On Friday, December 3rd, The Loft was overflowing with passion, ambition, and talent. Rude, a band made up of Boston Arts Academy students, kicked off this event with a riveting rap battle, a one-of-a-kind arrangement of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, and a show-stopping performance of “Suit and Tie” by Justin Timberlake. The marriage of an “in the pocket” rhythm section adorned with trumpet and saxophone, and precise, sultry vocals made for an adoring crowd and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
The students were then able to work closely with Musiq Soulchild, a grammy-nominated singer/songwriter with an album that topped the Billboard 200 charts, among many other outstanding achievements. Musiq began the presentation by opening the floor to specific questions. He delved into his musical journey and how it paralleled with his self discovery, and remarked that he “lives by the philosophies of music in so many different ways”.
Musiq distinguished the difference between being emotional and being able to keep certain emotions in check in order to pursue a successful career and grow as an artist. He then wrapped up the Q & A by explaining his structure of songwriting is simply working off of a feeling, and that he draws inspiration from any individual that can “enhance his perspective on being a better service to the culture of music”. The crowd was fully engaged and hanging onto every word that Musiq eloquently spoke.
The City Music Boston band, featuring current students and program alumni, was next to take the stage. Their recipe for a stellar performance was infectious soul combined with technique and craftsmanship. Musiq joined the band on stage for a charismatic, extraordinary performance of “Just Friends”. The group’s undeniable chemistry had the audience on their feet. Musiq gave the band insightful feedback, advising them to let go of making sure everybody likes their sound, and to commit to their signature sound whether the crowd fully understands it or not. Musiq shouted out to the band on the fly to see how they would react under pressure, and said they passed the test. He concluded the master class with a statement that resonated deeply with both the band and the audience, “don’t compare your process to someone else’s results”.
This post was written by Berklee College student Kristen McFarren