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Boy Hazy's Music Sets the Tone for a Bright Future


Recent Columbia College Chicago graduate Boy Hazy has a demeanor that screams, “rockstar.” With a voice that is comfortable singing rock songs, slaying hip hop lyrics, or diving into a pop gem he has written, his ascension in the music industry is predicated on a powerful belief in himself.


Born in Arlington Heights, IL, but raised in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Boy Hazy jumped into performing at an early age, and one moment in particular cemented his musical desires. “Growing up, I remember hearing all types of genres and artists that my parents would play which later became a big influence on my music. The earliest possible memory I have of performing is from an early birthday party of mine where I must have been 6 or 7 years old. As the story goes, I brought all my family and extended family into the basement, put on this tiny red jacket, and I danced a whole fake number to ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson. I always love that story now, because if you asked me to perform in front of all my extended family now, I’d freak out way more than for any packed room or venue.”


With the passion firmly in place, Boy Hazy played various instruments in middle school but took a different tack when entering high school at East Grand Rapids High School. “I still never felt like I had gravitated to music in a creative sense until I was 16 years old. That was when I decided to start writing lyrics, which led to me buying a microphone, then

speakers, and then more & more stuff until I had a whole home studio of my

own.”


As he started to develop his career, Boy Hazy set his sights on a college experience that would be fulfilling, related to the music biz, and give him an opportunity to collaborate with other artists. Columbia, according to him, checked all those boxes. “After my sophomore year of high school, I knew I wanted to study some area of the music business, so a more ‘traditional’ college route was no longer my goal. A second factor was the people. On my

first tour I realized how diverse Columbia was compared to my high school. That

was highly appealing to me because I had always felt like I wanted to ‘break out’

of the small town bubble I grew up in, where everyone knew everyone pretty

much.”


As a student Boy Hazy was able to have key takeaways about the music industry that follow him today. “Nowadays there is so much misinformation, so being able to form opinions

and believe in them is actually very important in modern times, as most people

are just regurgitating opinions they saw or heard online. Another key aspect

that sounds very cliche but was driven home all the time at Columbia, was that

the creative arts is still a business at the end of the day, so you should carry

yourself as though you yourself are a brand /company.”


With a supportive family infrastructure, Boy Hazy clearly remembers hearing

some variation of, “You can do anything in life, as long as you don’t quit on it.”

Boy Hazy has supporters lined up far and wide as his career continues to expand. That support was evident during his performance on WCRXFM’s Sessions @33, which was a highlight during his last semester. “For me it opened the door to a part of Columbia I wasn’t sure how to get my foot into. It is very difficult to find performances for yourself if you're not in the actual ‘Music’ program, but Sessions @33 lets anyone with talent and willingness

come and show what they can do.”


With musical influences as diverse as Queen, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Elton John, and even a little heavier rock like Led Zeppelin, and Motley Crue, Boy Hazy’s next goal is to form a band. “For me, a lot of my future plans revolve around this idea of forming a band and starting to play more shows in the Chicago area. I want to keep releasing solo

music. I have literally hundreds of songs ready to come out, so right now

it’s more a matter of finding the audience and keeping them coming back. But in the end, the process of music is what I fell in love with, so the journey so far hasn’t felt like a second of work yet.”


Sessions @33 is a series featuring Columbia College Chicago music artists performing a 4-song set in an intimate performance space at WCRXFM, Columbia’s very own radio station. In addition to the artists getting exposure, students from various departments get experience in filming, audio recording, and talent management. Support these fantastic up-n-coming artists, as well as the collaborative efforts of the students involved behind the scenes, by watching sessions on YouTube, as well as listening to the podcast version on either Apple or Stitcher.

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