The Maroon

Loyola performers share what it’s like to manage careers with studies

Even+late+in+a+set%2C+Skylar+Allen+is+not+one+to+back+down+from+the+intensity+required+to+put+on+a+show.+Allen+and+fellow+performer+and+friend+Derek+Taylor+opened+for+Riff+Raff+earlier+in+the+semester.+Photo+credit%3A+Jacob+Meyer
Even late in a set, Skylar Allen is not one to back down from the intensity required to put on a show. Allen and fellow performer and friend Derek Taylor opened for Riff Raff earlier in the semester. Photo credit: Jacob Meyer

Even late in a set, Skylar Allen is not one to back down from the intensity required to put on a show. Allen and fellow performer and friend Derek Taylor opened for Riff Raff earlier in the semester. Photo credit: Jacob Meyer

Even late in a set, Skylar Allen is not one to back down from the intensity required to put on a show. Allen and fellow performer and friend Derek Taylor opened for Riff Raff earlier in the semester. Photo credit: Jacob Meyer

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Derek Taylor and Skylar Allen are two student performers making a name for themselves, both as separate artists and collaborators, outside the Loyola sphere.

Growing up on different sides of the country, the friends met at Loyola and have quickly made their own fan bases and gotten a taste of what it’s like to live their dreams making their names as performers.

Taylor, who’s also known as DJ Dii Tii, is from St. Louis, Missouri. A music industry sophomore, he aspires to one day become a household name. Taylor has been DJing since he was fourteen and does not see the grind stopping anytime soon.

“It doesn’t really seem too much different between then and now,” Taylor said. “The only thing that changed was the location in which I’m operating and the crowds. In general, the crowds are getting much bigger and I take that as a step in the right direction.”

While he is busy with performing, at the end of the day, Taylor is still a student. However, he doesn’t find it difficult to balance performing and academics.

“That kind of time pretty much separates itself because there’s usually only certain blocks of time that I devote to performing throughout the week, and usually I devote it to the weekend, of course. On top of that, it’s about prioritizing what kind of studies have to be done,” Taylor said.

Taylor did admit he sometimes leaves homework up until the day it’s due.

His advice for those starting out now is to give it your all and find connections.

“I don’t want to be cliché, but telling people to go hard is what you have to do. It’s what you are supposed to do with pretty much with everything,” Taylor said. “(Get) yourself in a room with the people who are doing the same thing as you. Get in there, shake some hands, make sure they know your name and make sure they know what you do. You just have to deliver every time you show up and things will fall into place.”

Taylor has had many shows throughout his career and surprisingly still cannot choose a favorite. Although, one of his favorites was when he performed with his friends Skylar Allen and Max Taylor.

Allen got his start at Loyola and he never thought he would be where he is now at his age. Hailing from a very small town called Sandwich, New Hampshire, Allen considers himself a New Orleans-based rapper.

While Allen is also a well-known performer in the Loyola community, school comes first because of his scholarships.

“Sometimes it’s kind of hard to balance, especially this semester because I’ve had a ton of classes, but really it’s just about portioning your schedule out. Don’t say this time is open because it’s not,” Allen said.

While Allen doesn’t consider himself a “Soundcloud rapper,” he does believe Soundcloud has been the most effective platform for pushing his music out compared to other streaming sites. Allen uses Soundcloud primarily to push his music since it’s not only free but easier to connect to other people on.

His favorite show was opening for Ghoste Mane on Nov. 28, 2017 at the Hi-Ho Lounge. However, Allen never got to meet Ghost Mane when he was there.

“His audience rings with ours, and every song was really receptive to us, which was cool. It was sold out,” Allan said.

The crowd of 250 people cheering along to every song Allen performed was one of his favorite memories to date.

“When I first started, I came from a town where there was a lot of people doing music, but not a lot of people applied themselves as much as they could,” Allen said.

His advice for those starting out is to “listen to a lot of stuff, work with people who push you and find a group of people who push each other.”

Similar to Taylor, Allen’s advice for newcomers is to make connections. He finds it crucial to be surrounded by people who want the same thing as him because it motivates him to work harder.

“Listen to a lot of stuff, work with people who push you and find a group of people who push each other,” Allen said.

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Loyola performers share what it’s like to manage careers with studies