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Five years a slave

Shortly after he sold into slavery on a Thai fishing boat, Vannak Anan Prum saw one of his fellow Cambodian workers fall overboard. He and the other crew members rushed to rescue him, but the captain told them to throw the man back. It’s bad luck to save someone the sea gods have already claimed, the captain said.

Making it as a middle-class musician

Mobley's story is pretty typical for young touring musicians. But he wishes it was less so—and that he'd known starting out that being a musician didn't have to mean suffering for your art.