free digitally on SoundCloud and probably a few other platforms, and sold physically at my shows. 

    So, that’s me :) I really appreciate you reading this whole thing, and for staying connected to what I am doing! To sign up for my email list, which will give you updates on when things like this and more music comes out, click here. For my SoundCloud, which has a free download link for “Brother,” click here. For my Instagram, click here. Much love Wolf Pack, couldn’t be more grateful to call you not just my fans but my family. 


© Copyright 2017 Wolff Productions

The Release of "Alive"

This is my second official Blog Post. In this post I talk about my release of my single "Alive," and why it means so much to me. I also go through where my music is at in the production process, and my next plans for realease. The song "Alive" will be available on June 9th, on all streaming services. 

How it All Began

My first Blog Post! I'll be releasing these once a month, giving you an up close and personal look into the journey of my music career. I decided to do a video for this one; whether I do videos or written blogs will vary on whether I'm at home or on the road, etc. Excited to get this first one out!