Rockin the Stage: Q&A with Booth’s Top Musical Talent

Earlier this month, AudioBooth invaded Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago’s South Loop to showcase some of Booth’s finest musical sounds. Talented Boothies took the stage and serenaded us with their DJ spinning, acoustic and a cappella melodies, and guitar jamming skills. Kyle Veatch at Chicago Business (Booth’s student-run newspaper) spoke with a few of the artists to learn more about the balance between business student and artist.

Watch Renuka, our first interviewee, rock the stage like Axl Rose!

Kyle Veatch (KV): How are you involved in the music scene at Booth?

Renuka Agarwal (RA): I’m a co-chair of student groups Economies of Scale and AudioBooth, and sing in the Booth band Maroon 7.

KV: Share with us a bit about your music background.

RA: Growing up in an Indian household, I was immersed in song and dance. When I had to pick a musical class in middle school, choir happened to be the easiest and cheapest option!  Since middle school, I’ve sang mainly in choirs, jazz ensembles and a cappella groups. While at Booth, I joined my first band and have absolutely loved it! I love the rush of performing on stage – it’s unlike anything else, and Booth audiences are always supportive!

KV: What has been your favorite music moment at Booth so far?

RA: Definitely performing at Battle of the Bands last year. The Vic is an unreal venue, and I felt very professional on that stage.

KV: Anything you are looking forward to in the Booth music scene before graduation?

RA: I’ve always wanted to crowd surf — maybe my fellow Boothies can help me with that?… I am really looking forward to continuing to jam with my band (some of the most talented and humble people I know), singing fun arrangements with Economies of Scale, and finally winning against Kellogg at Battle of the Bands!

KV: Plans to continue singing after Booth?

RA: Singing is definitely a tough talent to keep up while working, but I would love to find some peers at work in SF or friends in the area to jam with for fun. There’s also always karaoke! I would love to learn to play guitar, and maybe even expand to writing my own music.

Watch DJ KMAC (interview below) spinning the tracks and feeling the music.

KV: Tell me a bit about your music background.

Kevin McCarthy (KM): I’ve been into music my entire life, starting with very uninspired piano lessons as a child. However, I got an electric guitar for Christmas in 8th grade and the rest is history. Throughout high school I was a huge metalhead with long hair and a general appearance that most people at Booth couldn’t imagine. I also picked up the drums in high school. Most of my time not in school/sports was spent jamming and playing music. I sadly got away from playing music when I went to college but I gained something else — a deep love for music festivals and electronic music.

KV: How did you find yourself DJ’ing on stage at the Reggie’s Rock Club?

KM: My sole inspiration for playing was a chance morning Uber ride with Renuka Agarwal because it took nine minutes to get to the ground floor of MPP and I missed the train. The MPP elevators are the worst — but in this case the best.

KV: How did you feel about your first DJ performance?

KM: To say I had a blast would be the understatement of the century. I was on cloud nine. I practiced and rehearsed my set a ton, although there were a couple of unanticipated hiccups during the set. For example: when mixing in ATLiens from Unforgivable I was flabbergasted at barely being able to hear the incoming track, ATLiens, in my headphones. I thought I looked at every knob but it turns out that I had the high pass filter on from that deck’s previous transition-out. Oops. All you can really do in that situation is keep moving forward.

KV: What’s next?

KM: I would absolutely love to DJ going forward and am available to any and all Boothies that want to hire me. I come at a pretty good price (free ninety-nine). I had so much fun. The best part of it all was seeing people moving and dancing from what I was playing on stage. I consider myself an extrovert who gains energy and happiness from the vibe of others around me. D’Jing is the perfect match. Sorry Goldman, KMAC is here.

Kyle Veatch is a second year and likes people.

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