Music Industry/Mass Communications major
Class of 2017
Students for Global Education (vice president), Songwriters Club, radio show host at WONY FM, intramural soccer
How I found Oneonta as an international student from Rwanda, is I just simply Googled “music industry schools” and one of the schools that came up on the list was SUNY Oneonta. So I looked at music industry schools across the United States. There were those that were very costly, and then there were the technical schools where all you do is spend 12 hours in the recording studio. But I wanted to get an education, an actual all-around education, at a more reasonable price and so I ended up here at SUNY Oneonta.
Transition to life in the U.S. and Oneonta
The transition was kind of tricky because I’m from a really big city of about 1 million people and when I came to the United States right before I came to Oneonta, the culture was different. You know, the way people walk is different, the way people talk, the way they dress. And when I got to Oneonta it was even more surprising since it’s a rural area. But I fit in quickly because everybody is really friendly, and I had a peer mentor who helped me get from Point A to Point B. And everything was smooth. Of course, my first snow was very interesting! I was excited to see snow but then it got a little too cold. But, you know, you get used to it and I got to like it a lot.
Best experience so far
Oneonta is a place for surprises.
Opening for Big Sean at the fall concert. It was totally mind-blowing. The way it happened was, the previous semester I co-founded a group called the OHHC, which is an acronym for the Oneonta Hip Hop Collective. A few months later, the school recognized how well we were doing, and a couple of students from the Student Association Activities Council said that we might actually have a chance to open for Big Sean. We submitted our video online and told everybody on campus to vote for us. We put up flyers everywhere, used social media, and the next thing we knew, we won. The show took place at the Alumni Field House and there were about 3,000 students, the first-ever sold-out concert before the day of the show. Everybody was excited and we had so much fun doing it.
Plans, goals, dreams
I’ve been doing music since I was 13 and at first it was kind of like a joke, but by the time I was 16, I had recorded an album. Then I started doing several shows and I started performing and I developed a passion for it. My dream job is to be an international recording artist and performer, to tour around the world to perform and sell my music. I’m on iTunes and Spotify so far. I’m interested in being a music industry executive. I’m the CEO of a little label back home and I’m into music management. I’d also like to, at some point in my career, add music scores to movies. I like watching a movie and hearing the perfect song.
Favorite place on campus
The recording studio
One word to describe Oneonta
Unpredictable—because, especially being from where I’m from, I never imagined I was going to open for a major label artist who is known internationally like Big Sean. Oneonta is a place for surprises.