Why an Audio Book?
Creating an audio book wasn’t a conscious decision I made at the beginning of the project, instead the format revealed itself to me as I put all of the pieces together.
The idea got its start six years ago when I sent the original script for the live show to my brother. He told me it read more like a book. So that idea always stayed in the back of my mind even after performing it live.
My songs and lyrics have always been narrative and I wrote the chapters to match that format. The audiobook is based on the live show, but they’re not the same. The final product evolved over time. While doing the show, I had always thought about what the best version of it could be, but that vision was out of reach for a live performance. So, then I thought about what could the best version sound like. And that is how the audiobook came to be.
Obviously Lost Rebel isn’t the first project to blend music and spoken word. Although there weren’t any direct influences that drove me to make an audiobook, there are many projects that are distant cousins of Lost Rebel. There was Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves where he has interludes that carry the narrative. You had the hip-hop musical Carmen, starring Beyonce. I wasn't particularly thinking about these but they paved the way.
There were so many other influences for this project, too, like John Leguizamo and his one man shows, Dead Poets Society, Catcher in the Rye, Clarissa Explains it All, Juice, My Girl, the MTV culture and so much more. As far as artists, there are so many. In the book, I mention Nas, Jay-Z, and Enimem.
I wanted Lost Rebel to be its own thing. The format is my love letter to how I consumed ‘90s pop culture which featured a lot of child actors breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the audience