Today we speak with Ricardo Oropeza, a sophomore music industry major originally from Caracas, Venezuela, who now calls Randolph, Morris County, home when he’s not living in Edgewood Apartments at Rowan. Ricardo will share his #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how he’s getting the most out of his college experience as a Rowan Prof.
Hometown and County: I am from Caracas, Venezuela but I currently live in Randolph, NJ (Morris County)
Housing: On campus, Edgewood Park Apartments
Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major because I discovered it’s what I want to do when I started DJ-ing in my hometown.
One reason why you chose Rowan?
I chose Rowan because of the small class sizes and the tuition cost.
My Typical Day as a Rowan Student
My name is Ricardo Oropeza, I am originally from Caracas,Venezuela but as of 2001 I have been living in the United States. Starting out my college career as a computer science major, most of my time was spent looking at a monitor. But as of 2nd semester of freshman year I began my journey in the music world by switching to be a music industry major. Now my days are spent networking and sharpening my business know-how. It was kind of a miracle — I’ve wanted to be part of the industry since I started DJing in my North Jersey town of Randolph. Sadly when it came to choose a college none of my options had the resources or even the major to pursue my career. Now that option is here! (Music Industry is a new major at Rowan.)
Switching to music business was one of the hardest, most nerve wracking decisions I’ve ever made. Some of the many downsides of the music industry is how cutthroat it is, the amount of competition is staggering, and knowing there’s always going to be someone better than you. It’s up to you to strive to constantly be the best you can, no breaks.
Having to always be working on yourself as a person and your career is why I am constantly running around. Take my Mondays for instance. Starting out with an 8 a.m. sight singing class that I am barely awake for, let alone prepared to sing in. Thankfully it is just a 50 minute class. After getting out of class it’s time to get some breakfast at The Marketplace on the first floor of the Student Center. Since I live on campus and don’t have a car this is where you’ll usually find me getting my nutritious meals.
Once I am more coherent (I am not a morning person) I get to listening to all of Spotify’s discover weekly playlist. As someone looking to become part of either music journalism, A&R (Artist and Repertoire, in charge of finding and nurturing talent for labels) or opening a label, I have to stay on top of both mainstream music and lesser-known bands. Spotify eases the constant searching by giving me 30 relatively unknown bands to listen to. While I indulge myself with new music I read music/business related blogs and news outlets. The music industry is constantly changing so to keep up to date with everything I read a multitude of music and business blogs/news outlets. Depending on if I have any outstanding homework or projects, I just write down ideas for my music blog.
Early this year I decided that it would be very beneficial to start a blog about music. It started out as just a place to share my music taste to people, but as time went on it began to develop into something greater. I started dabbling in Photoshop and HTML and made the site look professional. Along with making it look pro, my writing to a turn for the better. I started writing full length articles about the future of music and multiple artist spotlights. Then came the interviews with artists, both local and around the country. I am still not satisfied with where the blog is but I have new ideas that will be implemented next year. Feel free to visit: www.aboveandundermusic.com
Now it’s 11 a.m. and I skate over to audio recording class, where we learn to set-up, use and implement in producing or other live sound. After sitting in class trying to understand ProTools, a professional software used in post-production, producing, and pretty much everywhere else, I head to get some food. Depending on my mood I either eat at Sono, Holly Caf, or Marketplace. This is my shortest eating sesh of the day because I have class again at 2 p.m. and usually have to brush up on current events before it. The class is Journalism for Non-Majors with Professor Christina Lynn and it’s located in 301 High Street which is a good ways away from my Edgewood Park apartment. I thoroughly enjoy this class because I am able to learn the proper ways to report on news and write in a journalistic manner. This class especially has helped me improve my writing for the blog. Once out I just have one more class for the day, that being Public Speaking. If I have a speech to present for that class I usually edit it and perform it for my roommates before class.
Finally school is over for the day and I can concentrate on things I like, like producing and marketing. Usually Mondays are when I meet with other music majors to record or just fool around in the studio in Wilson Hall trying to make some beats. I am currently working on my final project for Audio Recording and I have to record four or more instruments and create a song with it. Personally I am not very musically talented, but my ear for music is exceptional in that I can tell good from bad and what will be a hit, but when it comes to making I lack the talent. Thankfully there are people in our program with incredible producing skills, plus music majors so you have enough talent to create a song. After a usually intense 2-4 hour studio sesh it is time to relax and clear my head at the gym, the Rec Center. Mondays are chest and tri’s …. my least favorite day. I’m at the gym for around 45 min. I pick up some Jersey Mike’s in the Student Center for the night and take a warm shower. It is usually around 10 p.m. by the time I’m back home (since 8 a.m). I lay in bed and practice producing on my laptop using FL Studios, either that or Narcos, it depends on my mood. By midnight I’m knocked out.
We are #RowanPROUD and we are Rowan Profs! Not exactly sure what a Prof is? It’s our owl mascot, Whoo RU. Read about him here.
Story organized by: Jen Green