MHS Musical Talents Lay Down the Beat

MHS Musical Talents Lay Down the Beat

Cassidy Waters and Natalie Condon, Staff Writers

Miramonte High School, recognized for its academic prestige and competitive sports teams, also produces a large variety of musicians. From rappers to beat boxers to DJs, Miramonte has them all. Some of the most recognized artists are seniors Jack Houston, Hank Kaplan, and Carter Soso, and juniors Matt Cobley, Mohsen Brown, and Gaelen Faulkner.

Houston started his music career in seventh grade after being inspired by the Wu Tang Clan. Houston creates electronic music and wants to continue his music career in the future.

“I hope I can play shows in front of millions of people someday,” Houston said.

Houston and Kaplan frequently create music together and post it to SoundCloud, an online blog. Their site is called “Legends of the Hidden Temple.”

Like Houston, Kaplan started making his music at an early age. He produced his first song in eighth grade on Garage Band. Kaplan receives inspiration mainly from himself, Houston, and the famous DJ Avicii.

“Honestly, Avicii changed the way I listened to music and looked at life overall, “ Kaplan said. “He shaped my style of music, my other inspiration was #top5pop5legendsofthehiddentemple.”

Kaplan’s favorite professional artist is currently 19 year old Porter Robinson, who inspires Kaplan through his creative music.

Kaplan also has huge plans for the future.

“These aren’t just hopes; I know that Jack and I will get rich, be famous DJs, make our own label, sign hell of people, then start making movies, and eventually move back to Orinda to run it,” Kaplan said.

Soso has many musical talents. In addition to being a part of the school choir, he beat boxes, plays the guitar, and DJs. His musical interest arose in seventh grade when his friends decided to start a heavy metal band.

“That’s when I learned how to play the bass,” Soso said. “But it wasn’t that useful in the group because we were horrible.”

The bands that helped shape his musical range are 10ft. Ganja Plant and Deadmau5. Soso’s career has exceeded his own expectations. This past month he placed fourth out of 16,000 participants in the Young Arts National Singer and Songwriter Competition.

Cobley, also known as Big $hot Cob by his fans, wrote his first rap as a sophomore. His musical inspirations are Anthony Piganelli, a Miramonte alumnus, and J-Cole, his favorite rap artist.

Cobley has participated in two rap battles so far. In the first he lost against Piganelli two out of three, and in the second won against junior Marshall Deutz. In the future, he hopes to attend Cal Poly where he can continue rapping and hopefully spread his music on the college level.

“My lyrics come from the heart, but haters are my motivation,” Cobley said.

Brown is another well known rapper at Miramonte. He creates a variety of raps featuring other Miramonte students such as junior Ryan Childers. He posts his songs to Youtube where his fans can easily listen or download them.

Brown started his music career two years ago living in Idaho. He continued rapping after moving to Orinda his sophomore year and it remains one of his favorite hobbies. His first rap was titled “Unleashed.” His tempo fluctuates from song to song and his lyrics reflect many different personal experiences.

“My lyrics come from the heart,” Brown said. “But friends and parties are really what my lyrics are about.”

Faulkner creates his own style through his beat boxing. Beat boxing can be defined as a form of hip-hop music in which the voice is used to simulate percussion instruments.

Faulkner recently debuted his unknown talent at the Miramonte Talent Shown on March 9. A crowd favorite, he portrayed great skill through his various beats.

Faulkner decided to pursue a beat boxing path during his sophomore year at Miramonte.

“I became interested after listening to Carter Soso perform,” said Faulkner. “I also loved the bands Reeps 1 and Skrillex,” He hopes to continue and expand his skills.

“Don’t listen to what people say if it is just going to discourage you,” Soso said. “If you base yourself off what other people say or think then you’ll never be good enough for yourself.”