The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Next Big Hit? Up-and-Coming Musicians at Chamblee

Onaje’ Daniels (‘25) recording music. Photo courtesy of Onaje’ Daniels.

Music is an essential part of life for many Chamblee High School students, and some students have taken music to the next degree. A couple of students at Chamblee have started creating their own music and releasing it in albums or playing it in bands. 

“I make music for myself. When I first started creating music, I didn’t think there would be an audience. However, my friends liked what I had made, and they convinced me to make more [music]. I like the satisfaction of proving people wrong because a lot of people expect a high school musician’s music to be bad. Hence, when I’m able to create music that people enjoy and put in their playlists, it feels good,” said Joseph Rodriguez (‘24), the creator behind Yaguachi Society.

Sometimes, music is made to create a certain atmosphere, as in the case of the band Wheels, Highway.

“I think that our music brings a lot of energy and fun, and our whole purpose is for everyone to enjoy themselves at our shows. We want our music to be an opportunity to let loose,” said Jonah Jacobs (‘25).

The music-making process for Rodriguez began with Apple’s GarageBand app.

“When I started making music, I used GarageBand on my phone [but] it wasn’t the best music-making method. However, it got the job done. Now, I use my computer’s GarageBand because it is more [accessible] and easier to use. I record stuff through that, and that’s how I have made most of my music digitally. Currently, I’m trying to use more live instruments, so we will see how that turns out,” said Rodriguez, the music creator behind Yaguachi Society.

Other artists enjoy getting peer reviewed feedback to take their music to the next level such as R&B and rap artist UNO!¡.

“I make music everyday, but I try to focus on a singular song to give it the potential to be great. It usually takes me a couple hours to make a song, and I love to get unbiased opinions from people in order to improve it. However, I also ask myself if this is my best work [since] music taste is subjective,” said Onaje’ Daniels (‘25), whose stage name is UNO!¡.

For Rodriguez, crafting the lyrics is the hardest part of making music.

Joseph Rodriguez (‘24) editing one of his songs. Photo courtesy of Joseph Rodriguez.

“My weakness in making music is creating lyrics because I find lyrics so corny sometimes. However, in my most recent album, I did feel like I improved. To create my lyrics, I would write down my ideas, and then I’ll edit them until they make sense and sound good. I like my lyrics to  have some type of meaningfulness to them, but I don’t dwell on lyrics as much as I should,” said Rodriguez.

Daniels has some strategies to create unique and refined lyrics.

“When creating lyrics, I start by free-styling on a beat to get a good flow going. I tend to create a verse and write down all my thoughts during the process. After, I start my mixing process and try to make my own sound. I make my lyrics by listening to my favorite artist and thinking about the main idea of what I want my song to be about. I’m still working on trying to make my lyrics complex and make people feel like I’m talking to them personally. I also try to give my lyrics a story or message I want people to hear,” said Daniels.

A unique challenge faced by bands is the task of keeping all of their members on the same page, which requires practice.

“We establish our practice schedule by adapting it to everyone’s schedules. We usually practice once or twice a week, but we mostly practice independently once we decide what we’re going to play. Practices are just meetings where we rehearse as a group and decide what or where the band is going to play,” said Jacobs.

During these practices, the musicians try their best to make sure their music is fun, in tune, and rhythmically accurate.

“We’ll go down to Oliver [Cady]’s basement, plug in our amps, and practice a few songs. Then, we will spend the rest of the time trying to get some lyrics down and [make] chords [sound] professional,” said Luke Simonsen (‘25).

Like other careers and hobbies, being a musician requires goal-setting.

“My goals with music are to become the best artist I can, and work on different stages of my craft. I don’t simply want to be labeled as a rapper. I want to be labeled as an artist, because I feel that no matter what genre I do, I always have a good sound. I also want to perform for our school one day. Mostly though, I want people to be able to relate and better themselves, and let the youth know that anything is possible when you put your mind to it,” said Daniels.

For newcomers to the music business, Rodriguez suggests to only take part if you have passion to make music.

“Make sure you’re creating music because you want to make music, not because you want to make money. I feel like a lot of people make music because they want to make it big, and by doing that you burn out easily. Furthermore, you don’t have a passion for making it, which makes [creating] music even harder because you don’t know what you want,” said Rodriguez.

Overall, students at Chamblee have a desire to create music, and use their talents not only for the entertainment of others, but also for their own enjoyment.

“We’re creating music to have a good time, and we’ll go until we burn out,” said Simonsen. “Until then, we will go as hard as we can.”

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About the Contributor
Elijah Ritchey
Elijah Ritchey, Staff Writer
Elijah Ritchey ('25) is a junior and a staff writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, he hopes to be crazy rich- but don't we all? His three favorite things are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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