An Interview with Zach Deputy

Having a chat with Zach Deputy at Bear Creek Music Fest.

An Interview with Zach Deputy
By Chris Robie

HGMN: So how has Bear Creek been?

Zach: It's been sick. The first day was kind of chaotic but the rest has been pretty awesome. (Laughs) I got my tooth pulled on Wednesday, face has been like on fire.

HGMN: They didn't give you anything to numb the pain?

Zach: Well, it's like you've got to take the catch 22. Do you take the stuff to numb the pain and make your brain not work as good or do you just deal with the pain and let your brain work? But I heal fast like Wolverine (smiles). So I'm gonna deal with the pain, ya know. It's funny because they say don't drink out of a straw because of the pressure and then I'm playing sets and I'm going (does the beatbox), ya know. And every time I do that I feel the stitches in my mouth (laughs).

HGMN: Doesn't it just open up the cuts when you do that?

Zach: Yeah, the first night...last night was better but the night before and the night before that, Thursday I played in Orlando and then Friday when I played here, both nights after I played my set I was just tasting blood. It definitely opened up the wounds.

Is it doing better?

Zach: It's doing better today. I mean today has been light years better than the last few days. I still feel that my whole face hurts but when you deal with a lot of pain and when it gets better it just feels better so I'm happy. It's doing good now but I still can't chew anything. Other than that I'm doing good.

Is Bear Creek one of your favorite festivals? You seem to be here every year.

Zach: Yeah. This and Wormtown are my two favorite festivals.

I actually saw you perform at Wormtown. It was great. You seem to have a really nice fan base there. (Wormtown is an annual music festival held at Camp Keewanee in Greenfield, MA.)

Zach: Yeah, I do. It's funny that I have a better fan base up there than I do down here.

Is it because you tour up there more?

Zach: Um, possibly. I think...I don't know what it is. The people are different up there and they attach to what they like more quicker. I find that the South is the same in most ways but it takes the South a little bit longer I think to attach themselves to something. Like up north there's a lot more independent, as far as like...the jam band scene, there's more independent people. They'll go to a festival and see a band and be like that's my new favorite band. And they'll follow that band everywhere weather there's five people there or weather there's ten people there.  And the thing about the music industry, if people know there's going to be a lot of people at the show they'll just go. And there are all those people that just sit at the fence and they wanna go because of the party. And then there are music lovers, people who are like, I'm going because I wanna support this band because I love this band. And they speak to my soul. And I find that for whatever reason up North there's more of those people who act quick.  In the south there's people just the same as up North but I just found that there's less of them. And maybe it's because there's more people in the North.

HGMN: There's definitely a different vibe.

Zach: There is.

HGMN: Speaking from someone who was raised in the South and then later moved to North Carolina. It's still kinda like the South but it's a totally different vibe than like down in South Georgia.

Zach: It is.  This area in here you have to do something amazing for people to pay attention. I think if you're doing something original in the South it has to be great because nobody cares, ya know. There's so many bars I played in starting up where I was just that guy sitting in the back of the bar, singing. There's one guy who is ridiculously intoxicated and clapping and rooting in a way that wasn't productive. (Laughs) That's the visual I think of bands starting in the South. People are very supportive in other regions of the country, even if you aren't doing something amazing, people support you up North. They get behind you and at least make you feel good. That's the difference. When they have that kind of energy and they're ready to get their mind blown, they're already pumped to hear something and when you deliver it, it just seals the deal. Up North it's just been easier for me to kinda like, do it. I think out West it's going to be the same thing. I think that I'm going to grow faster out West than anywhere else because people are ready to rage, ya know, as long as you can match their energy. Musicians, we're all the same. We base our energy level off of the crowd's energy level and if we have that coming back to us it's like a battery. If they're sending that energy we stay charged and we can play all day and all night long. That's why I like the crowds like that. Bear Creek doesn't feel like that to me, like your normal down south southern venue you're playin' in and tryin' to grow. Bear Creek is alive and I feel like the real Heads that are around this general area all congregate to this festival. And the reason being is because the lineup is just so sick.  The artists that Paul picks aren't because Paul's picking artists that he thinks are going to sell tickets. He's picking artists because he really digs them and he's really into them and just hoping and assuming that everybody else is. He's picking from his heart and not his wallet.

HGMN: I like how Paul works with bands that may not make it in one year but he'll help them book shows in the area to help them build an audience for next year. That's really rare that a promoter would do that. (Paul Levine is the festival director for Bear Creek).

Zach: Yeah, Paul's got his heart into it. That's just the same vibe I feel from Bear Creek to Wormtown. The people that run it have their heart into it. It really means something to them. It's not just a music festival.  I think that's why I like those two the best.

HGMN: So where are you from originally?

Zach: Savannah, GA.

Have you always been playing, is that where you started?

Zach: Yeah. It's funny; I still don't do big numbers in Savannah, (laughs) my hometown. If I go to Hilton Head during the summer then I could do a thousand people. Hilton Head is really my hometown but I live right outside of Savannah. I was born in Savannah but I was raised in Bluffton but nobody knows where Bluffton is so I say Savannah. But I've been playing in Savannah since the beginning.

HGMN: Did you go to school there, college?

Zach: No. I never went to college. I dropped out the first day I was allowed.

So you just knew all along what you were going to do?

Zach: Yeah. When I was thirteen and before I had a guitar, um...people used to laugh at me but I remember when I was thirteen I was like, I'm gonna play the guitar better than Hendrix cause at the time Hendrix was the man. I'm going to learn the guitar better than Hendrix and I'm gonna play guitar for a living. That's before I even got a guitar or anything. That was always the mentality that I had. If I put my mind to it I can do it. The hardest thing with music, which is what I found, and I had like this turning point back when I was nineteen, it's defining yourself. That's really what's hard with music. It's what do I hear? What's in my soul? What music comes from me? Not like what would Hendrix do or what would Stevie Ray Vaughn do or what would Led Zeppelin do or anybody that you like.  I was nineteen and I figured that I was just going to force myself to go into another direction. I got sick of taking solos. I liked them but I felt like it was an influence from somebody else. So for about two years there I quit listening to music, at all, anybody. Like, no music and I put my electric guitar away and I only played the nylon string. And I would go play nylon in rock n' roll bands and I would put myself into bad situations on purpose. I would be playing in a rock 'n' roll band with an acoustic nylon string guitar. What do you do? You're like basically thrown to the dogs. This instrument is not supposed to be here, how can I make it fit and sound good? And I just did that, eventually from not listening to anything  and just going into my head I kinda found a sound that was me and the way I heard music and the way music danced in my soul. And that was the hardest thing about figuring out music. Who am I? What do I hear? What speaks to me when I imagine music, how does it sound?  Not how I imagine somebody else playing it.

So you were playing in a band at this point?

When I started doing it I was playing in the Word Of Mouth Experience. Me and my friend Kyle, we decided we were going to go to California and start a band. So we packed up the truck, we put the PA in, he had his bass, I had my guitar. I was doing the loop machine show kinda with him at the time. I was doing the beat box and laying down the rhythm tracks.  We decided that we were going to go out west and start a band and we didn't know how. We just took off.  We made it to Boulder, Co. and never left. We just got stuck there. Boulder is like a festival nonstop.  We got there and was like, this place is awesome let's just stay here. I was about twenty, if I recall right. I'm really bad at recalling my age at times, twenty, maybe Twenty-one. (Laughs) The only age I know is my daughter's age.

I didn't know that you have a daughter.

Yeah. She's 1yr and 7 weeks.

Is she in Savannah?

Zach: Yeah. She's the coolest thing ever.

What is your daughter's name?

Ann Elizabeth Deputy. Yeah, she's the coolest.

HGMN: Does she inspire much writing?

Zach: Yeah, everything.  When you play music, whatever you're singing about you need to dig from a well of emotion. My music is very positive because I believe in looking at the positive things in life and spreading that energy because that defeats the negative energy. We all have positive and negative energy and the point is to overcome the negative energy and to see life for what it is and all the good things in it. I try to pull from a well of love and she's one of the best things to pull from. Just the thought of her and what I'm singing and thinking about her, dwelling about the thought of her, missing her, it pours out and it makes me not miss her as much and I take that energy and give it to everybody else. Having a child is the most amazing thing ever.

HGMN: Is there a particular song that you do that's especially for her?

Zach: Yeah, I have quite a few songs. One of them is a slow tune. I usually play it at the end of shows to close sometimes, called 'Right as Rain'. I wrote it before she was born because I'm a musician, it's sad but I'm going to be gone a lot more than like most dads would be.  So it's basically a lullaby, saying that I'm thinking about her and she's safe and that I know God is keeping her safe where she is and I'm going to be home.  I wrote it for her before she was even born. That was the first song I wrote for her. Since then I've got a couple songs about her. 'Jump in The Water' is a song about her. I'm thinking about her swimming and being in the water and me being with her. It's just an awesome feeling to see your kid smiling and having just a really good time. And that makes me remember that. When you're on the road it's tough so if you have songs that remind you of the things that keep you grounded and keep you solid, family and stuff, it keeps you there. I like to sing about her a lot.

Zach Deputy - Sunshine CDHGMN: Your new album, Sunshine, has a really positive vibe to it. You definitely get a strong sense of your influences in some of the songs, such as Michael Jackson...

Zach: Yeah, totally.

HGMN: Has he been one of your biggest influences?

Zach: MJ is one of my favorites. I think my three biggest influences, putting this off to the side; I'm really influenced by island music, especially native St. Croix.

HGMN: Any particular reason why?

Zach: My family is from St. Croix.   And my grandma, ever since I was a kid I was infatuated with calypso and that kind of music. I loved it. Every time my grandma came down she brought me a new calypso tape. So I had no clue who the guys were that influenced me. That's one of my biggest influences, my grandma's calypso mix tapes. (Laughs) I have no clue who those guys were but I grew up listening to that stuff and loving it. The rhythms are just so different than the traditional American rhythm. That's just a big influence because I add that to everything. I mean, I am Latin so I think Latin in a lot of my rhythms. But if I was going to name artists, the three that I think have influenced me the most, Ray Charles, James Brown and Michael Jackson.

HGMN: You can definitely sense those influences on the new album. Is there a particular favorite?

Zach: For the album and the way it came out I really like 'Dr. Doctor' a lot.

HGMN: On that track you can really feel the influence of Ray Charles.

Yeah, totally. That's my favorite one on this album. That song means a lot to me. That's kinda like; it has double meanings to it. There's so many people trying to find happiness at the bottom of a bottle and that's just not where it's at. I think about a couple people that I really love in that song. And I really like the song, 'Stay'.  It is like a slow kind of gospel tune. 'Stay' makes made me tear up quite a few times listening to it. You know the story behind the album. I lost everything the day before I was supposed to be in the studio.

HGMN: This was in NJ, right?

Zach: Yeah. It was the most stressful situation that had ever happened to me. I was so stressed out that I had diarrhea for days (laughs). With all that emotion I tried to just stay positive but I think in 'Stay' you can kinda feel a lot of that coming out. I mean the song is about a lot of things. It's a deep song. It's a song for myself basically. I haven't really explained it too deep to anybody because it's really a song to me from me to remind me of kinda how I'm an idiot. That one makes me tear up. I guess I like those two versions the best on the album because I feel like I can't re-create that as well live. I can't do 'Stay' live without a band, it just doesn't work and Dr. Doctor with a band is just way better. When I listen to the album those are the ones I really want to listen to. And 'Paramus' is a lot of fun. It's like venting on the whole situation of my truck being gone.  And I didn't even mean to make that a song. I was just in the studio playing the Wurlitzer. The original lyrics were not so nice, (sings) "Bitches stole my truck, bitches stole my truck. Where's my fuckin' truck? Them bitches stole my truck." (Laughs) It's the PG version on the album. I wrote the song down in like five minutes. The lyrics are really simple and then the band came in the next day. We did it in three takes.

HGMN: There's the old saying that everything happens for a reason. When you look back on that whole experience, everything being stolen, what do you think came out of that?

Zach: There were so many lessons involved. It took one asshole to steal my truck. Hundreds and hundreds of people came and tried to help. There's a lot more good in the world than there is bad in the world. Who knows where I would be if that didn't happen or what string of things would have went on. I had to completely re-think my gear. I had to start fresh. And I have a different sound now than I did before my stuff got stolen because I was like, do I buy what I used to have or should I buy this because this is probably better. So i had to re-think my gear and reconstruct my show and I think that has worked out for the best, definitely. I think it's important in this day and age because it's such a struggle to maintain on the road and to survive as a musician that people do get behind you and support you.  I don't think people realize, unless I wanted to go mainstream and get paid by a label and sell out and do whatever they want me to, I depend on people to keep me doing what I'm doing. It's a very weird job compared to normal. And a lot of people personally got invested and gave money and personally got involved and I think that has to happen and needs to happen for me to survive doing what I'm doing. It was really awesome to see all that happen. So in the end of it all a lot more good came out of it than bad. I don't stress out about finances. In the long run I always look at the big picture, I don't look at the small picture, I don't get stressed out about it. I know things are gonna work out. I've seen the worst, it might get worse but I know in the end there's a light at the end of the tunnel and things will work out. Ya know, it's a good ending to a bad story and that's what life should be about. You should look at everything and be like, wow! I can't believe this happened. What can we do and what can come out of it? What's come out of it has been awesome. There's a lot of lessons to be learned from the hardships of that but everybody goes through it. And I think when people, when they let it get them down, when people start going, poor me. Why did it happen to me?!  It happens to us all. We all go through struggle...

HGMN: Everybody reacts differently.

Zach: Yeah. It's all in how you react. It's how you act during those times when things go down.

HGMN: People just don't realize how much control they actually have in their lives.

Zach: Yeah, they don't. You gotta remain positive. I tell people, and I even have to remind myself this too because we're all, humans are emotional. You get going in a certain direction it's hard to get back. In reality happiness is a choice. You choose to smile and be happy. There's definitely an element where you're faking it and you're not really happy because you haven't really turned the switch on.  You're just smiling but you choose to be happy. You choose to look at the situation the way you want to look at it. We've all met those people in life. My mom thinks I'm a freak. She doesn't understand, no matter what happens I'm positive and I react positive. That's my nature and she's like, there's something wrong with you (laughs). But the opposite of that sometimes, no matter what, there's people that will look at the worst side of the situation. It's a decision. It's how you see it. You have to look at it realistically; you can't look at it blindly and be like everything is perfect. It's not perfect.  Bad shit happens. But the reality is how are you going to deal with that bad shit? How are you going to overcome? And that's where the positivity comes in.

HGMN: Well, I think that you have many things to be positive about right now. You have a new album, 'Sunshine', and it's doing great on radio. It's currently #7 on our top 40 radio chart. It's also up for HGMN studio album of the year.

Zach: Yeah, that's exciting.

Zach Deputy - Sunshine CDHGMN: Going back to your debut album, 'Out of the Water', didn't you have some top names appearing as guest musicians?

Zach: I had some beasts on the first album. Ya know I still don't feel like I came into my own, I felt like I came into my own on this album (Sunshine). I had Sonny Emory on drums (Earth Wind & Fire, Steely Dan, B-52s, etc.). He's like one of the greatest drummers, literally, alive. I had Sam Sims on bass. He's Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Bette Midler, Whitney Houston's bass player. He's just a beast. I was kinda nervous in the studio. These guys were just like all time greats and I'm just this kid from Savannah, GA. trying to make an album that doesn't know nothin' from nothin'. I just write a lot of songs. I was nervous. I kinda just let them do what they did and we went in there and recorded the album. The album took so long and it was over a process of time. That album took like eight, nine months. Compared to 'Sunshine' which I had to record it that week or I was gonna run out of money.  So I recorded that one in four days. And I think it's a better album substantially than the first album. Some people disagree.

HGMN: I like it much better.

Zach: I like it much better, personally. I was proud of it and I can still listen to it. The first album, I can listen to it once every six months and really enjoy it and after that I can't listen to it twice because things like to urk me in it. Changes, there are things I would do differently. But all in all I'm proud of both albums. But this one (Sunshine), I didn't try at all. I went in there; half the songs were the songs I recorded with the Montbleau band, they were all like Motown style. We recorded them, I didn't overdo the vocals, I just did my one vocal, my one guitar and that was it. Let it ride, put it on the album. The other ones, I recorded them so fast, I don't think I did anything more than three takes. It was just a piece of cake. Four days in and out of the studio with an album. That's pretty much unheard of nowadays. That one just felt right. It felt like it was me and I felt like I captured the essence, at least somewhat, of what I am and what I do. It was good.

I've noticed sometimes when people try to explain your music to someone that has never heard you before, and I'm sure you've heard this, compare you to Keller Williams. I don't think that you sound anything like Keller other than the fact that you're a solo artist that does loops and stuff. How would you describe your music?

Zach:  Well, it's kinda like, if you could imagine back in time the first guy that invented the guitar. Keller wasn't the first guy to loop but he's the first guy people associate looping that kinda made it to that level. I didn't even know who Keller was until after I was looping for over two years but he was the first one that got known for it. So can you imagine the first person who invented the guitar, and everybody was like, that guy that plays that crazy instrument, it's awesome. And pretend he played Bluegrass. And then this other guy decides, wow, that guitar is cool. I'm going to make one. But he plays Spanish Flamingo. Even though this guy plays Spanish Flamingo and that guy is playing Bluegrass, people are going to be like, it's just like that guy with that crazy instrument because they're not going to know how to describe it. And people use words to describe things, like he sounds like James Brown and Ray Charles but until your name becomes a name, where they use your name to describe things, which will happen. People will be like, he gets funky like Zach Deputy but he kinda seems country. People have a lack of words to describe things so I think people say he loops like Keller but he's nothing like Keller. I really dig what Keller does but what I do is more songwriter base, it's more organic. Kinda what I do doesn't even fit into this festival scene really but it does. It's weird. I'm a song guy. I just use the looping to kinda project the songs and the feeling. I am jammy but not in the same way that everybody else is. With the loop machine I can't. When I play with a band I could go that way, in that direction. But look what I do. I'm kinda stuck in the box. I do what works for me. I don't think it's from their ignorance, I think it's from not having the words to describe it. And I haven't really got good words to describe what I do because technically I'm a looper and that's one element to describe to people because some people still don't get it. On the other side you got, what kind of music am I? And that's really hard. I believe it's like a mutt between funk, soul, gospel and island music.  And most of my songs have multiple elements of music at one time. It's not just funk, it's not just island, it's like this weird combination and that's what I am but that's hard to explain to people. What I always tell them and it's funny but it makes it simple, imagine James Brown and Michael Jackson and Ray Charles had an illegitimate child that grew up in the Virgin Islands. That's kinda what I do.

HGMN: That's a pretty good description.

Yeah, even on my bio sheet I completely disagree. It's not a good depiction. It says something like roots rock, reggae...something. It totally gives them no clue at what I do. It's a tough thing. I have to wait until people get to a point where they just know, so they can associate the name with the sound instead of worrying about describing it in so many words. At this day and age it's different. Culture, it's spread out now. It used to be, you would know your surroundings and your culture around you. And then people would go and play music and they would develop this kind of music together, ya know. People who are playing in the mountains of Louisiana had a sound. That was their sound, wow; you guys really have a sound. But now we have so many influences and you can listen to something in Uruguay or South Africa while being in America and be influenced by all these influences. I think music now is growing towards we can all influence each other. So when you play music it shouldn't just be indigenous to your area. Which, as far as I'm concerned I still can't help get away from the southern, gospel, soul and roots in my family ties to the islands, ya know. I think that's my biggest influence.  I try to add the whole world and African rhythms into it if I can.

What sort of music do you listen to, I mean artists that are still performing today?

Zach: I'm into a lot of bands. I like songwriters. Those are the ones I can see over and over again. Ryan Montbleau Band, I really love those guys. Good friends of mine and maybe that clouds my judgment but I love them. I always dig Scofield. Adam Deitch, I'm a really big nerd for Adam Deitch as a drummer. I'm a very rhythmic person so most guitarists. During that spell when I quit listening to anything I also would like, let me play my guitar as if it wasn't a guitar. Let me imagine it's a drum or a flute, anything that's not a guitar. Let me just make it sound not guitarish. And I really delve into drummers. Adam is ridiculous. When Adam plays with Scofield, I love that stuff. Lettuce is super funky. I wish they would let me sing with them.

HGMN: They won't let you?!

Zach: Nah, I never asked them.

HGMN: You should.

Zach: I should. I'm like, I never asked a band to sit in, ya know. I just don't want them to feel obligated if they don't want to because I know what that feels like. This girl hopped up on stage and she was like, let me sing! But I'm not appropriately set up for you to sing. So, ya know, I don't know what to do. It's uncomfortable and I don't want anybody to feel uncomfortable.

HGMN: Do you know Brock Butler of Perpetual Groove? You sort of remind me of him in a way.

Zach: Yeah. Brock was just getting started on the road when I first started playing around Savannah and Hilton Head. He's from the same town I'm from, Savannah. I like, took Brock's place. He used to host open mic night at the mellow mushroom. He was big in Savannah when I started. When he started going on the road he couldn't host open mic night, which was Tuesdays (JJ Cagney's) and Thursday and Sundays at the Mellow Mushroom. I just happened to be at open mic on the right night and I rocked it. Vince was like; you want to host open mic night? Sure. And the same night the girl that worked at Mellow Mushroom was like, you should come play at the Mellow Mushroom Thursdays and Sundays. So it's like going from having no gigs to having three gigs a week, ya know, all because Brock was leaving. (Laughs) That's where I started and honed my art, were those places.

HGMN: I'm sure he would say the same thing.

Zach: Yeah, definitely. That's where it starts. It starts by playing in front of about fifteen people doing what you do and impressing fifteen people. If you can't impress five people at a time you can't impress anybody. And it's harder to impress fifteen people than a hundred. You gotta go through that period of discovering yourself. I've always played in bands, so many Motown bands, so many cover bands. I wanted to do my own thing and break out of that. I had ideas that nobody was getting. I tried to describe the ideas and they weren't getting them. I couldn't translate my ideas to other people. It really opened up a window for me to do it and now I'm really good at it because now I can go like this, (makes beat box sound), and I can put the right fling into it and everything. It was good but a slow process. I never thought that this show would take off.   I remember one day, my band was playing every Thursday on Hilton Head at Riders and I started playing every Sunday at Riders solo. Not because they wanted me but because they couldn't afford to pay a full band, for $150. Riders in Hilton Head is where I first got big, where a shit ton of people would come to see me play. It got to the point, to explain the whole story; I was doing the same thing at Mellow Mushroom before I was playing Thursdays and Sundays. I was playing Sundays solo and my band with my brother on Thursday. My Sundays started taking off at Mellow Mushroom so my brother wanted to move the band to Sunday and move my solo act to Thursdays so we could play in front of more people. I said, OK. And then the Sunday tailed off, Thursday never had anybody there and then they eventually both tailed off. I got fired for sucking, basically. But at Riders it was like the same exact scenario, three years later, I'm playing Thursdays and Sundays. The Sundays, getting like 300-350 every Sunday. The Thursdays we were getting like, fifty. My brother was like, dude, we need to move the band to Sunday. I'm like, not going to happen.  People are coming to see me and I don't want to mess this up. I don't want to confuse people. My brother was like, I quit! (Laughs) So I went from playing like one solo show a week to every Thursday, Sunday and then I picked up other ones. And then within about six months it was like a guaranteed 400-500 people every Thursday and Sunday. This happened for like two years straight. Everybody from Hilton Head remembers the days. It was like the good ol' days. It was like this thing that happened that would probably never happen again but for some reason it became bigger than Hilton Head because people knew that there was so much of a party going on, that every week people would come out from Savannah. It's like I said, there's those people who are there for the music and people that are there for the party. There's much more there for the party than the music. I created this party every Thursday and Sunday and shit tons of people would come and it was awesome. That was my platform for developing who I was. That's where I really figured out, this is my sound and this is what I do. It was definitely Hilton Head at Riders. That was the venue I became me as an artist and really became a performer.

HGMN: That's where you knew that you wanted to be a touring performer?

Zach:  Yeah. You know the day when you're like, I'm ready to tour. I have something now that people should see and I need to go show them. (Laughs) I basically started touring like right when the recession started. It's like one of the worst times to start touring.

HGMN: But that's when you were feelin' it. You gotta go with it.

Zach: I got to go with it and do it. It's kinda good. I've taken things really slow and done almost all headliners. I'll start a town with twenty people, go to twenty-five, go to thirty-five, fifty-five. I've done it really slow so I've gotten to know a lot of people in every town. 

HGMN: Any goals you set to accomplish in 2010?

Zach: Is to make Zach Deputy a household name from California to Florida, to Maine, to Washington State, basically, the U.S. My vision of this year, I try to keep my visions legitimate and realistic. This year (2009) was making myself a national act. This consummates two years of touring. What I've accomplished in two years is far more than I predicted. I feel really blessed to get as far as I have. This year, kinda my goal is to make waves from one side of the country to the other.