“Who’s to say that if Bach were alive right now he wouldn’t be playing hip-hop and blending everything?”
Damien Escobar — a two-time Emmy Award-winning violinist — is in the Bach Would’ve Played Hip-Hop camp. And so would anyone who has listened to Escobar’s enchanting fusion of classical violin over hip-hop beats. A simple Google search of the soulful musician reveals a story that should be on the big screen: a thirteen-year old Juilliard graduate goes from playing violin on New York’s subways with his brother to playing on national television on “America’s Got Talent”. The two of them then tour the world and make millions of dollars, only for the band to break up, leaving Escobar in a deep depression, with an empty bank account, and a violin-less existence.
“In 2012, I hit a really low point in my life where I was homeless for a bit and I had to restart my journey. After having an already really successful career with my brother, I had to start from scratch,” Escobar recalls the moment when his life’s trajectory seemed to only be spiraling downward. “When you’re down to nothing and you’re just left with yourself, you can do one of two things. You can either stay where you are or you can learn a lot about yourself and pick up the pieces and move on.” So in early 2013, Escobar chose to try again. “There were high and low points, but I worked myself back up to being one of the most celebrated violinists in the world.”