All month long, the team here at ZUMIX has been campaigning for our annual Walk For Music! Before the end of this month, we need to get to $40,000 to keep our teen programs free and low-cost for Boston youth. Our work s imply isn’t possible without support from individuals like you – will you support us?
No good campaign is without a soundtrack. Check out this month’s edition of staff picks that have been keeping us going all month long.
“Good Lava” by Esperanza Spalding
“I can’t get enough of this song; the background vocals at the end, especially, are so energizing!” – Anni Leff, Development Associate
“Christine” by Martha
“Gritty & romantic pop punk at its finest.” – Kelly Baker, Development & Communications Manager
“DNA” by Kendrick Lamar
“He just dropped an album that I have to take some time to think about it. It’s deep.” – Corey DePina, Songwriting & Youth Development Manager
“Sweet Life” by Frank Ocean
“This song is just one of those things that never gets old & vibes with you the right way everytime you listen. As an artist, I appreciate the musicality and musicianship that’s put into this song not only by Frank but everyone who worked on it. Definitely my fave from the album.” – Angelina Botticelli, Events Intern
“Celebrate” by Little Dragon
“You can dance to it but its also experimental and makes you think. Little Dragon channels Prince across time with a loop machine. Thats the only way I can describe it.” – Jenny Shulman, Program Director
“I Was Around” by The Craters
“Astral projection//somewhere between the bedroom and the garage.” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator
“Land Of The Free” by Joey Bada$$
“This song is a very accurate in portraying the state of America at this moment in time, specifically for African Americans and other minorities.” – Dawry Ruiz, Communications Intern
“Indecision” by Sampha
“Chanel” by Frank Ocean
“This song is so smooth and catchy, I love singing along.” – Mario Jarjour, ZUMIX Teen Council
“Comin’ Undone” by Sarah Jarosz
“This song grooves so hard despite the absence of drums, and the lyrics are a motivational reminder to just keep pushing.” – Brian Paulding, Teaching Artist
“Adult Diversion” by Alvvays
“The happiest song about being sad.” – Gabi Barroso, ZUMIX Teen Council
“You’re Welcome” from the Moana Soundtrack
“I’ve been listening to this song a lot because it’s a really fun song to dance to and so up-beat. I love the entire soundtrack, but this song is my brother’s favorite so I play it the most.” – Janna Ramadan, Development Intern
Join us on April 30 for our annual Walk For Music! Find all the details here.
By Angelina Botticelli, 16, Events Intern
At ZUMIX, local music is a key component to exposing our youth and the community with new up and coming artists. Local artist, Alisa Amador, who recently finished recording her first EP in the ZUMIX studio, found herself in this situation through a series of events that worked so perfectly together, you know it was meant to happen. In early 2016, a ZUMIX staff member stumbled across Amador at a local show at Inman Square’s Lilypad and immediately reached out to have her play an upcoming show at ZUMIX alongside The Ballroom Thieves and ZUMIX’s own Miyagi And The Kids.
“Before finishing my set, I mentioned that I was crowdfunding to record my first EP. Once I got off-stage, [they] approached me about recording at ZUMIX. It is not very often that one gets asked to record at someone’s studio. Plus, I love ZUMIX for everything it does and stands for, and wanted to become a part of its legacy in some small way by recording there. I stopped looking for studios after that day, and am so glad that I did,” Amador said.
Recording in the ZUMIX studio is mainly dominated by our youth, through programs like Recording Lab, which teach young people ages 12-18 music technology skills. Projects like Amador’s are held after hours and are run by the same sound engineers that teach our students.
“We’d be in the studio until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer, but nobody wanted to stop. It was so much fun, we laughed a lot. I felt a tremendous amount of support and patience from everyone at ZUMIX as the EP slowly took form. It was a sad moment when we realized we were done. We were all like, ‘Is it really over? Can’t we just do this all the time?’” Amador said.
We asked Amador to explain what a favorite moment of hers was during the recording process.
Amador said, “After we finished laying down the final track, none of us wanted to leave. Joe Ziemba, the engineer, said, ‘come check this out,’ and brought us to the back stairwell with a guitar. The natural resonance and eco of the stairwell was just fantastic, and we jammed out there and improvised a song all together. It was a really sweet moment.”
Recording in the ZUMIX studio was just the first step in the next chapter of Amador’s music. It was a joy having her use the space and we can’t wait to see where she goes from here!
listen to previous singles Amador has released off her band camp here!
Anyone else feel like time is speeding up on us this month? Whether you’re training for the Boston Marathon, hyped up over March Madness, or just trying to play catchup now that DST stole an hour from us – take refuge in music for some grounding. Check out the latest selections curated by the ZUMIX staff for some inspiration. Happy listening!
“Cops Come Looking” by Spirit of the Beehive
“This song has a solid grasp on creative song writing and dynamics that allows me to never feel bored. This song is not cyclical. There is no verse, there is no chorus. It is a long midnight drive headed nowhere.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Coordinator & Business Administrator
“Me and Magdalena” by The Monkees
“A beautiful song, and a name nod to our newest AIM teacher, Magdalena. This was written by Benjamin Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) for the first manufactured ‘boy’ band that bit the hand that fed…from 2016’s Good Times.” – Ed Meradith, Teaching Artist
“Leave Me Alone (ft. Manu Chao)” by Calypso Rose
“A great modern calypso song by a legendary calypsonian who, well into her 70’s, is putting out hits with some of today’s biggest artists.” – Brian Paulding, Teaching Artist
“For Light” by Jay Som
“I haven’t stopped listening to this album since it started streaming online, I can’t stop. Everybody Works is full of comfort songs, and this album closer is perfect for exhaling.” – Jeeyoon Kim, Community Arts & Events Coordinator
“Them Changes (featuring Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)” by Thundercat
“I love the production on this song, it’s a very cool arrangement, I can’t get the bass line out of my head, and I really like Kamasi Washington.” – Joel Edinberg, Z-Tech Mentor
“On + Off” by Maggie Rogers
“Because it makes me want to dance in a sad kind of way. And there’s one part with a syncopated rhythm that always gets me.” – Brittany Thomas, ZUMIX Radio Station Manager
“Apple Trees” by Blitzen Trapper
“This is what happens when country bumpkins use analog synthesizers.” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator
“Honeycomb” by Kadhja Bonet
“Featuring artful lyrics and a soulful groove, this track manages to transcend genre boundaries in the best way possible.” – Magdalena Abrego, Teaching Artist
“Clandestino” by Manu Chao
“Manu Chao brings the fire and raises the voices of the migrants who are pushed to the margins. ‘Soy una raya en el mar!'” – Avi Salloway, Live Sound Coordinator
“Baptized in Fire” by Kid Cudi
“This song is my definition of “mildly lit”. It has a very passionate flow to it, and the song gets you just get into the lyrics.” – Dawry Ruiz, Communications Intern
“Remember The Rain” by Kadhja Bonet
“Listening to this album makes me think about gardening, and I don’t even like gardening, but this album makes me want to sit in one.” – Anni Leff, Development Associate
“Largam da mon” by Jenifer Solidade
“Got to spend a few days with her in Cape Verde and she was so humble. sweet and talented.” – Corey DePina, Youth Development & Performance Manager
“WITNESS/WEAKNESS” by Bad Boys Club
“I’ve been listening to this song a lot while walking around Somerville on sunny late winter days, and really appreciate how it layers on top of my experience of life, enhancing what I’m looking at. Like I’ll listen to this song and everything around me is more beautiful. That’s kind of a magical thing.” – Kelly Baker, Development & Communications Manager
Stay tuned for next month’s playlist!
This past week, the fearless Nic Benjamin, host of Monday Night Facts, interviewed a group of young brass musicians from the Conservatory Lab Charter School. In addition to his radio broadcasting skills, Nic also plays the trombone. Together, Nic and his guests shared fun facts about brass instruments and discussed the role of music in education. Take a listen to the following clips to hear Nic’s interview and three live songs performed by the Conservatory Lab:
Part I: What is Conservatory Lab?
Part II: Brass Instrument Fun Facts
Part III: Stand By Me
Kaylene Sheran and Kat Raschi, aka DJ Diamonds and DJ Lolz, hosted a special episode of their weekly radio show, Friday Variety. In celebration of Heart Health Month and Low Vision Awareness Month, the co-hosts shared their own personal stories of living with chronic illness and being vision-impaired young people. Their courage, resilience and strength shines through every minute of this memorable radio discussion.
Part I: Kaylene’s Story
Part II: Gratitude
Part III: Kat’s Story / Challenges, Accomplishments & Ways to Help
Long-time ZUMIX DJ, Carlos Perez, has been working with his mentor, Matt Shearer, for almost 3 years. Throughout the course of their relationship, Carlos has grown into a confident and enthusiastic radio DJ, hosting a teen perspectives talk show called Alternative Adolescence. Together, Matt and Carlos have built a strong and caring relationship that acts as a model for what a mentor-mentee relationship can be. We are grateful to both of them for their consistent hard work and commitment to one another.
When Matt’s not mentoring at ZUMIX, he works as a professional radio producer at AMP Radio. This past week, Matt brought Carlos to his place of work for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of AMP Radio — one of Boston’s biggest commercial stations. There, Carlos saw their impressive facilities and had the chance to talk with a number of well-known radio personalities. Here’s what Carlos had to say about his experience: “Getting the chance to see what a commercial radio station is really like, it opened my mind to what a career in radio could be. It was an overall great experience!”
Thanks, Matt! We’re so glad Carlos got this opportunity!