Coachella Alternatives for College Students

Coachella_Alternatives-01So maybe you missed Coachella this year. Or maybe you decided not to go this year to spare your wallet. Or MAYBE, in a weird turn of events, you’ve been to Coachella so many times before that you’re ready for something new. Whatever the case may be, we have you covered. Here’s 5 fun alternatives to Coachella 2015 :

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Student Spotlight: Beat Rhino

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In this week’s student spotlight, we sat down with Beat Rhino, a beat boxer who has been featured in multiple Spring Sing performances with groups such as Bruin Harmony. Learn more about how the name came about find out his favorite dining hall!

  1. Where does the name Beat Rhino come from?

When I started beatboxing, it was with my best friend Eric. One day, one of our friends came up to us and said that Eric’s style is quiet and clean, while mine was powerful like a Rhino. I added “Beat” as a thing that beatboxers sometimes attach to their artist names, like “SFX” (sound effects) in “Faith SFX”.

  1. Tell us about the beat boxing scene. How did you manage to break into the community?

The global beatboxing scene is small, but definitely has been growing in the past couple decades. There’re still people who don’t know what beatboxing is, but there have been many beatboxing videos that have gone viral and national as well as international beatboxing competitions around the world. Right now, Europe has the biggest scene, followed by the Americas and Asia.

My first breakthrough was winning the 2013 Grand Beatbox Battle Wildcard competition, in which a video I submitted was selected among a hundred or so others. Then I won the American Beatbox Championships for the first time in that same year. I think I won these titles because I had a unique set of sounds and style, as well as putting in a lot of time, being persistent — that was my third wildcard competition, and second national championship, respectively — and being open to jamming with other people.

  1. Will you pursue beatboxing as a career, or will it become a side interest?

Yes. It already is my career, except I go to school. Maybe if I decide to go into something else later, I’ll keep it as a side interest, but definitely no plans of that as of right now.

  1. Do you play any other musical instruments?

I played Clarinet for about 7 years til 11th grade, but I haven’t played in a while.

  1. How does it feel like to be part of the emerging Asian American entertainer movement that’s begun to emerge as a result of websites like Youtube and social media?

It feels great. I feel really blessed that I am recognized and people like what I put out. It’s crazy because when I started coming out on social media, no one knew who I was and I just put out content hoping that people would see it, not expecting big numbers like 1 million views or anything. Even though I don’t have anything close to those numbers still, I have a growing fan base that is really supportive of me, largely because of social media.

I also feel really blessed to be part of the Asian American movement. I guess it’s kind of funny because on some of my videos, people will comment “Level: Asian”.

  1. What’s your favorite dining hall, and why?

My favorite is Feast. Even though it’s hit or miss and unhealthy, I go there the most. When the food’s good, it’s amazing! And if I don’t like it, I can opt out to other dining halls or off campus restaurants.

  1. What’s your most iconic freshman year moment?

Performing at Spring Sing with Bruin Harmony. It was awesome because that was the first (and last) year I was in an A Capella group, we had a whole choreography to go with our song, and I had a dubstep solo. It was a really fresh experience. I miss that moment as well as being with the group.

  1. Where would you recommend students to live on the hill?

The newer Sproul dorms. New, centrally located and close to campus. Hitch would be cool too since it was recently renovated and has a basketball court next to it, although they’re pretty far from classes.

You can check out Beat Rhino’s videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/soulfullhuman/featured

Interview with Nick Valentini from the Street Hearts

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Nick Valentini plays piano for an on campus band called the Street Hearts. And he sat down with On the Hill for an in-studio interview where he talks about his music, his friends, and his celebrity crush. Check out the interview below:

OTH: So you played in both Spring Sing and Jazz Reggae. Do you have a favorite experience?
Nick: I liked both equally. I did Spring Sing as a soloist in my first year and that’s where I met Andrew, who’s also a member of the Street Hearts. And then we ran into each other again in middle of the year and decided to get together to write music. We auditioned as the Street Hearts for Spring Sing and I tried out as a soloist last year. I ended up getting in with the band. And then we met Sarah at Spring Sing and she joined in.

OTH: Did you win anything at Spring Sing?
Nick: Yeah, we won Fans Choice at Spring Sing and Best Band.

OTH: When did you start playing music?
Nick: I was like 6. My family is pretty musical so it just happened that way. I started with classical until my sophomore year of high school and then I switched to jazz. And then I started writing solo stuff.

OTH: Do you prefer playing solo or playing with your band?
Nick: The songs I write solo are way different. With the band I’m mainly keyboard so its completely different. The Street Hearts I’d say is mostly folk and the solo work I do is mostly pop and alternative.

OTH: Who do people often compare your musical style and voice to?
Nick: John Mayer, Jamie Cullen (He says nonchalantly).

OTH: Gavin Degraw?
Nick: Yeah, Gavin Degraw.

OTH: What’s a song you’ve been listening to that you’d be embarrassed for people to know about? Be honest. “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus?
Nick: I like that song.

OTH: Do you like Wrecking Ball? More importantly, have you seen the video?
Nick: The video is [sic] weird. Besides the fact that she’s like licking a hammer. I can tolerate it though…

OTH: Rihanna, Beyonce, or Nicki Minaj?
Nick: Like musically or…? (With a mischievous look)

OTH: Both.
Nick: Beyonce for both actually.

OTH: What do you do in your free time besides music?
Nick: I like to play soccer.

OTH: Are you on the club team?
Nick: I don’t play club but I was going to try.

OTH: Boxers or briefs?
Nick: Briefs definitely.

OTH: Who is your celebrity crush?
Nick: The first one that came to mind was Katy Perry.

OTH: What is your favorite memory from when you lived on the hill?
Nick: My two roommates. We all knew each other from high school. We weren’t really close friends but we did a lot of cool things together. I stayed in Cedar (De Neve). All the cool kids come from Cedar.

OTH: What was your favorite dining hall and food?
Nick: I’d probably go with the pizza. I like the pizza at De Neve best.

OTH: The Street Hearts are playing at the Roxy on Sunset soon, right?
Nick: Yeah, check out our Facebook page to get more info.

Here’s a personal message from the Street Hearts:
“We’re performing for the first time in LA (that’s not at UCLA)! Come join us @ The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood on October 11th @ 7:15 PM! Bussing will be provided to the event and back from UCLA. Further information regarding the buses to follow. You can buy tickets online at http://www.theroxy.com/event/363507

Want to see a specific band, artist, student talent, or any cool person at UCLA interviewed by On The Hill? Let us know below! Who knows, you might be responsible for our next post!

Interview by Beverly Okhio