In the Fall of 2016, my college roommate at the time, Dylan Leslie, approached me about a movie concept he was in the middle of developing: a reclusive, aging musician reminiscing on his past life as a rock star in the 60s group Canyon. And in order to legitimize the storytelling, this fictional, aging musician, needed a believable song for his fictional band.

I was brought on to the project to compose this original song and a score for the short. Inspired by the Beach Boys, I wrote, recorded, and produced “I’m Not Okay” as an homage to nostalgic, 60s surfer rock. I even got my older brother, Warren, to play his trumpet on the track to further evoke the era I was going for.

This film became a lovechild between me and Dylan: we ate, drank, and breathed Canyon. It was a phenomenal experience full of sleepless nights and collaborating. If you look close enough, you’ll see that I’m even in the picture.