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The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Freshman finds phenomenal fun in producing music

Slyder Degelia
STRUMMING A TUNE: Freshman Alex Doles practices an original song which he has been working on for the past couple of weeks. Doles plans to release a holiday special this December that will have a variety of music genres.

The strings of a guitar ring out, carrying the melody crafted by freshman Alex Doles. The sounds of a piano add to the melody of the song. The vocals are the final product as Doles sits back, satisfied with his latest song.

Doles began producing music about four years ago, but his musical talents were discovered long before that. Doles initially took interest in electric guitar when he was in elementary school, but began with piano lessons per his parents request.

“I was really upset and didn’t really want to take piano lessons,” Doles said. “I just wanted to play guitar but when I began piano I realized I have a knack for music and playing piano, which led into playing other instruments. And next thing you know, I was writing songs. Over five years I went from not doing anything musically to realizing I love music and enjoy playing it all the time.”

Over the years Doles has grown his musical knowledge and has learned to perfect different instruments without professional training.

“At this point, he can basically figure out how to play any song in just a few minutes,” his father, Sean Doles said. “He will sit down at the piano or with his guitar and figure out the music by ear. He can also figure out new instruments pretty quickly. He played the saxophone in middle school and can play that really well, and now he has figured out how to play an old flute that we have laying around the house.”

Producing music isn’t as simple as just being able to play instruments. According to Alex, there are many steps in the process of putting together a song.

“I usually start with the main melody or chorus in my head,” Alex said. “Then I’ll sing the melody into a voice memo. It’s just a way to brain-dump all the stuff I want in the song. After that the next step is taking the idea and either adding instruments or recreating them digitally. That is also when I write lyrics. Once I’ve created most of the instruments and vocals I just have to spend some time going through it and producing it so it all sounds good and then it can be uploaded onto the music streaming services.”

Alex’s music has reached wide variety of people. Junior Andrea Abundis is a big fan of Alex’s music. She has been listening since the beginning of the year.

“I first learned about Aex’s music from people on the tennis team,” Abundis said. “I like his music because his songs are catchy. His music style is also different from others he does a mix of rap and pop.”

Alex intends for his music to eventually span across multiple genres such as rap, hip hop, and pop so that it reaches a larger audience with differing musical preferences.

“I want to have a very diverse catalog,” Alex said. “Some of this is more apparent when looking at things like my SoundCloud page which features a bit more of the unique tracks I have put together but not fully released.”

Songs aren’t the only things that Alex produces. Accompanying some of his released songs are music videos. These videos began as a fun idea that Alex and his dad decided to create but over the years they have improved their techniques.

“When I first made a song in sixth grade, my dad said, oh, you should make a music video and I thought it sounded like a fun idea,” Alex said “It was really more of a comedy than a real music video. But, once we made that one, we had to make another. So, now the goal is with every music release, to have something for the viewers to watch, whether it be a video or some sort of publication on YouTube, I find it really goes a long way in terms of getting your music out there.”

According to 6 Tips to Succeed in the Competitive Music Industry, the music industry is one of the most competitive and dynamic fields in the world. Alex states that building a liveable profession will be difficult so when thinking about the future of his career he takes a realistic approach to it.

“I’ve always thought of it as something I would do on the side,” Alex said. “But, things can change quickly. Something can go viral. Right now, I’m just planning on focusing on other things, like going to college.”

While there are many positives to songwriting there are also drawbacks, especially when releasing music on social media. According to Alex, putting his music out in the world requires accepting the negative comments of others, specifically online.

“My harshest critic is definitely social media,” Alex said. “It is a lot easier for someone online to say something hateful to a kid whereas in person the vast majority of people aren’t going to say anything disrespectful. As soon as you put it on TikTok or Instagram people are going to comment that things are hateful.”

The music industry can be daunting to those who are afraid to take risks. According to Alex, being able to pave your own path makes the experience all the better.

“If someone said that they were thinking about making music, I would say 100% go for it,” Alex said. “You have nothing to lose. There’s tons of tools and people that make it really easy. When I first started making music, I had no idea what I was doing. You can experiment until you get something you like and use that skill to write your own songs.”

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