Friends and dedication lead junior to start making music


Photo courtesy of Alan Roth

READY FOR RECORDING: Junior Alan Roth stands with his music equipment in his room. Roth, who releases music under the name “shawty’s boy,” got the motivation to start making music from his friend, and hopes to turn music into a career.

Kate Davis, Staff Writer

Headphones on, standing in his closet, Alan Roth raps his newly written song into his microphone, which is wedged between a couple of t-shirts. 

Roth, a junior, has been rapping for about a year and a half, and released his first EP, ‘OutMyBag’, in 2021. 

“My friend told me I should start making music, so I just started doing it,” Roth said. “It was a creative outlet. And when I met up with my friend Axel, and we started actually creating our own music, our own kind of way, it became a lot more interesting. It just really grabbed me. I just kept wanting to go with it and I just kept getting more interested in it.”

Creating music has proven to be time consuming, and Roth finds himself sometimes prioritizing his career over other important aspects of his life. 

“There’s definitely times where I’d stay up till like 3 am trying to do something for a song, then I don’t get to sleep early enough for school,” Roth said.But as far as my social life, music is kind of my social life. The stuff I do outside of school is also involved with music. My friend Alex is like my manager and my friend Axel is my producer. So it’s just all around music.”

Equipment is a vital part to music production, and being able to find quality pieces for decent prices and a place to use them can be difficult. 

“I used to have this really cheap mic and then I used this mic that Axel gave me that was a bit better,” Roth said. “And then finally I just spent like 500 bucks on actual equipment, on a microphone and interface and everything. But it’s still just in my closet.”

Senior Alex Araiza, who helps support Roth’s music career, said Roth is continuing to improve with his music.

“It’s fun to listen to his music around our friends and stuff,” Araiza said. “It’s fun to push him to keep putting out music and see where it goes. His music is really good and it’s only going to keep getting better.”

The most difficult of Roth’s journey so far, has been persevering through the hardships he’s faced. 

“It’s super hard to work on something for hours and days and then put it out and you don’t get the recognition you want for it,” Roth said, “Not quitting and continuing to try and get better is really hard. Especially when some people tell you they don’t like it.”

Though the process of creating and releasing his own music has been demanding, Roth hasn’t been in it alone. His producer, Axel Lozano has provided large contributions towards Roth’s career. 

“So songwriting, a lot of the time it’ll be actually my producer, so he’ll produce a lot of my beats,” Roth said. “So he’ll usually send something over and then I’ll use that and just it depends on how it happens. Every song is different with how long it takes.”

Producing music, in simplistic terms, is creating the back track that plays behind the artist’s words. 

“Usually he gives me a flow or the type of vibe he wants to hop on and then I’ll just go off of that,” Lozano said. 

Music creation is a process, progression and stylistic change being common, and Roth is not without his own experiences.  

“At first it was really hard to work with him because he only tried to make Lil Peep type stuff, but he evolved,” Lozano said. “So it was fun.” 

The entertainment industry is tedious, but Roth aims to pursue a career in music, nonetheless. 

“The dream is to do something with music, like performing. But if I were to go to college for music it would be more like sound engineering,” Roth said, “But I would much rather use my music to spread to other people.”

Personability is a big factor in determining how an audience feels about music, and Roth is trying to appeal to that. 

“I try to relate to some people by the stuff I’ve been through. I try to bring the relatable stuff about it out into my songs,” Roth said. “So that the people who have been through it can relate and feel like the song makes sense to them. The way I make my songs, I try to target an audience through my literacy and lyrics.”

Though his goal is to relate to others, Roth’s music is mainly built from his own experiences, his favorite songs being the most personal. 

“One of my favorite, unreleased songs that I’ve written is ‘Primeramente’ which is the first song Axel and I ever made,”Roth said. “I also wrote it for my girlfriend. So it’s really meaningful for me.”

Music has not only provided Roth with a potential career path, but has impacted his mentality in important ways. 

“It definitely got me more confidence. I was definitely scared to say I made music to other people,” Roth said, “But now that I have it all around me, it feels more comfortable. And I feel like I’ve definitely grown as a person and have been able to go back and revisit certain events that I hadn’t before, and come to terms with some stuff.”

The music industry can be a daunting place to many people, but Roth encourages people to give themselves a fair shot. 

“Just do it. Just start somewhere, literally anywhere,” Roth said. “Because the earlier you start, the faster you’re going to get to where you want to go. So just try it and try to find out what you like in terms of sound and style, just explore first. Just start, that way you know what you want to do and what path you want to take once you take it seriously.”