Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising effects on our lives and careers. We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them.

Troy Cook | DJ & Musician

My Dad hosted a trivia game show on the radio for 25 years, so I was brought up behind the scenes in the radio industry. That exposure along with my passion for music since the age of 6 has lead me down a path of music and entertainment. Today, I own and operate an entertainment business (TNT Entertainment), sing and play guitar for a local rock band (Ready Set Survive), and host a local music podcast (Palapalooza) to align my self with that purpose. Read more>>

Emiko M. Venlet | Painter

I was born and raised in a rural part of Japan. When I was young it was normal to live with paternal grandparents and growing up in a traditional old Japanese house in a countryside with grandparents’ influence has had great impact on my art career subconciously! My grandmother was a born crafter and artisan. She could make anything from a scratch. I grew up watching her cooking, fermenting food, drying vegetables in the winter wind, crocheting and knitting. My grandfather was a busy business man always smoking his pipes and making us laugh. He would give me a penny if I did something nice to him and I was always proud of being a fun granddaughter. Living in an old traditional Japanese house, you could always find a room or two that are sealed. You dare to explore those rooms and our house of course had those rooms! One of them was my grandmother’s little room where she had kept all her old clothes, pictures, jewelries, makeup things, full of memories from her childhood and adulthood before she became a grandmother. I would sneak in her secret room when I had a bad day at school or was going through some difficult emotions and it always lifted my spirits up. Read more>>

Taylor Taylor | Singer, Songwriter & Guitarist

I was raised an only child by a single mom in Lansing, Michigan. Although my immediate family is quite small, my grandma was 1 of 14 kids so I have a giant extended family and a large community of people who have been supportive of my music career from the very beginning. I started performing when I was 13 as a very shy teen with a guitar. My mom and my grandma as well as others were always there in the audience, whether they were among hundreds or the only ones in the room. My mom had taken on the role of Manager and began booking shows for me (and eventually my band) all over the state. Without her support and dedication and the nurturing nature of those around me, I don’t know that I would be LA today still making music and pushing forward with what I love. Read more>>