We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Peglar and Ben Piper and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Paul / Ben, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
One quote that continuously comes up in our creative conversations is by our man Alan Watts, who says: “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

I think everything we’ve done has been predicated on two simple concepts: circle the date & keep it real. Most everything we’ve ever created together came first and foremost from a place of joy. Writing music, performing and hosting events – it’s all fun, that’s why we do it.

Circling the date is the commitment we give ourselves to fully realizing the idea so we can share it with the world, and if we keep it real – stay true to ourselves – people will feel it. Comedy, dance parties, art exhibitions – this all takes a lot of time but never really feels like work because of how much fun it is.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Having been best friends for close to a decade we’ve done a lot together.

Almost 6 years ago we cofounded ECHT, which became an arts nonprofit that has now supported over 200 artists of all disciplines. ECHT has always been about creating and holding space for both artists and audience alike, which is something we did naturally often hosting parties during our three years as roommates. In our mission to inspire joy, creativity and personal growth in everyone, we’re very proud of the community we built and the legacy we have for fostering true and meaningful connection for everyone in attendance.

And we’ve been writing music together for even longer. What started as improvised comedy songs would years later become the basis for our band The Dons (check out our album ‘Affogato’ on Spotify). There is a synergy in our collaboration that feels undeniable so we’ve let that energy carry us through to our various projects and recordings.

Throughout all our endeavors there are always roadblocks or unexpected pivots that inevitably send us in a new direction. Projects will be put on hold for sometimes years, but we’ve really leaned into the idea of flowing with the universe. If you trust and follow your instincts, and let go of the need for control, sometimes you find yourself right where you need to be. It may not be what you first expected, but, then again, what is? Therein lies the beauty of the unknown 🙂

A perfect example of this: 4 years ago we attended a retreat that was rather life-altering. Feeling super inspired we took to our chalkboard painted wall and scribbled out the entire outline for a new musical. We were on fire about it for a month then life shifted. Ben relocated to Nicaragua, Paul changed jobs, and the project fizzled; but the underlying inspiration never truly went away. Cut to April 2021 – perhaps it was the renewing energy from the country re-opening, but we suddenly felt more inspired than ever and are now hard at work on the script for our show.

Life lesson: if you believe in a thing, let it grow in its own way, but don’t give up on something that feels true.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, we both now live in Brooklyn and Detroit, respectively, but years ago I discovered Cafe Aion in Boulder while on tour. Loved the food and the vibe. Shout-out to small businesses!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people have helped us on this creative journey that it’s hard to choose only one, but one guy, Andrew Jernigan, was there every step of the way. He’s performed several times and his band Night Spins was the first band to ever play an ECHT event. He helped us setup and tear down events, he filmed the shows and produced high quality content numerous times. His giving nature is matched only by his skill, and countless moments around the bonfire have led to a beautiful friendship. Check out his band on IG! @nightspins

Website: echt.nyc, heartbeatdetroit.org, paulpeglar.com

Instagram: @btpipes @ppeglar @weareecht

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQn-Z5YShMTPoBbBZazoXA

Other: Here are some video links to some of our more recent projects: Open Up – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHBFw3u630M Tinder Ain’t The Way – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtaSRq9uXpw

Image Credits
Josh Ruzansky Anke Kuba Josue Mendoza

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