Jammin’ in the Jungle

By Leonel Veizaga, Staff Writer

Falls Church is surrounded by creativity.

The student body is full of free-spirited and talented people; some of them going so far as to share their talents with the rest of the community by playing a sport or participating in events such as robotics tournaments or school plays. However, some students have found another way to express themselves: music.

Minh Phung (12) has taken full advantage of his talent as a musician by making a mixture of covers and original music. “I play both the piano and the guitar, and I typically only cover existing music when playing acoustically,” he said. “However, when I make music electronically, it’s purely original.”

Additionally, he’s mostly self-taught, learning most of what he knows about music production by watching videos online. He was inspired by seeing what other people could do. “Taking guitar and music production classes offered here at FCHS also helped me understand some of the fundamentals of music which helped inspire me to pursue my hobby,” he said.

Fawaz Omar (11) is another artist who is involved in a different kind of music: hip hop. Going by the alias WAZADI on SoundCloud, Fawaz has a passion for beat-making that started back in early January. “I was inspired to start making beats when a friend of mine started making them, too,” he said. “He showed me how to make them, and I started practicing at home.”

Not many students know about his music, though. According to Fawaz, he’s only shown off a couple of unreleased beats to a select group of people since becoming a producer. This won’t be the case for long. “The people around me have been giving me amazing and constructive criticism,” he said. “I plan on recording and releasing a few new songs to kick things off very soon, and hopefully, if I gain enough traction and support, I can get started on a project.”

Marcus Lourenço (11) has honed his craft to make himself an incredibly versatile artist. Not only is he an experienced cello player, but he is also an aspiring electronic music artist. Some of his music even involves mixing his abilities in both styles. “I love listening to all kinds of music genres, but the one that stands out to me the most is electronic beat music,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to get into for about a year.”

Patience is a strong virtue that Marcus values immensely; he initially couldn’t afford the software necessary to make music until it was given to him as a Christmas gift by his parents. “My parents know about my hobby, and they sort of encourage me to make more music,” he said. “They tell me to do what I love, and if I could get my music anywhere, they’d be happy for me.” Marcus, who is known as Tomasini on SoundCloud, has considered working on a major project in the future, but is currently more focused on his schoolwork than anything else.

“At the end of the day, I take pride in what I do,” says Marcus. “and I’m positive that every other artist in our school feels the same way about their work.”