Looking around the crowded halls of Highlands Ranch High School, everyone looks the same, making it hard for anyone to stand out from the crowd. Everyone is looking to stand out in their own special ways but there are some students looking to be recognized, not by the way they look, but for the music they create.
There are many aspiring musical artists who walk the halls of Highlands Ranch, waiting to be recognized for their own achievements. Julian Sanchez, a senior at Highlands Ranch High School, just recently released his first mix-tape, ‘Points to Prove’ on October 31 of this year. He first began to rap when he was 7, and listened to a famous and influential rapper; Tupac, from the 1990s through the early 2000s.
“I loved the fact that he was more of a poet than a rapper,” Julian Sanchez said. He feels that Tupac strives to be more of a poet than a rapper, putting depth and real stories into his music.
Getting his inspiration from his grandfather and uncle after they passed away, Julian felt like he should create music for them.
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to be recognized by a record company, and Julian is a perfect example of that.
“I send my music to every label,” Sanchez said. Although his mix-tape of ‘Points to Prove’ was not signed with any record label, he still received a lot of positive feedback from record companies.
“I am determined to make this tape the one I get signed on,” Julian said, talking about his upcoming mix-tape. The release date is yet to be known.
“This next mix-tape is gonna touch a little closer to home. Gonna bring out things that aren’t seen before,” Julian Sanchez said, “I’m just gonna let my demons out on this next tape.”
But Sanchez isn’t the only aspiring artist at our school. Michael Gugliemi is also another talented musician. Michael plays in the band, “Celestial Abomination” a progressive metal band with 4 other fellow students; Eric Byers, Jake Goulding, Joe Clay, and Kyle Martin.
When asked about their goals as a group Michael said, “To play as many shows as possible and produce a CD.” He hopes to stay with Celestial Abomination long-term and would also love to be in a band for his career.
The group has four upcoming shows all in a matter of a couple months, playing at the Summit Music Hall on January 3, of 2014, which is a big deal for their band.
Across the United States, there are many aspiring musicians as well, also looking to get recognized. In a recent surveyed conducted by the 2010 Future of Music Coalition, 37% said that they spend more time promoting themselves rather than actually recording.
Many bands and musicians start out by releasing their music for free-download off the internet to first get recognized, really only making money off of touring, shows, and merchandise they sell.
It’s hard to get recognized for the music artists produce, and many bands are unable to make it big-time
Also, according to the Department of Bureau and Labor statistics, the top three states with the highest employment of singers/musicians are California, New York, and Tennessee; along with the mean hourly wage in the U.S of $23.5/hour.
Although success isn’t measured by making a top 40 hit, there are many ways a musical group or lone musician can become successful. With perseverance and dedication to their music, one can become successful in their own ways. What’s important is to follow your own dreams and pursue where your heart guides you.
Katelyn O’Reilly, Guest Reporter