Every year through the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Program, ZUMIX hires 5-10 youth to work with us for the summer. Positions range from assisting with our music programs, working with our Development & Communications team, or helping to plan community arts events. For many youth, this is their first paid job.
This week, we interviewed Willie, who is a rising junior at Margarita Muñiz Academy. At school, Willie plays the clarinet in the orchestra. Willie joined ZUMIX under his friend’s suggestion and has been the Youth Facilitator of ZUMIX’s Street program for the past two months. At ZUMIX, Willies hopes to produce and write more music. Read the full interview below:
How old are you and where do you live?
I’m 16 and I’m from Roslindale.
What do you like most about your job? What about your job are you most excited about?
I like how my job is not strict or restrictive, and I can balance what I need to do and at the same time make music. I’m excited about going on tour to Vermont.
If you could be any instrument, what would you be?
Piano cause I’d get to lay down and stay still. If I was a guitar, I’d get picked up and moved around all the time.
What’s your earliest memory of music?
I remember listening to my dad’s music when I was 4. Some Spanish music.
What do you hope to accomplish musically?
Make an EP.
What’s your favorite song and why?
We are the World song—it’s about unity and peace; for everybody to help each other.
Who is an artist you have been inspired by recent?
Rapper Bishop Nehru. He’s a teenage rapper and I want to be able to make music like him.
What do you think is the purpose of music? What does music mean to you?
Music is a form of art that people use to express themselves and for people to relate to themselves. Also to bring positive vibes.
Do you think music can change the world? In what ways?
Yes, it’s a positive influence—it can spread peace and love.
If there was one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?
What do you think is most important for people to know?
It’s important for people to realize that some of the problems that we think of, or first world problems, aren’t as bad as other people’s problems. There are people in other countries that go through worse, so we should appreciate what we have.
If you had to give advice to someone, what would it be?
Stay in school.
What dreams do you have?
Going to college and making music in the future.