El Paso Community College’s Pulse Radio put on a Spring Band Showcase for students on Thursday at the Valle Verde Campus Courtyard. The show consisted of three musical performances by students.
The idea of having a Spring Band Showcase was thought of by the Pulse Radio club itself. Alex Hinojosa, Mass Comm instructor and Pulse Radio advisor, said that the club got together after having an evening show in the fall and, “decided for the spring to do a show specifically for students. We broke down who would be featured and considered Black Dog Friday again.”
OLIVIA BELCHER/ TEJANO TRIBUNE
Matt the Cat On Air, Blues artist, at the Valle Verde campus courtyard on April 12.
They decided to reserve performances for EPCC students only. Hinojosa said that they wanted to put on something fun because “it is fun and entertaining and you’re not just studying and able to have a mini break between classes.”
The first to perform was “Sadder Daze,” a garage jazz band made up of three EPCC students, Alberto Loya Jr., Andrew Betancourt and Carols Vela. Although the band was short one member, “the guitarists looped his instrument to come up with some very mellow sounds and his drummer kept a super upbeat tempo with him.
They meshed quite well,” Matthew Lujan, Mass Communication major and Pulse Radio DJ, said.
Lujan, known as Matt the Cat on air, was the showcase’s next performer. Along with his electric guitar he played about four jazz and blues solos. Lujan was first exposed to guitar when he was six years old but didn’t actually start playing until his freshman year of high school.
“Music is my passion for sure. I feel like guitar is a good way to evoke emotion. Blues really inspire me, especially artists like BB King, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Hendrix and Albert King.”
Lujan believes that it is important for the live music community and people in general the “need to support each other.”
Lujan was the primary host for the band showcase as well and introduced each act while adding comedic commentary between performances.
The last EPCC student to perform goes by the name of Young Passion, an up-and-coming rapper, she performed two of the original songs, one of which is called Syracuse.
“I started rapping in fourth grade but I didn’t start taking it too serious until I got out of the military and moved here to El Paso,” Young Passion said.
Unlike most rappers, Young Passion didn’t come up with her stage name herself but rather, was named by the first musical group she joined.
“I was part of this group called Nothing After Me and I was the youngest in the group and they were trying to come up with a name for me and one of the people there just said ‘Young Passion’ and I liked it and it just stuck with me.”
Young Passion does not rap about a specific thing, it is more dependent on “what is happening, it is really just about the vibe and what I’m feeling. I don’t try to be so blunt about things and I like to let the listener figure it out and interpret it in their own way because it is art.”
Young Passion’s long term goal is “to be more noticed and start making money off music before I graduate college. We are just trying to take over the city right now. This is just the beginning, we haven’t even scratched and surfaced yet.”
Pulse Radio especially wanted the performances to be live because according to Hinojosa, “In my opinion I think it helps your soul. Studies have shown that listening to live music reduces stress levels.”
They are also hoping to make the Spring Band Showcase an annual celebration so that more students can show off their talents to their peers and gain exposure.
Pulse Radio is located at the EPCC Valle Verde campus and can be contacted at (915) 831-3251 for more information and song requests.