I am in my final semester of college, and what a semester to go out on. I keep thinking that if I had graduated in the spring, I would have avoided a lot of hassle. At the same time, it’s a unique experience not everyone goes through. I have mixed feelings.
I’m a senior in the Music Industry program at MSU Mankato, and a lot has changed. Some classes are online, others in-person, but most are “Hyflex,” meaning students can decide whether to attend online or on campus. There are signs everywhere with slogans like “Maskup Mavs,” and reminders to social distance. It reminds me of propaganda from Fall Out or Bioshock (which makes it kind of fun).
Strangely enough, these guidelines are actually making my final semester easier. Because so many of my classes are online, I’m only on campus one day a week. This has allowed me to temporarily move back to Faribault. My expenses are down, so I can work less and focus on school.
While in Mankato I was working 30 hours a week and taking 17 credits. I didn’t have the time or energy for personal projects, so my creative pursuits took a backseat. Now that I have more free time, I can do well in classes and be creative. I know this year has been hard for most people, but for me it’s been a blessing in disguise. Since June, I have written more songs than I had in the past year, and this extra time has really forced me to prioritized what I want. There’s no excuses left for me, it’s either do the work or don’t.
I’m looking forward to what this final semester brings, and what adventures await me. I’m grateful to be where I am and I have a lot of hope for the future.
In March I had the idea to make an EP of music in response to the covid-19 pandemic. With the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines causing feelings of isolation, I wanted to celebrate what we still have. The idea was to collaborate with artists remotely from the safety of our homes.
When the stay-at-home order was announced, I moved back to Faribault with my family, and it’s there I started writing. I had a workspace, my laptop, headphones, and a MIDI keyboard. In one week I completed six demos, five of which would eventually make it on the EP. From there I announced my plan on Facebook and asked for collaborators. I got a great response!
Starting on April 18th, I released a song a week on Soundcloud. I also made a video to document the making of each song.
Since my instrumentals were done, I mostly needed vocalists, so I wasn’t able to work with everyone, but I’m very grateful for the people I did get to work with. Here’s everyone that helped on the project: Ocho (melody and lyrics for Life on Pause), Jacob Ross (bass for Life on Pause), Luke McGreavey (alto sax for Life on Pause), Anssi Tenhunen (voiceover for Infection Control), SMILEBRO (final drop for Infection Control), Matthew Ruff (melody and lyrics for House Arrest), and Mary Clare Stroh (melody and lyrics for Quarantine). My awesome collaborators made these songs much better than I could have on my own!
The final EP will be released on May 30th with the final song: the long-awaited Covid-19 Rap. For some reason, I got a lot of requests to rap about the virus. If I didn’t do it on this EP, it probably would have never happened. I guess we’ll find out if that’s good or bad.
Pre-save Songs From Home on Spotify.