Lil and Katie stood next to Gregory Porter outside the store

MIMMO Meets: Gregory Porter

In celebration of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and our love of jazz, we convinced friend of MIMMO Studios Gregory Porter to give us an hour of his time. In conversation with Lydia Tsiouva and co-founder Lil, Gregory gives us an insight into his inspirations, taste and shares some memories of his near-decade involvement with the Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

Lydia: Thank you so much for joining me! It's a pleasure to meet you. So where in the world are you today? I know you're regularly touring...

Gregory: Bakersfield, California. Home base is here and in New York. So I'm in California right now.

Lydia: Bakersfield is where you grew up as well, right?

Gregory: Yeah. I came back here like, six, seven years ago.

Lydia: You've been coming to Cheltenham for a few years now. What were your first impressions of our hometown? And what makes you come back?

Gregory: I love it. Man, I can't believe I found this town because of the festival. I've since been there without the festival. There's a unique vibe that's created from it being a little town. The first time I came to Cheltenham I wasn't that well known.

Lil: How many years ago did you first come to Cheltenham?

Gregory: I think it's about 10 years I've been doing the festival. I mean, I missed a couple of years and obviously, the COVID years as well. But from day one people embraced me. I remember the first festival, I was walking down the street, just minding my own business,  and one of the owners of that wine spot...

Lydia: Was it on the corner? John Gordon’s?

Gregory: Yeah! He just pulled me in, totally got me drunk. I was on my way back to my hotel, it was so beautiful. I kept going to spots and people were just warm, generous, sweet and kind and it was the vibe of the village. I really dug that. I could go on and on. I like that it's a festival city, there's the Literature Festival and I love that there's a desire for culture. Sometimes people will ask "What are some of your favourite festivals around the world?" And I mention Cheltenham. Then they're like "Yeah I've heard of that place, they have horses out there?" But there's a lot of things.

Lydia: So you've had significant input into selecting the headliners for the festival. Has that direction evolved over the years? If so, how?

Gregory: Well, there's an interesting thing about getting artists for a festival. And I know because I am an artist, it is timing. What project do you have? Is the artist out on tour? Where are they at in the world? Are they having a baby? Are they making a record at the time? So a lot of times, the artists that you can get are determined by the best availability. You still curate, you have a desire, and this list of desires. But it's like a Christmas list, you're not gunna get everything you want. But if you get the big one, you're satisfied. Now I've had a musical relationship with a lot of the people that will be on at the festival, some this will be their first time. But having been on stage with Van Morrison, I think it was the very first time that I did the festival and it was so interesting, the interaction that we had, I had no idea that he even knew who the hell I was. I was talking about music to an audience on the Cheltenham grounds, and there were these shadowy figures in the back of the room, dressed in leather and hats. Who are these guys? I did my talk about music and the guys are gone. Then, my manager came a little bit later and said, "You know, that was Van Morrison, listening to your master class”, I was like "what?!" I said "I'm supposed to be learning at his feet." He then gave me an invitation to perform a song with him on his show, which was additionally amazing. It was just an incredible experience and to connect with him that time and to, again, come full circle. I guess it's been eight or 10 years since that time, and we'll perform together again this year at Cheltenham Jazz Festival. He's a Master of Music and a master of his craft, a master of understanding the power of music, and the things that it can do. That was an extraordinary connection. Now we meet and we see each other around the world. He'll just pop up at one of my concerts somewhere and he's like, "Gregory you're getting better and better." It's powerful fuel to a young artist.

Lil: So you and Van Morrison are playing together at the festival this year?

Gregory: We are yeah, either I'm doing a song on his set, or he's doing a song on my set. Liz Wright was another artist. We've recorded together and we've gone on tour together, I think she just has the best voice in the world. I'm cherry picking some of my favourites but there's gonna be a tonne of great artists. I'm looking forward to not only just experiencing the music, but enjoying a musical moment as well. Sometimes I don't get to sit and listen to music. I mean, on a normal time, non COVID times it's 200 shows a year. I'm around music all the time. but in some ways I'm just focusing on my thing. In a narcissistic way, but it's all good I get to be around these extraordinary people, and so it's nice to have a musical moment with them as well.

Lil: You sometimes get to see other musicians play at Cheltenham Jazz Festival where you can just enjoy it though, remember last year...

Gregory: Oh yeah, we saw Jamie Cullum last year leap off the piano and then leap off the stage and then, unbeknownst to me, he calls me up on stage. That was crazy.

Lydia: I can imagine that the crowds at the jazz festival are considerably different from those at the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury (where you've also played.) Does audience size determine your setlists? Are there certain songs that are better suited to an intimate crowd?

Gregory: What I try to do is take a large space like the Royal Albert Hall, like Glastonbury, and make it as small as possible and create an intimacy. You do that with time and with craft and with the will of your personal musical charisma. You try to bring people in. Now, when I can see and touch and feel people, like in Cheltenham I can see everybody in the eye. Maybe the dual songs with just my piano player and myself, they connect in a different way because there's such a close intimacy. It's like a jazz club which can be very different than Glastonbury. At Glastonbury I'm singing for people with mud on their boots and I'm wearing wellies myself on my tippy toes, blasting my vocal. Even in that way, I'm trying to create an intimacy of message. That's the only thing that's important to me.

Lydia: It might seem odd to make this comparison, but it’s kind of like how grief manifests itself in different ways. So does love right?

Gregory: You just said something that I deal with, that I operate with. So there's a song. [he sings] "there's a thin line between love and hate." But there's a thin line between love and grief, and hate. Sometimes hate is confused love. I play with that, in my words, my poetry all the time. So it's interesting, you picked up on something. You think that there's some distance in it, but really, in terms of the human understanding, and the emotions and the chemicals, it's very close.

Lydia: You discovered your singing talent at a young age during gospel practice and were inspired to pursue it as a career by your late mother's famous words "sing baby! sing!" What made you choose the path of jazz, soul, and blues? I've heard you've also got a soft spot for R&B and rap.

Gregory: I guess I was six years old, which is when I had my first solo in the Sunshine Band in my church, at that time we lived in Los Angeles. I sang a song [he sings] "Something beautiful, something good. All of my confusion he understood. Nothing more to offer him was brokenness, and strife, but he made something beautiful of my life." So I sang this sweet little, almost lullaby and shook up the church. I remember at that time, saying, "wow, the power of music" I didn't think that I had any power at all. In some ways, I still feel that way. People are filling Royal Albert Hall or Ziggo Dome or filling some Philharmonic, somewhere around the world for music and sometimes I take myself out of the equation. It's not false humility, I still feel that way. I feel in the way that they're like, music chose me. I'm a vessel in a way of some energy, musical energy that passes through me. Yeah, I was six and that happened to my mother, who was a minister from that time. In the years on, she constantly encouraged me, I was her right-hand man in terms of if she needed a song. She was like, [he sings] "The fiery darts of the wicked, keep away, keep away!" she would be singing, I mean, preaching. Then she'd stop. "I wonder, would my son, Gregory, come up?"

Lil: I bet you were running up there!

Gregory: There was one time - I have never told this because you know, fear is a hell of a thing. I'm super shy, silence is my go-to if I don't have anything else, right? I remember, this was a very small church and I just bolted out the door. Maybe I was eight, I did that one time. Let's just say I never did it again.

Lil: Do you ever get those moments now though when you're on stage and you just want to be like... “see ya!”?

Gregory: Do you know what's funny? I have a video on YouTube where I'm performing for Sting at the Polar Music Awards. I think people love it. People love the song. But there's a backstory to it, I was coming from another event and the night before I had no sleep. I get in and I have a very quick rehearsal with the orchestra, I go and I get like 15 minutes asleep. Then boom, I'm on stage. Here I am, I'm in front of kings, queens, all this musical royalty. Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Sting. The list goes on. All of these heavyweights, the cameras are on. I was like, oh man, if I could just get three more hours of sleep, y'all would get a better performance! But the funny thing is, it was a brilliant performance and I was totally tired. After that there was a dinner, and right after that dinner I bolted, but not to the after party, instead to my hotel room so I could get some sleep!

But anyway, back to your question - the thing I said earlier in the interview about the message, I don't care how it's delivered, you know, I guess I'm a jazz man, and I stand on the foundations of jazz. The principles of jazz, but all of the devices of music, I feel like I have the right to use because, again, ultimately, what's the overall message? How do I get it to the people's ears, into their heart? Sometimes for me, because I'm in a unique position in a way that most of my career has been built upon my writing and if a song comes to me by way of a soulful sound, then that's the way I'll deliver it. You know, even though I am a disciple of jazz. I love expressing myself that way. But also, if it comes in a soulful way, that's the way I'll deliver it, you know? [he sings] "Hey Laura, it's me," isn't particularly jazzy. It's in that space that's in between soul and jazz and I think that's probably where I reside. I have an appreciation for rap, I haven't rapped since I was in high school.

Lil: That's not true! I've heard you rap, I'm calling you out

Gregory: Right! I lived in Brooklyn for 13 years, I got plenty of rhymes, I got plenty of bars. I feel like there's really masters of that craft and I don't cross that line. I've gotten to work with some cool rappers though. The very first time being on record, was singing the hook to a rap song. I have no idea what happened to that rapper or where that record went, but I think it was a song about weed but anyway, I'm singing the hook. Um, you know [he sings] "I'm in love with Mary Jane. She's my main thing. She makes me feel alright." Even when Rick James was singing that song, I thought Mary Jane was a lady.

Lydia: So following your football injury during your San Diego University scholarship, you became a chef in New York and sang in jazz clubs. What was your favourite food memory growing up? How did this evolve when you became a chef?

Gregory: I will say that in your question, there's been some condensation. After college, I started to cater in San Diego, so I did catering before I went to New York. I was doing music, theatre, then I found my way to New York just to focus and concentrate on making a record. So - food. Well, a couple of things evolved. I've had many great experiences based on great food, one thing about my music career and about cooking is I always try to pull something from my past. The very first serious dish that I made was for my mother, she came home from work and she had a leg of lamb. I cooked the leg of lamb, you know, garlic, rosemary and a whole bunch of spices from the cabinet. I put it in the oven on a low heat for about four hours. The thing came out perfect. She woke up to the smell of this leg of lamb and was like, "yo, what!" I was a mama's boy, so this was another way that I could excite my mother. With eight kids, you have to find ways to stick out, music and help in the kitchen was my way. She tasted it and said "Oh my god, this is so good!" I remember the pride and joy that that gave me perfecting the leg of lamb. The other thing that has changed in terms of my palette is the accoutrement that goes along with it, the wine. I've travelled all over the world and spent tons of time in Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. I'm damaged now in a way, because it's difficult for me to drink the same wine that I drank when I was in college.

Lydia: So you met Kamau Kenyatta whilst performing in jazz clubs. Could you tell us about your first encounter and how he mentored you? I understand this led to your debut album feature on Hubert Laws’ 1998 album Herbert Laws Remembers The Unforgettable Nat King Cole.

Gregory: It's all very beautiful and kind of strange. Kamau was a guest professor at another school, UCSD (University of California, San Diego) that I was taking jazz classes at and he's come out from Detroit. Detroit musicians have this thing about them, about giving and passing down information. He asked me what I was doing with my talent/ if I’d recorded, which I hadn’t at the time. I said: “I'm looking to collaborate with a piano player, somebody who I can work on music with consistently.” The first time we got together, he suggested five songs for me to listen to and learn. He gave me the sheet music in my key and this became our interaction, maybe going to lunch and talking about a jazz artist, say, Sarah Vaughan, or Billie Holiday. We’d also talk about basketball and art. It developed into this mentorship, friendship, musical collaboration thing that has been feeding my career, just based on learning and knowing how to be a friend. I had friends, but Kamau’s the kind of person who would really stretch out for you, in my personal and musical life. Even if it's just moral support, somebody just being like, “Hey, I have your back emotionally, I may not have $10,000 that I can lay on you when you need it to get your business off the ground or to get you out of debt or whatever. But if you feel low, calm, I’m there.” He’s that kind of person.

Lydia: So would you say that inspiration flourishes naturally through significant moments of your life? And do highs and lows often direct your music?

Gregory: Yes, highs and lows often direct my music. I feel like authenticity is really important in my lyrics, even if the listener doesn't know the full story. I like to personally have something inside of me that's true. Which is why I can really sing with no problem about the love that I have for my mother. That is hard as diamond and is pure as gold. It's, unquestioned, right? There's no, I hope she loves me. I like to use the ups and downs of life as fuel for the lyrics. Whatever my issue, whatever the thing that brought me self doubt or insecurity or shame or whatever, these are human things that somebody else has experienced as well. It connects me to the listener. I want them to be affected by the tambour of my voice, the smoothness or the height or the depth of the notes that I sing, but I also want them to subconsciously catch the message.

I realised from doing theatre that the personal is universal. The whole story of why I love Nat King Cole's music is really based on the absence of my father. I started to write about him and I thought it was completely personal to me. I heard Nat King Cole's music and thought, that sounds like daddy (I was about six). So I used to imagine that King Cole was my father and I wrote this play called ‘Nat King Cole, & Me’. On opening night, there were 50 year old white ladies, 30 year old Jewish guys, people of all walks of life, in front, second, third, fourth row crying because they had some similar story, they weren't just feeling an emotion, they extrapolated to their lives. That’s when I realised the personal can be very universal, which has informed me and helped me in writing my music. I still feel that today - I was just in the Gulf Coast, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Whether I'm in Bahrain, or Jordan or wherever I go, where I see that there's a culture and an understanding that’s so far from mine, American Christian, going into a Muslim, Arab world, will they understand me? Everybody loves their mama, everybody wants to love. All of a sudden, we're connecting. Regardless of race, religion, even the thing that separates us most that is money, even that’s put to rest by something that can connect us, all of us.

Lil: I love it in a song, when you can just take a tiny pinch of it and it’s not even the meaning of the song, but you can just relate to it or find some meaning.

Lydia: Also, the power of the artist’s message has saved millions of lives all over the world.

Gregory: Oh, because of social media. They will tell you. People have told me, and it's something that's precious to me. Not in a braggadocious way. No, they will tell you in all honesty that they were on the edge of their life and had it all planned out.Then they heard something and it snatched them back from the brink. This one man sent me a picture of a letter. I could tell he was shaking when he was writing. He said something like “I’m writing this because I was minutes from the edge and something in your song (‘Be Good’). Something made me feel so good, so warm, so human, and still alive, that I didn't take my life.

Lydia: I had another question that follows on from that. It was when you mentioned Nat King Cole and how you saw a lot of your father in Nat King Cole. Would you say that his legacy lives through your music now?

Gregory: Nat King Cole’s? Not my Fathers?

Lydia: Well both, I guess.

Gregory: It’s an interesting question because both of them exist. I said that my father gave me nothing. I was actually in an interview with BBC, I think it was one of the radio shows. The interviewer asked me where I got my singing voice from, and this sounds crazy, I'd never thought of it. My mother has a beautiful operatic voice, she was untrained. She sang in church. When I went to my father’s funeral they said “Oh, man, oh when your daddy would sing, oh my God, church would fall out!” I had never heard him sing. Right there in the interview, I was like, “Oh, my goodness, even at the time that I wrote this musical that I was talking about, I hadn't even considered the very thing I'm on stage displaying. This singing voice came from him, he gave me a gift.” So this is me doing some psychological backtracking to find something that connects me and my father. But yes, the legacy of Nat King Cole goes much further and much wider than me. I am a product of listening to his grace, charm, humility and clarity of message.

Lil: How does that make you feel, that you could be to someone else that Nat King Cole was to you?

Gregory: I'm laughing because, again, this damn fantastic social media. Like, wow, look at this, there's kids singing my songs or you do something and somebody does it even better than you. There's a new singer, Samara Joy, she e-recorded one of my songs. I listen to her version more than I listen to my own. So, yeah, it's cool. No, it shakes me up, I feel so lucky to have found the soil that I'm supposed to be in. I'm still in a way planting myself and trying to figure out who I am, and in a way where I should be as a man, but in terms of the seed that I planted in music, it’s probably where I'm supposed to be.

Lil: Talking about planting and soil. How's your garden in California?

Gregory: Very neglected, I've been on tour. This is the cool thing though, there's a couple of things that I planted last year that are just growing up. They dropped seeds and they're just growing up on their own. So you can walk through and still see some beauty but it may be outside of the borders and where it's supposed to be. That's cool, I love when nature takes control. So even if you don't tend to it, something beautiful can happen accidentally.

Lydia: How would you describe your sound evolving over the years? And does this correlate with discovering new influences? Or will those influences always be the same?

Gregory: Yes, I am shifted, I can be moved by new influences or sometimes a new sanction, like somebody can give you the idea that something is okay. That's where Hip Hop comes in for me. Which is why I came to jazz, the idea of what you could speak about in jazz is so huge. You think of Nina Simone's Mississippi Goddamn too Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit to Tony Bennett’s Fly Me to the Moon, you can speak of love, lynching, racism, you can speak of interracial relationships. These are all songs that are in the canon of jazz, the joy of life, Moon River, or What a Wonderful World, which, quite frankly, is so beautiful, but really the meaning is about death. It's basically speaking of, I've lived my life, this is about the closing of one life and the renewal of another so basically this is what attracted me to jazz as a young person. It’s like the subject matter was so open, such as the same in hip hop, you will have the same rapper that will rap about God. It should be my charge to say whatever it is that I want to say, and even hip hop artists do they find clever ways to blanket the message in some clever poetry? The listener may never figure out what it is that they're exactly talking about but I found ways to speak about personal relationships. I found different ways to put really personal nuggets into my music based on listening to hip hop. So yes the energy of Nat King Cole, the optimism and the upward looking of Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, the soulfulness that exists from black American Southern blues. The truthfulness of the gospel music that I sang and listened to, all of that I think I still use to inform my music and so it is a changing thing but there's some influences that don't go away, which for me, Nat King Cole is paramount in that.

Lydia: Yeah, that's great. I guess, because you’re still young, there might be other significant, upcoming moments in your life where a certain artist resonates with you more at that time.

Gregory: I wrote some music about renewal and resurrection, and I had no idea that I was writing things for myself. I wrote some music before the pandemic, that helped me through the pandemic. I listened to my own messages thinking, this will help somebody. But I needed to hear those things. Going through the death of my brother, the loss of my sister, the difficulty of not being able to be who I am and express myself on stage through music for two years and seeing all of the suffering around me. Even the music that I wrote, some of the meanings changed, it changed. I'm like, wow, it means something different now.

Lil: I've been listening to Bluegrass music recently. I’ve never delved into it before, despite loving blues, country, and jazz. I can't believe I've never listened to that kind of pocket genre.

Gregory: And it’s speaking to you?

Lil: Yeah, I'm really enjoying it. Bluegrass can be really sad, right? But it's kind of upbeat. So it's a bit of a juxtaposition between the two. I like listening to it on my way to work through the country fields.

Gregory: The interesting thing is that the roots of some of that music (even though influenced by something that may be closer to me in America) are closer to you than they are to me. Bluegrass music comes from the Appalachian Mountains but those people and their influences are coming from immigrants that came from your part of the world. So, you're catching some of the ancestral vibe. That's why you're vibing to it.

Lydia: So who's the best at recommending music? What do your family and friends listen to?

Gregory: I still listen to the advice of Kamau because he goes far, he'll stretch out. He'll send me some amazing Vietnamese classical singer. Not classical in the European tradition, but classical in the Vietnamese tradition and I'm like, what? Sometimes I listen to Middle Eastern singers or Indian classical singers. In terms of the beauty of music, it can come from so many places. I would say I'm with my band more than I am with anybody else in the world. Granted, we're always on planes and everybody has their separate headphones. But everybody is always sending each other clips of different things that they're listening to, I would say my bandmates. Even if it's some Nat King Cole clip from some obscure TV show that I'd never heard, they'll send me things like that, or some new male singer. I get a lot of information from the musical family that I'm around.

Lydia: Is there anything you do to zone out and chill? So I know that you're into coffee, reading and gardening? 

Gregory: Yeah, I do. I'm interested in learning new things. So, between books, articles, and YouTube there's so many things out there that you can't possibly know everything. But it's fun to learn just a little bit about everything. I've been trying to move different plants around my property, how would this plant be affected if I move it into a shaded area, so I've been doing all that. So yes, gardening, cooking is still a big thing that I'm doing when I'm at home. The slow process of everything is something that I like. Putting a vinyl record on the record player. On Portobello Road in the UK I just acquired a vintage Leica camera. So the slow mechanical process of a film camera, finding your focus, being really slow and deliberate about picture taking, the process of taking that film then to a developer waiting some days. I think because I'm moving so fast when I'm on the road, the slow process of making coffee sometimes takes me 10 minutes if I'm doing it the enjoyable way. Grinding the beans, pressing the grinds, extracting, if the first one wasn't right, let's do it again. What the hell? We'll waste a little coffee. It slows down these 200 shows a year. I remember craving a book, a coffee, and my leather chair in my office. Craving that when I was on tour going to fantastic places around the world but sometimes you just need a second to be on the ground. That can be created when you're away from home as well, I like the fact that because I've gone back to Cheltenham so many times, it feels homely, it really does. So I know that I can kind of create this feeling of that chair, coffee and that book. It's certain little touch points around the world.

Lydia: So what were your first impressions of MIMMO Studios? And what's your favourite thing about MIMMO Studios in general?

Gregory: It's a soulful space. Well, the business idea, the concept of, even just to put into the head the thoughtfulness of excess is dope. I had a conversation with Lil and Katie over a nice gin and tonic about the concept and even how in sacrifice of sales, doing it the right way is so soulful. Aside from that, the business concept, the idea of being conscious of where things come from. So it makes me handle the things that I've purchased there in a way more carefully and thoughtfully. I'm so precious with my Lily Pearmain Coffee Cups from MIMMO. If you put the seed in the consumer's head to go quality, you can achieve the idea of having something stick around once you purchase it. I heard these statistics recently about this idea of quick fashion, this fashion that's meant to last for just a season. I wrote a song about the very thing that we're talking about. It's called In Fashion but basically, I use fashion as a metaphor for love. Basically, I'm talking about love not being last year's runway fashion, no. Love being last year's runway passion, no longer in fashion. The idea of something being classic means that it has staying power. I'd like my fashion, aesthetic, the places that I go, the music that I make to have a classic theme that will stay around and has staying power. I liked that about the store and the whole concept around it. Just be classic.

Lydia: What's your tipple of choice?

Gregory: Well in Spring Summer, the botanicals of gin and tonic with fresh fruit but in the evening the old fashioned has been speaking to me lately. Sometimes they'll make it without the proper dark maraschino cherry but I prefer three cherries with the combination of the bitterness of the alcohol and the orange rind. I like the combination of it all. It tastes and feels classic.

Lydia: Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Gregory: Yeah. If time permits, and generally I try to make time for it. I do like, this is hilarious, but a bubble bath. Almost up until the point that I must be on stage. So sometimes I have this fortunate thing where the venue is right next to the hotel. I mean, I still go to the stage smelling like bubbles, with bubbles in my ear. I like being on the stage brand new. That as a function just to be steamed and lubricated after travel. So it's just a travel treatment in a way but it seems to work, to do it right as part of the ritual gone on stage, and the relaxation to take that calmness and relaxation in a way.

Once I was somewhere in the American South. I'm luxuriating in my bubble bath. The hotel had a policy of if I pressed some button on my phone, they would not bother me. So I accidentally pressed this button. There was no way to reach me. I had my phone underneath a towel, I couldn't hear it. So finally I answered the phone and they were like, "Gregory where are you? The show started 30 minutes ago!" The band was just there noodling for 30, 45 minutes until I got my clothes on. I thought I had an hour. So it was showtime and I was in the bubble bath!

Lydia: What's a scent that makes you think of home?

Gregory: When you say home I still equate home to mama. My real home was with mama and so sweet potato when mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, spiced spicy sweet potato. Whenever I smell that, it conjures memory after memory after memory.

Lydia: To date, which has been your favourite city to perform in? I know, that's probably a really difficult question, but I thought I'd chance it.

Gregory: Wow. You know, I get that question. Is it a venue? Or is it a city to be in?

Lydia: Um, I'm gonna say city because I think cities in general have a lot more character than just a venue. I think there's a lot more to a city like the people, the culture, the architecture and the food.

Gregory: Porto in Portugal is beautiful. The venue was beautiful and also, a stone's throw from the water. The wine is ridiculous, the seafood, the aesthetic of classic beauty, but not so refined that it looks fake. There's still some in a way, decay and ruination that makes it look like it's 100, 200, 300 years old. This is beautiful to me.

Lydia: That's a wrap. Thank you both so much for joining me!