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  • Stephanie Chen

A College Collaboration

My band, Skiez, grew out of the fast friendship between Christian and I while we were both students at the University of Virginia. Going into college, I knew I wanted to create my own music, but being primarily a singer/songwriter, I needed to find a producer. Nobody seemed to fit the bill, and most musical activities on campus were either acapella groups or school sponsored groups such as band or university singers. For the first couple months of college, I let my music goals slip into the back of my mind.

Never underestimate the power of the internet though. It brought Christian and I together when we would have otherwise never crossed paths. In a sea of 16,000 undergraduates, we met when I was a freshman and he was a senior. We had our first music session back in October 2017. Recording sessions turned into writing sessions, and we began producing original material drawn equally from Top 40 aesthetics and the DIY culture of student driven music in college.

Writing music with another person is a rewarding experience. I didn’t collaborate in high school, so it was new to me in college. There are moments when one of us has writers block, but then the other comes up with a genius lyric. It’s also nice to have a soundboard to bounce ideas off of and another set of ears to listen and provide feedback. Music is more fun and less lonely when I’m co-creating it with other people rather than by myself. I love the collaborative nature of music, and how it brings people together. I hope you’ll give our songs a listen, and that you enjoy them!

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