BY SOFIA ARMANDO//
Hello readers! Welcome or welcome back to ‘DC’s Acoustic Audit’. Today’s entry is gonna be a little different, showcasing the different personalities and genuine, heart-felt answers given by some of my fellow sorority sisters. A few weeks ago, these amazing women performed at a fundraiser event called Music for Make-A-Wish. I figured they would be the perfect subject for my next blog and they were luckily willing to answer some music-related questions for today’s column. It’s a very valuable thing when others open up about their experiences and to learn about what that person has to say; and so I can’t thank Brooke Cody, Karly Meyer, and Kendall Clark enough for taking the time to to help me out. Without further ado:
1. Do you have a musical background? Any family members that play music? If so, is that what got you into music growing up?
➔ Brooke: Growing up, my dad would write and play his own music, so I think I looked up to him a lot. Music wasn’t his profession, but something he enjoyed doing on the side and for enjoyment. I think I got into music at a young age because of him.
➔ Karly: Music has definitely been a huge part of my childhood and family. From a young age, my parents, and especially my mother, instilled a love for music and the arts in my siblings and me. My mother played piano, was a dancer, and was always playing music around the house. Some of my favorite memories are from the times my family would be blasting music from the speakers and we’d all be dancing around the kitchen. Although I am not necessarily a “theatre kid” myself (lol), my grandparents would take us to musicals growing up, which definitely played a major role in my interest in singing (some of our favorite shows to go to are Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, and Le Mis for fellow theatre lovers). I played a bit of piano when I was super young, but my first love for playing music/an instrument began with clarinet. I started playing clarinet when I was 9 years old in my school band and went on to play for 8 more years. However, I was definitely a late bloomer when it came to performing/singing in a public format as I kept the singing to myself for years. I remember I would learn random chords on the keyboard in my room from YouTube tutorials and sing them quietly in my room so no one would hear. It wasn’t until I transferred high schools my sophomore year that I got more involved with performing, singing, and playing guitar. I was super lucky that the high school I transferred to had a lot more options for people interested in both sports and the arts/music. Pretty much the only reason I began singing publicly and learned guitar in the first place was because of my school’s monthly Coffeehouses. The coffeehouses were open mic nights where students would come together and showcase each other’s talents whether it was singing, standup comedy, etc. I was super afraid to sing in a public format, but was finally convinced to by an encouraging and supportive friend who offered to play guitar for me while I sang. Although it was an absolutely terrifying experience to sing publicly, it was weirdly super rewarding and got me way more involved in the music scene at my school and ultimately, led to me to take guitar lessons my senior year of high school and perform at my school’s baccalaureate. Although I was a little late to the guitar/singing, I am super grateful I had the opportunity to be more involved as it has become a huge part of my life.
➔ Kendall: I do not have much musical background, I played some instruments as a kid and sang a bit, but it was never a huge aspect of my life, besides being from Nashville which makes the music industry a bit inescapable.
2. What do you love most about performing?
➔ Brooke: I think I like the sense of community and connection that performing music creates between both the musician and listener. There’s an energy about it that you can’t get when playing music by yourself.
➔ Karly: For years, every time I performed I was absolutely terrified and my hands would legitimately be shaking in fear. With some time, it has gotten easier to overcome the nerves and push through it, but I definitely still experience a rush of nervousness. However, I think it has been an amazing way to push myself outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself. Singing the first lyric of the song is always the hardest, but as I get further into the song I get more comfortable and just enjoy the song and the experience for what it is. It definitely has been a journey to become more confident performing and to learn to enjoy the process, but I have found it to be a really cool, vulnerable experience to create something and share it with a group of people. I also just love the supportive environments of events like open mics and being able to exchange music/songs with people.
➔ Kendall: I honestly am not much of a performer! I haven’t sung in front of people in an official capacity in years, so I was super nervous. But in the end I really loved seeing all my friends have a good time. The environment was really cool.
3. Do you write songs? If so, what is the writing process like for you?
➔ Brooke: Personally, I can’t normally just sit down and decide to write a song. A lot of times my songs come from moods, feelings, or experiences I’ve had. Once I start writing a song though, it normally flows naturally. I usually go back and revise some parts of it later if I’m not happy with how it sounds.
➔ Karly: I do! I don’t write as much as I would like to currently with the busy schedule this semester, but I am planning on writing more over break. The process is a bit random I guess. I will get a burst of creative energy and will have to word vomit/explode in my iPhone notes app/voice memos app. I definitely was writing a lot more during quarantine/lockdown last year – it was a super good outlet. My issue is I start a lot of songs or will create a verse I really like and then be left with a lot of different unfinished pieces and started songs. My goal is to really go back and complete all my unfinished pieces and share more of my written music.
➔ Kendall: I do not write songs! I don’t think I would have the time if I tried.
4. What is your favorite song or artist at the moment?
➔ Brooke: I’ve been listening to Keshi and H.E.R a lot, but honestly I can’t really say I have a specific favorite artist or song at the moment, more so a list of songs/artists that I’ve been more interested in.
➔ Karly: Hmmm this is tough. At the moment, I have been listening to a lot of Raveena, The Mamas and the Papas, MICHELLE, Mac Miller, Crumb, The Pharcyde, and Loving. Also, the song “My Little Brown Book” by Duke Ellington/John Coltrane has been on repeat this fall.
➔ Kendall: Favorite song at the moment is definitely “Fly Like Me” on the new Evening with Silk Sonic album. On repeat all day.
5. Has your taste in music changed over the years? If so, how has your music taste changed over the years?
➔ Brooke: My music taste changes constantly; even when I was younger I would explore different music genres like rock, indie, punk rock, alternative, pop, r&b, rap, synth, etc. I tend to say that I appreciate all different types of music, and my music taste changes depending on how I’m feeling.
➔ Karly: Over the years, I think I just continue to be open-minded and broaden my music taste. I am always trying to explore new genres and unique artists and getting recommendations from friends. This past year, I have ventured deeper into the genres of Neo-psychedelic rock, smaller R&B artists, and 90s rap/hip hop.
➔ Kendall: My music taste has absolutely changed over the years, no doubt. Like I said, being from Nashville you’re constantly exposed to music in all forms. My parents thankfully exposed me to a lot of really good, meaningful music at a young age that I feel like shaped my taste a lot. I definitely have gone through phases of listening to total meaningless garbage, but now definitely have my go-tos.
6. What do you think about the music that teenagers are listening to today?
➔ Brooke: The music scene currently allows for a lot of lesser-known artists to break out on social media and gain a large following. I think that although there is definitely a pop focus among teenagers at the moment, the overall variety of music popular among teenagers is growing in type and sound.
➔ Karly: Despite what boomers may say lol, (and although I do enjoy some good classic oldies), I genuinely believe there are some amazing artists and albums being released today. It is exciting to see teenagers listen to more female musicians and how more music today centers around women’s point of views/celebrates female sexuality, with artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Doja Cat, SZA, Megan thee Stallion, etc.
➔ Kendall: I think the music teens listen to is simply weird. But I’m also totally okay with that. I listened to some weird music for a time, and I guess music taste is all relative to what’s going on in your life.
7. How have livestream social media platforms changed the way you use music to connect to your peers?
➔ Brooke: Livestream social media enables beginning artists and musicians to reach a larger group of people in ways that weren’t available in past generations. Personally, I’ve utilized platforms like TikTok to share my music to more people, while also finding new and underrated music to listen to from other peers through the same platforms.
➔ Karly: I have never live-streamed before, but I occasionally will post covers or short clips on social media, which has been a fun way to connect with people, especially during the pandemic. Social media (mostly Instagram and TokTok) has been a really cool platform to discover new artists and songwriters.
➔ Kendall: I simply do not interact with social media musicians or livestreams. I really really love in person performances and I guess I don’t want to get myself normalized to the whole online concern thing.
8. Do you wish to pursue a career in the music entertainment industry? How do you plan to incorporate music into your future?
➔ Brooke: As of right now, I’m not sure how I want music to be incorporated in my professional and personal life. I am currently working on recording and releasing my own music to share on social platforms. At the same time, I’m pursuing a degree in neuroscience and have an interest in a healthcare career. Whether I will go into the music scene or keep it as a hobby in the future is kinda unknown at the moment.
➔ Karly: While it would surely be a super cool career, especially getting more involved on the production side of things, I think music will continue to be a creative outlet and way to connect with my friends, families, and peers rather than a career path. I definitely plan to continue to keep playing, performing, and going to open mics/concerts/musicals as it really brings me so much joy, but my career/future goals are to work in the public health field and more specifically, in global environmental health, sustainability, and environmental justice.
➔ Kendall: I don’t really have any plans for music in the future. I’m just kinda going with the flow and I’ll perform when I can!
9. If you could say anything to your five year old self, what advice would you give her?
➔ Brooke: Be more confident in yourself, and more willing to share your interests. For a long time I didn’t share my music with anyone but my family and close friends. Looking back, I wish I started doing that sooner and was less nervous about it.
➔ Karly: Be patient, enjoy the present moment, and trust your intuition and feelings.
➔ Kendall: I’d say to not let my 5 year old self get discouraged from silly experiences. Keep the confidence high even if things dont go right the first time.