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When It Comes To Artists, Look No Further Than Syracuse University

When It Comes To Artists, Look No Further Than Syracuse University

Syracuse University has a very rich scene when it comes to music. Inhabited by people from all over the world, Syracuse University serves as a melting pot of musical culture, and within that, there certainly has to be some magic. College campuses in general come with so many different artists who create so many different genres, yet, they often get overlooked.

However, Syracuse has its own music industry. Not only on a college campus do you have access to venues, studios and markets that stretch around the world, but you also have access to audiences and people who are open to, and are always looking for something new to hear. Aside from the radio and the internet, Syracuse has its own musical market that has heavily expanded over the past 4-5 years, and we think people should know some of the Syracuse student musicians.

Prominent in the punk rock and indie rock genres, in 2018 Syracuse University has begun to open up even more doors for artists who make rap & R&B music. This comes as no surprise, as hip-hop has recently been named the most consumed musical genre, according to Nielsen. Though the city of Syracuse has multiple options when it comes to picking music scenes that match your mood, the artists on the campus of the University often go unheard, more than they actually are heard. But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. If you don’t feel like going out to hear your favorite kind of music, stay inside and plug in your headphones. I got the chance to sit down with two young musicians, and they’re certainly two that you should be listening to.

Aru Banks

Reppin’: Brooklyn, NY


When did you fall in love with music?

I don’t know if I’m in love with music so much as I am in love with making cool shit. Before music, I was drawing, painting and making cartoons. I also made video games for a while. I honestly just do whatever I feel like doing; I don’t give a fuck about anything else.

Do you remember the first song you ever wrote or performed? Tell me about it.

I just release an EP called “thots!™,” and the first song I recorded for the EP was “MOONLIGHT.” I recorded it in my bedroom back home over the break. I was sick, upset and alone. My voice was raspy and I could barely speak, but I felt like recording something. I ended up freestyling the entire song in one take. I mixed and recorded the entire thing in GarageBand on my iPhone headphones and when I listened back to it, my voice was crazy distorted, the audio was clipping and there was feedback from me blasting the music too loud while I was recording. Before I dropped the EP, I tried to go back and fix the audio and re-record the verses, but no matter how many times I tried I could never replicate the energy of the original song. I ended up putting it on the tape as it was. “MOONLIGHT” is now my most streamed song on SoundCloud.


“I’m just tryna make some dope shit…whatever happens happens. But at this point, I feel like I’m way too wavy not to change the world.”

Lloyd Ansah

Reppin’: Queens, NY


You’re on a campus with so many options and things to study, why music?

I’ve always liked singing and writing music. The moment I fell in love with music was when I started to perform. Picture this: the lights turned off, an awkward silence, a microphone placed center stage and a spotlight set up to shine directly over the rim of the mic. In that moment I was granted the opportunity to control everything around me. I control what happens on stage and the emotion the audience members should feel. Basically, I control the atmosphere in the room. As humans, we are always presented with deciding factors, issues and scenarios we simply have to accept. We are rarely given the opportunity to control an outcome. Music allows me to do that.

Who are you as an artist?

As an artist, I feel like like I’m a storyteller. I take lyrics, cadence and subject matter very seriously which is why I love hip-hop. When people listen to my music, that’s basically me inviting them into my world and seeing things from my perspective. I love making music that provokes thought. For example, if I were to write a song about how beautiful a girl is, I would flip the perspective and make it about the fact that she’s beautiful because her mother was beautiful. As an artist, I’m just trying to push the culture forward.


“The moment I realized I could make it with this music thing was when I stopped second-guessing myself and stopped thinking of the million things that could go wrong if this doesn’t work. I started believing in myself enough to stand by my own actions and trusting my gut enough to put in the work and bet on myself.”

About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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