When did you get into the drums and why? My dad and his dad and his dad played the drums, so there was always a drum set around somewhere for me to have fun on. One of my favorite things about playing the drums, especially in reggae, is just the cosmic universal power that percussion [holds]. I love to do a lot of improvisation while I play. You never know what the show, venue, city [or] energy in the air might possibly create.
Fortunate Youth is based in Hermosa Beach, California. How did you get involved? They had been a band for two years before I joined. I knew about them because I was playing in a local Hawaiian reggae band called HaleAmanO, and we would always play shows together … I was lucky to join their band five years ago, when they were about to embark on their first full U.S. headlining tour.
The band also has a compilation series that benefits charity. The charity album is called Music Unites: Reggae Around the World. We just released our sixth volume. We’re very lucky to have had some of the biggest and most up-and-coming reggae bands in the world be a part of this project. [It’s] all about helping ones in need while uniting the scene. All proceeds are donated to Music Unites, a nonprofit music organization that helps kids who have lost their music programs due to underfunding.
What’s next for you after Saturday’s Reggae in the Desert gig? We have a big summer tour lined up with Slightly Stoopid and SOJA, and we’ll [be] recording a new album during the fall.
Fortunate Youth at Reggae in the Desert. June 11, noon-11 p.m., $40-$120. Clark County Government Center Amphitheater, reggaeinthedesert.com.