Q. Where are you from?
To people from outside of Chicago I say that I am from Chicago, but I’m actually from the southwest suburb of Naperville, and went to college up in Evanston.
Q. Who is your favorite musical artist/group?
I definitely go through trends so it’s hard to say a favorite, but I’ve been listening to Oliver Heldens a lot lately. He’s this 19 year old Dutch kid who got signed when he was 17 and has been producing amazing house music. I normally don’t like people younger than me who are already doing better than me, but I make an exception for him.
Q. Who (or what) inspires you?
I’m really inspired by the world around me and find life itself pretty inspiring.
Q. What drew you to The Gathering Group?
I like that it’s a young company trying to do something different in a space where there aren’t that many new entrants. The company has a clear vision of producing spectacular experiential events that aren’t just typical shows or festivals, and I found that a very attractive idea to work towards.
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’ve actually traveled a lot over the past few years. I traveled around Tibet for a few weeks and thought it was amazing, so I’d definitely like to go back there. I’d also like to visit the country of Bhutan. The king of Bhutan’s ceremonial title is the “Dragon King” so he’d probably be cool to talk to. Now that I think about it both of these places would be ripe for a Gathering Group production…
Q. What’s your favorite place to see a show (doesn’t have to be in Chicago)?
This past summer I went to Shipwrecked, which was a show on a boat on Lake Michigan. The city of Chicago was this amazing backdrop, can’t beat that.
Q. What are 3 of your favorite things?
Chipotle, the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and Arizona Ice Tea
Q. What is your favorite album of all time?
Oh man. I can listen to the album A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay any time. Above & Beyond did this fantastic acoustic album this past January which continues to amaze me. I also made some really good playlists that I burned to CD’s back when that was a thing. I had this stack of them that I would listen to depending on my mood in middle school and early high school. So I guess the album “orange CD” from producer Sam Ide would be up there. It was a mix of The Beatles, DJ Tiesto (before he became just Tiesto), “Yeah” by Usher, and the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack. Go figure.
Q. What song can you listen to on repeat without getting sick of it?
I could listen to the song “Slow Jamz” off of Kanye West’s album Graduation for days. Jamie Foxx has this great monologue at the beginning, it’s a young Kanye West, the production is great, and Twista has this fun verse where he says like 3,000 words in 30 seconds. Maybe I have listened to it on repeat so much just so that I could try and figure out what Twista is actually saying.
Q. What has been your most memorable moment to-date with The Gathering Group?
I started a month before Future Sound, our first festival that we threw for Techweek Chicago. It was an absolutely hectic first month of work getting ready for this festival. But I remember this distinct moment during Eric Prydz’s set on Thursday night where I stepped back a little bit and had this realization that I had helped make what was happening on stage actually happen. I wasn’t just listening to this amazing set, I had helped make it happen. That was a vey memorable moment for me.
Q. Do you have any hidden talents?
I can play the ukulele and the guQin, a traditional Chinese instrument. I’m also an excellent whistler.
Q. Anything else we should know?
I like long walks on the beach, those Quiet moments under the stars, and have been described by my mother as “the most handsome.”