In what part of town do you live?
I live in Cutler Bay.
How long have you lived in the area?
I’m 27. I’ve lived here at least 22 years.
Would you share a little about yourself?
I started picking up the bass guitar around the age of 13. A year later, I was already like ‘this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’ If I could produce a product that gives people this much joy, like it does for me, that is what I want to do. It’s very similar to what you do. It’s like all this delicious and nutritious food that you offer, it just makes people feel good and it makes you feel good to create it. I have very cool hippie parents that were like, ‘if this is what you want, look at what everyone else is doing who works in this field, then work your way up.’
How have you worked your way up?
I played with my friends and a bunch of bands and we played little gigs around town. We played at farmer’s markets, little family owned restaurants, and we would do it for free. Then, I went to Miami Dade College and enrolled in the music business program and I met some musicians there. We started a band called SunGhosts. That band essentially opened a ton of opportunities for me. These guys were in a league of their own, and we got a record deal. I talked to my advisors at school, and they said, ‘get out of here, if it doesn’t work, you can come back.’ It’s been working out ever since.
Have you found the quarantine to be a creative time?
I was playing a series of shows right before everything shut down. I’m going to be honest, in the beginning, it kind of put a damper on me. But, I said to myself, ‘It’s been a week of feeling bad and not being inspired. But, if I let it completely consume my life, I’m never going to do anything.’ The best way for me to do that was to get back to putting positive energy out there. Other artists have reached out and asked if I want to track base on their songs. They can essentially email me the songs, I can record straight from here and send it back. We’re breaking no rules, and it’s been really nice working local.
What else have you been doing to keep busy?
When I see you on the weekend to grab smoothies, I come straight from the rock climbing gym. I wasn’t that good at in the beginning, but I like stepping into things that I have no clue about. You just come out as such a better person at the end of it. And the gym is super close to the drive through, so I can pick up a rainbow smoothie afterwards, which is the best thing ever!
Would you share about the experience of coming to the drive through?
It’s very impressive. I love how you pay through Venmo and I love how you scan the code and start looking at the menu digitally while you are in line. Even when it was raining, you have the drive through tents set up so I could get out and grab something and socially distance. It brings a little bit of normalcy to this weird time that we’re in.
What other businesses have you supported during this time?
I’m trying to stay as safe as possible. I end up ordering a lot of delivery, which can get costly, using third party apps. I have one friend who’s a barber, and since I wasn’t comfortable going to a barbershop, he comes to my house. I just thought that was amazing. He brings a mirror and cuts my hair outside. I love how people have had a DIY approach to this whole thing.
Every time you’ve been by the drive through, your hair has been a different style or color. Is that an expression of the moment?
My sister Danielle says it best, ‘you’re born with a hair color, but it can be any color of the rainbow. So why just stick to one.’ I started the quarantine with a massively long wizard beard, and a very long Mohawk. I was a 5’4″ Viking person. I did a commercial for Sony music like that. Then, I shaved the beard and my head for a fresh start. And then, I dyed it red, then did a fade, then purple, and then it became mint, and then it became pink. And now I have this nuclear green which is my favorite so far. It’s really cool to see how people react and just want to talk to me.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
You guys are definitely one of them. The Edge rock climbing gym is definitely one too. Of course, right now there aren’t a whole lot of gigs and live scenarios. So, in the meantime I’d say there’s a lot of great local artists and musicians to check out. One is my friend’s band, Soulpax. They’ve been releasing all these quarantine videos and collaborating with different Miami artists.
What’s a worthy splurge for you?
It would be easy to say a cool guitar, but that’s such a cliche. I think a splurge is anything that benefits your well being, because you can’t put a price on that.
What community groups or philanthropic groups are important to you that you might like to promote or share?
There’s so many, but at the moment, I’ll go ahead and say the Black Lives Matter movement and everything that trickles down from there. I encourage anyone to see what’s going on with the movement and to support businesses that support the movement. Take a look at where your money is going and try to put it into places that help your fellow human being.
Also, I’d like to shout out for the (Alex) Honnald Foundation. He is the star of the documentary Free Solo, where he soloed El Capitan. His foundation supports bringing electricity to communities that don’t have access.
How we can find your music?
Instagram. My handle is: TheSteingold. I post 30 second clips of ideas, sessions, or songs that I really enjoy, to brighten up someone’s day. That’s also where you can reach me if you’re interested in having me play on a record or having me provide bass for anything. I’m also a music teacher and teach via the School of Rock Miami.
Is there a question that you would like to ask us?
How have you kept your momentum going through this situation?
(A+W) We’ve used it as an opportunity to grow.
Is there a word of advice or a challenge you would like to pose to the community?
I would say, physical activity is so important during this time. Especially now, it’s so easy to get into a slump or get beat down and a lot of us are sitting for prolonged periods of time. Do something to get your heart rate up a little bit and get the blood pumping. Try rock climbing!
Any final thoughts or questions?
You have a larger voice than you might think and can be a beneficial part of your community.