The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Chasing dreams

College student discusses what he hopes to be a successful music career

“I’ve been involved with and passionate about music for as long as I can

remember—literally,” Ekselent stated. “Music is an art that comes as naturally to me as speaking does.”

A music business major at Tarleton State University, “Ekselent,” has just begun what he hopes to be a successful musical career. Though keeping up with coursework, working part-time, and maintaining a healthy social life keep Ekselent’s schedule busy, this aspiring artist manages to make time to pursue his lifelong passion. 

How did you come up with your artist name? 

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“I am frequently asked this question, as “Ekselent” is a unique moniker. Ekselent, pronounced like “excellent,” floated around in my head before I finally decided on it. It is inspired by the word “excellent,” as I strive for excellence in every part of my music,” the artist explained. “Granted, my first album was quite terrible, and I will not be letting something like that reach streaming platforms ever again. It was a learning experience and had an overall positive reception. To get back to the point, I aim for excellence with everything that I do. There’s not a huge, hidden message within the name.”

When were you first drawn into the world of music? 

“Music has always come incredibly naturally to me. I started singing as soon as I could form coherent words and hold a semblance of a melody. I’ve done musical theater for years, learned bass guitar at age 11, followed by the drum set when I was 12, and picked up guitar when I was 13,” Ekselent detailed. “The guitar is an instrument that I continue to develop skills with. Being a multi-instrumentalist makes pursuing my dreams much easier.”

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in making music? 

“Once I started writing songs, I just knew it. My early songs were terrible, and I’m not going to pretend like I’m a prodigy, because I’m not. But once I began to hone in on the style that I wanted to write, I knew it. I put out a few songs on YouTube and had mild success,” Ekselent said. “Now, I’m releasing music to all platforms, and it’s scary but exciting.”

While he works towards breaking through, Ekselent also has set goals that he hopes to achieve once he makes it in the music industry. These goals include:

  1. Becoming successful enough to where he and his family never have to worry about money. 
  2. Starting his non-profit record label to promote new artists and building a music venue to host artists. 
  3. To promote belonging and love through the community that he hopes to build. A community where everyone feels wanted and knows that they matter. 

Writing, recording, and producing music undoubtedly takes a lot of time. On top of the endless hours that he puts into his work, Ekselent also has to balance classes, a job, social activities, and his health. With a workload this full, a person might consider temporarily putting their passion on the backburner. Ekselent thinks otherwise. 

You are a full-time student in college. How do you make time for both coursework

and making music?

“You think I have time? That’s funny. I don’t,” Ekselent joked. “In all seriousness, though, I really don’t have time. I am the busiest person I know

by far. I work two jobs, am a full-time college student, am on the executive committee of a fraternity, am a member of multiple collegiate ensembles as well as other bands, do my best to maintain a reasonable social life, make time for my religion, and I sleep occasionally. And I write music,” the artist listed. 

“I make time for making music on any free days I may have, by staying up late to write songs. During the day, I either record and mix my songs, write parts on different instruments, or do homework in an attempt not to be super behind in my classes. However, I am guilty of occasionally missing class because my stress levels became overwhelming. It is a fun lifestyle, but it can be incredibly stressful,” Ekselent finished. 

We have already established that being an aspiring musician and a full-time student cannot be easy. How do you stay motivated to keep pursuing your passions?

“The main thing keeping me going is my vision for my future. I want to retire my parents, as well as myself. I want to headline venues like the American Airlines Center. I want to meet people like James Hetfield and write songs with people like Dave Grohl, Ekselent stated. “I want to create music better than I do now. I want my songs to be art that you listen to, not just a song that you hear on the radio. And although the music industry is unfortunately financially motivated, I’m certainly going to try and shift it to an artistically motivated field” 

Where are you hoping that your money takes you, monetary-wise? 

“When you’re at the level I am, you’re not making ANY money from this yet. Some of the shows I have booked for this coming year are paying gigs, but that’s still months out. The future isn’t paying my presently due tuition, unfortunately, unless you count student loans,” the artist said. “That being said, I want to be able to support myself and my family. Once I’m comfortable, money is not an object that I will pursue. I want to promote art that I believe has depth and meaning.”

What has been the hardest obstacle in the way of starting your musical career?

“By and large, with absolutely no competition, the hardest obstacle has been money.

The music industry is one of the most expensive industries to get into, especially as a solo artist. You’re doing everything and paying for everything completely on your own a good 99% of the time,” Ekselent stated. “There have been a few other obstacles, such as time, commitment from other musicians to perform with, and finding places to perform, but none of them hold a candle to the financial aspect of starting my career.” 

Throughout the process of making his dream become reality, Ekselent has been able to find support and draw inspiration from a multitude of people around him. 

“My biggest supporters, I am blessed to say, have been my friends and family.

Some are more enthusiastic and supportive than others, but nearly all of them have

had a positive reaction to me releasing music,” Ekselent stated thankfully. “Given I am not even putting out my personal name, I will not list any of their names, but they know who they are. And I want to say a massive, ever-grateful thank you to each and every one of you that may someday read this.” 

Though he realizes that there are still many mountains to climb and rivers to cross, Ekselent is determined to overcome these challenges to make his dreams a reality.

One day, Ekselent hopes to headline his own show, not for personal gain or glory, but because he hopes to make an impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people someday. The artist wants to reach this level not to gain the world but to change the world. 

“Life is the biggest blessing we will ever have, as well as the worst curse we have all had placed upon us. It’s up to us what to make of it, and I choose to make music out of mine,” Ekselent concluded. 

The aspiring artist recently released his newest single, “All These Things About You,” on Feb. 9, 2024. This song and the rest of his discography are available to listen to on all platforms. 

Ekselent’s next performance will be at Bankhead Texas Wine Bar in Mineral Wells, Texas on Friday, Mar. 15. 

To learn more about and keep up to date with Ekselent’s releases and performances, head on over to the artist’s Instagram account, @ekselentmusicofficial. Ekselent’s previous releases can be streamed on all platforms. 

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Lainey Vollmer
Lainey Vollmer, Staff Writer

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