Arizona State University's student body is made up of a range of talents, and music is most definitely one of them. From punk bands to soul singers, here are five music groups around ASU that you should be listening to right now.
Freshman filmmaking practices major and singer Ryan Moreno or Rmo describes his music as R&B and soul. Although he started making music in late December 2017, Moreno says he has been able to make a lot of musician friends and continue making music and plans.
Moreno says confidence was the reason behind his recent debut to the music scene.
“I’ve always loved music, and I’ve always loved singing. But I kind of kept it a secret," Moreno says. "I always did other forms of art at the time, but I never had the confidence to sing or anything like that in front of people. And then I just obtained the confidence. I just started doing it and rolling with it.”
On top of the two tracks he has already released, Moreno has new projects including an EP with about five songs and several features coming up within the next few months.
Jay Washington, a senior communications major known by his stage name LIL QWERTY, is an ASU student and an experienced rapper. Named after the the six letters at the top left of a computer keyboard, LIL QWERTY has been performing for four years. A highlight for him was opening for Lil Pump at a show in Texas where he got booed off the stage.
“It was a bunch of trap artists. We just fit the bill because our name was similar, but not our actual music,” says Washington. “So I learned a lot from that. Either you quit in that moment or you have to really, really believe in what you're doing.”
Once he became involved in music, his name was a big part of the learning process. After several months, he made a name change that had a deeper meaning to him than his previous name, Milky Mel.
“After six months of people telling me that it had to change I eventually went to LIL QWERTY because I don't think I'd be able to really make anything without the internet, so I felt like QWERTY was a good way to just kind of acknowledge that,” says Washington.
With his experience and music, Washington said that moments like the Lil Pump show taught him to believe in himself and his music.
This pop punk band from Mesa has been performing for around two years now and have many plans ahead for their music. Gianni Jinks, ASU student majoring in psychology, is the guitarist and the backing vocals for the band, and Gage Heiner is the drummer. Shawn Sass is the bassist, and Michael "Slack" Cully is also a guitarist and backing vocals.
Michael Schuster, freshman business law major and the vocalist for the band, says they have had many fun experiences like music festivals and touring.
“It’s been super awesome because we grew up watching bands and listening to bands that were doing all these cool things,” says Schuster. “We’ve been able to have all these experiences that we never thought we’d have.”
“It’s been a dream come true on a smaller scale," Schuster says.
76TH STREET is an indie pop, power duo (and best friends) who have been performing together since they were 10 years old. Now recent ASU graduates, Spencer Bryant and Haley Gold are full-time musicians with an EP releasing within the next month.
Gold says that their music is quite unique and was initially difficult to describe. She says that the experience of performing and growing with her best friend has become an important part of their music.
“It’s been really incredible to get to be on this journey with your best friend.” Gold says. “I think that our bond is the source of our music and songwriting. It’s kind of the dynamic of the two of us that brings out the lyrics in our songs and our experiences.”
The two musicians have performed for years and toured the Four Corner states as well as California. They are excited about their EP, which is being released one song at a time.
This dreampop band started around February 2017 and is on a West Coast tour. Sam Granados-Diaz, sophomore art studies major, is the drummer; Omar Biebrich is the guitarist and vocals; Naman Nanda, junior industrial design major, is the guitarist; and Nitin Nanda, fifth-year biotechnology and bioscience major, is the bassist and vocals for the band.
“So it's been a little over a year, and the three guys had already been making music," says Granados-Diaz. "They’ve known each other forever. They hit me up and asked if I could play drums, and then it just started clicking. It's been wonderful.”
Granados-Diaz says that the process has been very surprising but great nonetheless, especially after the release of their EP.
"We released that EP, and people started to like it, and we’ve been slowly building our social media presence and all that," says Granados-Diaz. "People seem to be responding well, which is really, really wonderful to see."
They currently have their demo album, "College Degree," and their EP, "Dexter," available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.
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