- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 02 December 2016
- Written by NICOLE SEITZ | STAFF WRITER
Every semester, Monmouth’s student run record label, Blue Hawk Records, creates and records a compilation album featuring various artists on campus. The Applied Music Industry class runs the whole production by making and producing this album. This process has many steps, starting by holding auditions in Lauren K. Woods theatre to releasing and promoting the album. This semester the class is working on their ninth compilation album, 9 Lives, which will be released Dec. 7, with a show of the album held in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. The album features six artists from varying genres. This week, I met up with the two female singer/song writers on the album to talk about their tracks and experiences as up-and-coming musicians.
I first met up with Monica Flores, a freshman music industry and communication student. Flores has been singing for as long as she can remember and first began to teach herself piano and guitar in middle school. Flores began her musical journey by first writing poems as a child and wrote her first real song during her freshman year of high school. She first started piano when she heard the song “Vienna” by Billy Joel and fell in love with the song. Her love for guitar came when her grandma bought Flores her first guitar in seventh grade.
Music has always been a big interest for Flores. Even when considering what she would do in the future, she states, “I knew I couldn’t not do music. Senior year of high school became a coming of age story that inspired me to write a lot of music,” she said. Through her life and musical experiences, Flores was able to grow as a musician. She said, “Music came naturally to me and came along with the experiences.”
Aside from writing and playing music, Flores has also been highly involved in musical theatre. She was involved in her high school’s musicals for three years and even played an orphan in Monmouth’s production of Spring Awakening. In third grade, she met her best friend when her aunt, who works at school as a music instructor, had them sing “For Good” from the musical Wicked. Flores’ musical theatre background allows her to bring many different types of voices to her music, stylistically. Other factors that influence her style of music is her love for musicians like Billy Joel, the Beatles, and Amy Winehouse. When Monica was younger, she especially loved Billy Joel and the Beatles. The first song she ever heard from the Beatles was “Hey, Jude” and she said that made her heart feel heavy.
This very personal, singer/song-writer style of music that Flores draws inspiration from can be seen in her music and on her track off the album “Blank Pages.” She wrote this song the summer before her senior year of high school; the idea was to write “an epic love song” about her now ex-boyfriend. The song was meant as a gift but she found it difficult to create a love song for someone who wasn’t worthy of it. The song eventually became what we know as “Blank Pages” about all the positive people in her life and a message about what love should be.
Nicole Govel, a junior music industry student, is another singer/song-writer on this semester’s compilation album. Govel has always had a love for music being surrounded by it from her mom singing and her dad playing guitar. Some of Govel’s musical influences include Billy Joel, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and Sarah Bareilles. Govel has been singing since she was in fifth grade and began to teach herself piano in her freshman year of high school. She has also picked up the ukulele as an additional instrument.
Some of Govel’s additional music endeavors include being the treasurer of the Music Alliance and an intern at Trendsetter Marketing. Trendsetter Marketing is a marketing and PR firm which helps secure promotional spots for music videos/brands with Billboard, People Magazine, Perez Hilton, etc. Govel explained, “Some of my roles include writing new artist press releases and maintaining our social media presence by joining conversations about our artists on Twitter.” She said that, “interning here has been an amazing experience so far and I hope to continue along this path in the future as an industry student!”
Govel’s passion for the music industry and for music in general can be seen through her new track on the compilation album, “San Francisco.” Govel explained the beautiful story of how that is song was written about her grandpa, who passed away two summers ago. She said, “Each summer, he [her grandpa] and my grandma would take me and my brother on a trip. We traveled to>many cities across the US and Europe; however, San Francisco was the one city we visited more than once.” She continued, “San Francisco was my grandpa’s favorite city (and mine too), so I wrote this song to honor his memory.” Govel also worked with junior music industry student Julia Whary to write the chords for the string arrangement featured on the song.
Govel and Flores are the only two female acts featured on this compilation album and they are both such amazingly talented musicians. Govel shared, “I never imagined hearing such a personal song that I wrote in a couple of minutes one day on Blue Hawk’s ninth compilation album. Nonetheless, recording ‘San Francisco’ has been a dream come true and I am so excited for people to hear it.”
Don’t forget to come out to the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Dec. 7 from 2:45 to 4:15.
image courtesy of Anthony Consentino
image courtesy of Liam Frank