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Sunsets South is Setting the Stage for a Successful Place in Music

As Brandon Maroney, AKA Sunsets South, enters the WCRXFM studios to record his Sessions @33 feature, he greets the filming and audio team with a welcoming smile and words of appreciation for having him. As he begins his soundcheck, it becomes apparent that his songwriting skills are something that come naturally, along with his ability to create melodies that stick in a listener’s ear long after his performances.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Sunsets South graduated from Lynbrook Senior High School, where his passion for music began at an early age, coming about through parental influence and the radio. “I have always been immersed in radio and music from my father, although not a musician in my family, music was always playing. I was listening to the Rolling Stones from age 6. I tried guitar lessons at an early age but quickly got frustrated because of my impatience, small hands, and a German teacher whom I could hardly understand because of his thick accent. I picked up the guitar again in ninth grade and made a promise to myself that I was going to learn on my own, and the rest is history.”

As his guitar prowess continued to develop, Sunsets South songwriting started to become more refined. “I played strictly guitar for a few years, but after listening to a lot of acoustic songwriters such as James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Ray LaMontage I decided I wanted to take a stab at songwriting. I have old recordings and videos of when I began and they make my skin crawl, BUT I never gave up and fell in love with the process and progress.”

During Sunsets South’s showcase at “Sessions @33,” his good friend Harrison Campbell provided electric guitar giving the performance an added element. “Harrison and I had met my first semester at Columbia College, we were both in guitar class together. We connected but actually lost touch for about a year. We rekindled and got to work, he helped me finish our songs I never thought I’d finish and he is one of the most supportive and creative people I have ever met. The best part about Harrison is that he is just as excited about my songs as I am, and that is something I have never found.”

With influences ranging from The Dave Matthews Band, Microwave, and Pinegrove, Sunsets South is hard to pigeonhole into one genre. “I take influences from tons of musicians because I listen to so many and find myself taking little bits and pieces from here and there.”

With plans to travel back to NYC, and possibly Los Angeles, Sunsets South will be mapping out a career that will most definitely include performances during the summer and beyond. We would be remiss if we didn’t ask about the origin of the moniker Sunsets South. “Well to be completely honest, I’m a huge fan of alliteration and the rhythmic elements of such. I was spitballing names to myself and ‘Sunsets South’ rolled off my tongue and stuck.”

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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