Bothell Beats on SoundCloud

Michael Marquess and Mary Conaway

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What is Soundcloud?

SoundCloud, whether we like it or not, has impacted students lives at this school. The easily accessible and free app that can with one click, students can share their music to the world. Before SoundCloud, to a student at Bothell 1,150 miles away from Los Angeles, the music industry may seem like a faraway dream. The chance of discovery seemed impossible without risking it all. But now with SoundCloud, students have the chance to be discovered.

Although SoundCloud has allowed this amazing opportunity, students still must be cautious when going forward with music in SoundCloud because it is still just a stepping stone on the large and uncertain pathway in the music industry. In an interview discussing the usefulness of SoundCloud for high school students, Taylor Iverson, choir director of Bothell High School said, “As a music teacher, yeah [SoundCloud] that’s a great resource for sure but if you’re trying to make a career out of your talent, like your musical talent, you have to be willing and able to go through different types of […] forms of music making.”

Students who are serious about pursuing careers in music should be focusing on getting venues to perform in front of a live audience or getting a producer. SoundCloud, although it is an extremely good tool in gaining a following, should not be the only route taken. Making music videos, working with other artists, and promoting your music all outside of SoundCloud is what separates a short-lived music career and one going on the long haul.

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Tristan Parsons AKA “The Prophet”

Who inspires your music?

My dad is definitely one of the people who inspired me a lot. He went to prison for a little bit. I didn’t really see him when I was young. He had a band in prison, and he was really involved with music, and he’s just an awesome guy, and he’s like made something out of nothing pretty much. He never even graduated and now he’s making all this money a year, and he’s just a great guy. I think him, really, is my main inspiration.

Where did you get your name?

A lotta people think that I just wanted a name that sounded cool, but the reality is when I was depressed, I decided the only way I was going to get out of this mindset is if I change something. And so I kinda made my own “prophecy” in a sense, and I’m my own prophet.

How do you write your songs?

I just write whenever. I’ll get sent a beat, or find a beat, and I just sort of think about the vibe it gives off, whether it’s a sad vibe or something uplifting. And I just think of a word that goes with that, and I just write to that word essentially, not necessarily rhyming to it, but using that word as the main subject for my writing.

What was your first song? How do you feel about it? 

Oh boy. The first song I ever wrote, and ever recorded too, it was called Madman… that is private on Youtube, and I re-recorded it actually, because it’s a very lyrical song and it’s just really raw, and I love it. For being my first song, I still look back at it and I’m like “God how did I just come up with that?” I think it’s because I was so deep into the emotions I was feeling, and so I just used that as motivation to write really well.

What is your biggest hit song?

Probably Infinity, cause its almost got like, it’s got like 5000-6000 plays, or something like that. I mean the one that people like know the most is probably Big Boat, just cause that was like the first one that got to like… yeah.

Do you honestly think you’re good?

Uhh… yes, I do. I’ll say that with confidence, cause every person I’ve shown my music to, sure there are some critics out there, but most of them, they have an appreciation for it. And I appreciate them, appreciating it. I know I’m good, I know I’m talented, and I think it’s really important to believe in yourself, but also at the same time not to get cocky. Because that can just totally ruin your persona and how people perceive you.

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Mark Markert AKA “Izzo”

Where did you get your name?

A lot of people actually ask me this. 9th grade was when I made my Soundcloud, and started making music on Soundcloud and just like recording and stuff. I was listening to a song by Jay-Z, like “H to the Izz-O, V to the Izz-A”, and like I woke up, and I had the whole Soundcloud and everything was made. I just felt very inspired, and in the mindset of… I’mma do this. Obviously, this name doesn’t have the most… thought ever put into it, but when people do that, it goes over a lot of people’s heads. Like I just didn’t want to have a name that has like inside meaning, that like no one knows, cuz that’s kinda wack.

How do you write your songs?

A lot of people, when they’re like recording with me like “Bro what are you doing? Like, just rap it.” Cuz when I’m writing a song, I usually like to have the beat just playing on loop on some fat speakers so I can hear like… I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. The vibe just has to be there. Then I go, I hit record, and if I don’t got something to put on the beat and I want to write something, I usually like- It’s kinda like freestyling, but not because I get the melodies and stuff down, then I’ll go back through and listen to that, put lyrics onto the melody, like… Y’know, get the sound of the song that I want, then put the bars down.

Do you honestly think you’re good?

Yeah. I mean, obviously I’m not like the best rapper alive or anything like that, but, I mean, just reading the responses from people kinda confirm that… I drop a song, I get people in my snap or something being like “Bro, that’s some fire. When’s the next one?” or something like that. Or I’ll put a little snippet somewhere, and people will be like “When’s this dropping?” So I feel like… I feel like I’m alright.

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Damon Elbert

What is your biggest song?

So currently, Lobby and Rewind. Lobby is the most played. Actually, there’s this song I’m featured on which is doing really well, it’s almost at like 70,000. It’s called Sad Skies. Personally, Lobby and Rewind.

How do you write your songs?

It’s really spontaneous. I wouldn’t say there’s like a certain process to it, ever. It’s different every time. But, most times it’s like, we’ll make the beat, and after we make the beat, I’m thinking of melodies, and then like I’ll record the melody before I even record lyrics, like I’ll just hum something, and then I’ll kind of put lyrics to that. Me and the people around me will think of stuff. It’s a big group process. People don’t see that. Like you see So and So Song by So and So, like you don’t see all the people who are helping that song, which I think people need to respect more.

What was your first song? How do you feel about it?

My first song… oh my god. Actually, the first song I recorded was with Kenz. Well, it was just like my first time, so it was all a new experience. Like I was familiar with the process, but as the musician recording, I was like… One, my energy wasn’t there because I was nervous. That’s the number one thing in music: your energy. I was nervous as h— so my lyrics were just trash, everything was trash. But people who have known me since 9th grade have definitely seen an improvement, and I think that’s the most important part.