We capture a mental fingerprint of some of our musical and cultural heroes and preserve it in cyber-amber for the wonderment of future generations. This is the Insomniac Questionnaire.

What was your favorite toy as a child, and when and why did you stop playing with it?
This little ratty bumblebee, aptly named “bumble.” I think it was a present from my cousin. By the time I stopped playing with it, the thread was coming undone and the fabric was so dirty, it was almost hard to see the stripes any longer. I can’t remember why I stopped playing with it, but it stayed in my room on a shelf all the way until I moved away from home.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Did you take it?
Work hard, and when you’re done working hard, then work even harder. And when you think you’ve made it, then work even harder than before—something like that from Derrick Carter. And yes, I took it!

What part of your day do you look forward to most?
Early morning, before all the requests and meetings begin, or similarly, that time at night after everyone has gone to sleep, when I can listen to music or read or watch TV by myself. I’m the kind of person who needs a certain amount of alone time every day, or I start to go nuts.

What’s the best time you’ve ever had without spending money?
Every night before my kids go to bed, we talk one-on-one, and I tell them a story. This is the best for me.

What is your most treasured possession?
I need my computer to work, but if I have to choose a really fun thing that I have, it would be this 1980 convertible Rolls Royce. Some of my best days and breaks in my life are just taking that out for an hour and driving around the hood, playing tunes in the sun.

What is your favorite word?
Chocolate milk.

Do you owe an apology to anyone?
Absolutely.

When is the last time you were really scared?
I can’t remember, which means I’m about due for a dooy.

What is the last thing you Googled?
The Make Noise Black and Gold Shared system.

What’s the last sound you would want to hear before you die?
My kids’ voices.

Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? If not, what’s the last dream you remember having?
I always dream that a missing letter shows up that tells me I didn’t graduate high school and college. (But I did.)

How do you measure success?
Being able to do what I love without too many compromises. Staying independent and still earning a living.

If you could have one magical/superpower, what would you want, and why?
The power to make people laugh—I think comedy is the greatest and most difficult skill to master.

Have you ever had a brush with the paranormal or supernatural?
I’ve had some unexplainable good fortune, but I tend to think it’s more about being ready for anything and being able to recognize that there are miracles happening everywhere all around you.

What do you remember about your first kiss? 
I don’t remember it; I was 4. My mom says I bit her right after.

What four words best describe you?
Creative, independent, loving, real.

What’s the last impulsive thing you did?
Got my kids a trampoline.

Do you have a pet? Tell us a story about it/him/her. If not, what is your ideal pet, and what would you want it to do in an ideal world?
We have a dog named Q-tip, but we also just got baby chickens. In an ideal world, they will all get along together, and the chickens will lay eggs everyday for our breakfast!

What is your strongest or best personality trait? 
I never give up.

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?
Yes, there is a conspiracy at festivals when the top acts are playing on the mainstage at peak-time, almost 10 out of 10 times, the sound gets lowered or messed with on all the secondary stages. This is so that the “main” act is guaranteed the best possible crowd. I understand why this happens, but of course I don’t like it. And of course no one will ever admit it happens, but it does.

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