You don't have to ask Reggie Watts to make music. He just does. As he fumbles around for cords and components in the drawers and bookshelves of his Brooklyn apartment, everything that falls within eyeshot becomes a song. Spending a few minutes in his presence, you get the feeling that Watts would have been doing this in some form or other, no matter what career path he'd ultimately settled on, making a name for himself as the singing lawyer or beat boxing chef. But the stars aligned for the musician / comedian, aided in no small part by the increasing availability of cheap, affordable technology.
"I grew up in what i like to call 'the perfect technology curve,' " explains Watts. "When I was a kid, I had organic instruments. There wasn't super high tech stuff. All the super high tech stuff would have been way too expensive. The idea of owning a synthesizer in 1980 was insane for a kid. I [eventually owned] Casio keyboard. That was awesome. I got to experiment with that and make it do things it wasn't designed to do." The technology now forms the backbone of Watts' improvisational music making, inhibited only by the constraints of his knapsack. "Everything fits in my backpack," he says. "That's my setup, that's my rule. If anything else comes along, it would have to fit in my backpack."