The Maroon

Loyola pushes for musical diversity and opportunity

Walter+Burke%2C+left%2C+and+Ian+White%2C+right%2C+a+music+business+sophomore%2C+play+with+Chopped+Up+Tulips+at+the+Willow+Bar.+Chopped+Up+Tulips+are+one+of+several+bands+benefiting+from+opportunities+at+Loyola.
Walter Burke, left, and Ian White, right, a music business sophomore, play with Chopped Up Tulips at the Willow Bar. Chopped Up Tulips are one of several bands benefiting from opportunities at Loyola.

Walter Burke, left, and Ian White, right, a music business sophomore, play with Chopped Up Tulips at the Willow Bar. Chopped Up Tulips are one of several bands benefiting from opportunities at Loyola.

Austin Hummel

Austin Hummel

Walter Burke, left, and Ian White, right, a music business sophomore, play with Chopped Up Tulips at the Willow Bar. Chopped Up Tulips are one of several bands benefiting from opportunities at Loyola.

Jamal Melancon

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He was returning home one night when he overheard the words “I wanna put a band together.”

After an introduction and a quick audition, Doug McClew, music industry studies sophomore, realized he had stumbled upon a chance to start performing live.

With McClew as their drummer, the current Chopped Up Tulips band was formed soon after, consisting of Ian White and Walter Burke on vocals and guitar, and Rhys Steuart on bass.

“It was the most fun I’d had in a very long time,” McClew said.

According to John Snyder, music industry studies chair, Loyola music students performing for venues in the city and building an audience from it comes as a natural collaborative process in the industry.

“The city kind of depends on students, not only to provide the entertainment and the services that the businesses are selling, but to be the entertainment,”
Snyder said.

Similarly, sophomore music artists Unlyke Most, a hip-hop collaborative group of rapper Zane Roegiers, producer Will Marin and R&B singer Austin Morr, have taken their next steps forward in music since coming to Loyola.

Marin said that in New Orleans, musicians are free to express themselves.

Roegiers felt the same way about his audience at Loyola and later took time to figure out who he exactly was as an artist.

“I feel like people are so accepting that, for a second, I was almost questioning last year who I was as an artist a little bit,” Roegiers said. “I felt like they were so accepting, they’ll accept damn near anything.”

Jeff Albert, assistant professor of music industry technology, said New Orleans’ quality of music is great, and the music played and accepted is in a more
broad tradition.

“Johnny Vidacovich and George Porter are the guys that we look at as sort of the establishment of New Orleans music, yet they’re super open to new musical experiences,” Albert said. “And I think that carries through in a lot of ways to much of the city and the music scene, which is a good thing for young people trying to do creative things.”

In trying to help students monetize their passion for music, Snyder met with The Chopped Up Tulips for independent study last year, and said he considered 18 to 21- year-olds asking him for advice on the daily to be a luxury.

“Commerce is attached to art because art is about a communication; therefore, it’s an exchange of some sort,” Snyder said.

Steuart said it is important to the Tulips and Unlyke Most to build communication with those who can support them.

“The backgrounds that the musical teachers have—it’s incredible,” Steuart said. “You just build connections.”

Roegiers said artists don’t see competition as something to worry about among fellow musicians but rather as other outlets of entertainment. Practicing, performing and getting one’s feet wet through various experiences in the music business is how one can learn what works for them and what doesn’t.

“You need to utilize this school and you need to learn from it, but what is most important is getting out there and starting to do something,” Roegiers said. “The more things that you try, that’s how you figure out what you do.”

Backed by an open community and musically diverse city, Loyola helps like-minded music students get together and grow through the performances they book.

“You basically have to have a no foolishness mindset. Do everything you can, however you can,” McClew said.

Austin Hummel
Walter Burke, left, and Ian White, right, a music business sophomore, play with Chopped Up Tulips at the Willow Bar. Chopped Up Tulips are one of several bands benefiting from opportunities at Loyola.

 

 

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About the Writer
Jamal Melancon, Senior Staff Writer
Jamal is a mass communication senior with a focus in journalism. Before serving on The Maroon as the Senior Staff Writer, Jamal worked as the Worldview Editor, Life and Times Editor, Religion Editor, Assistant News Editor and a Staff Writer. In his free time, he likes to read comic books. Contact: jmmel[email protected] or @Jam_M_Mel
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Loyola pushes for musical diversity and opportunity