Have you ever met someone famous and just couldn’t stand them?
You know the type.
They’re so full of themselves that they buy into the hype of their celebrity.
Making them impossible to deal with.
I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of celebrity divas and divos and their ridiculous riders.
Hello J Lo?
Well last weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with a celebrity without airs.
Most of you are probably scratching your head, thinking “Damien who?”
He’s one half of the Queens duo Nuttin But Stringz.
The Escobar brothers (Tourie and Damien) started violin at the ages of 8 and 7, respectively, and eventually studied at the Juilliard School.
They were third place finishers in the reality show talent contest America’s Got Talent.
They were probably the illest cats on violins that prime time television has ever seen.
Although they didn’t win, they went on to play for two presidents, win a couple of Emmy awards, appear on a slew of shows, like Ellen DeGeneres, Dancing With Star, and the list goes on.
After a whirlwind few years, performing around the globe, the brothers decided to split up and seek success as soloists.
I happened upon Damien through a mutual acquaintance and found him to be a downright regular guy.
At 6’4″, unassuming is not the word that immediately comes to mind.
Meeting him, you would never think this guy had platinum records sales and wowed audiences across the globe.
He was approachable, smiled easily and wasn’t put off with folks in his personal space.
We met a Dewey’s Flatiron for drinks and sat in a cramped booth, nearly on top of each other, sharing finger foods.
Even though I had only seen him on TV and in countless videos, meeting him for the first time seemed somehow familiar.
He had that kind of energy.
We talked about his music and his vision for his upcoming project, I Am Me, which (while sounding incredibly egotistical and contrary to the premise of this post) was really an effort of self-discovery.
As part of a musical duo for so long (he and his brother have trained and performed together since they were in the single digits) I Am Me is Damien’s first opportunity to define himself musically as an individual.
It’s rare that I meet an artist and feel compelled to write about it.
So clearly this kid has struck a nerve with me.
Will he (continue to) be successful?
But if you come across his music, check it out.
He’s got talent.
And if you get a chance to meet him, take it.
I’m sure you’ll be impressed.