True Blue Experience returns for second year with Local Band Contest

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Allison Martinez

This semester, new initiatives were made by multiple organizations to get students involved with events on campus. Instead of hosting a spring concert as usual, UPB, SGA, RHA and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life partnered together to host the True Blue Experience Music Festival. Hosting a local band contest was the first part of rolling out this years True Blue Experience Music Festival, which takes place on March 31 at the RAC fields.

The Contest

Ten students submitted music videos through myInvolvement to enter the local band contest in competition to perform as the opening act for the music festival, in addition to winning prize money. The videos were then placed on myInvolvement during the week of February 20-24 so that students had the opportunity to weigh in, and get involved when picking which gig would perform at the festival.

The reason UPB made the initiative to do this sort of contest is because they wanted local bands to have an opportunity to be recognized and a music festival seemed like a great way to get students involved.

The Competition

After a week of voting through myInvolvement, the first place winner is Christian Williams whose artist name is CWiLLtooiLL. Second and third place prizes were also given away, with Mykell taking second place and BiRDPERSON taking third. When speaking with both first and third place winners, both had nothing but great things to say about the competition.

“I wasn’t even expecting to win, really. I mean, I watched all of the videos and there were a lot of great contestants and I’ve ran across a lot of them at performances and on campus and stuff and I felt like a lot of them were strong competitors,” Williams said.

Aaron Cooler, vocalist and guitarist for BiRDPERSON is extremely proud of the progress his band has made. Although they really wanted to take first place and had high ambitions, the band has remained positive and hopeful of their music career.

Cooler considers the band to be rock-and-roll punk and just the fact that fans made it a point to vote for the band made him realize many students must either support the band or enjoy the sound.

“I chuck it up as a win either way. Third place, is third place, but I think for a band that plays the kind of music that we do in the kind of town that we live in, I think thats something to be proud of, for sure” Cooler said.

The Winner

Christian Williams takes a lot of pride in what he does as an artist. You may recognize his name from a song called “Paulsson Party” which was released last year in collaboration with friend and partner, Robert Bryce.

He claims that within 24-hours the song had over 10,000 views on Soundcloud and it has been used on multiple highlight films.

Williams started taking music seriously about 9-months-ago when he got his first microphone and mix master. He learned most of what he knows from a friend he works with but as months have passed Williams has been learning and innovating more and more from YouTube videos.

Williams is the Co-CEO of the brand KMF Music Inc. the acronym standing for “Keep Moving Forward”.

He plans to do more than just share music with his brand, but the company dreams of going to multiple elementary schools to teach kids how to tie ties and be role models for younger children. Williams stated that the company stands for “Influencing the youth to finally understand that it’s okay to think, feel, look, and want to be beautiful, handsome, and successful.”

In addition to learning more about his potential as an artist and being a positive role model in the community he has picked up the trade of website design, launching his first website this past November,

Although Williams collaborates with his partner while launching his music brand he entered the contest alone as a Rap music artist.

“Trap music isn’t really my style i’m more of a Kedrick Lamar, J Cole, Chance the Rapper, Kanye West type rapper,” Williams explained.

He is expected to do a 45 minute set as the opening act for the True Blue Experience Music Festival, which he explained is about 12 to 13 songs. A 45-minute-set is quite the performance for an up and coming performer but with over 200 recorded songs, Williams is confident that the performance will be a breeze.

“I’m gonna put my heart on the table, I have a lot of songs,” Williams said.

His personal goal is to put out two to three songs a week and as a certified publisher he shares his music on many different platforms like iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora and so on.

Williams is exuberant over his victory and feels as though his marketing tactics over the last fews months have helped him increase his chances of winning. Performing at many UPB UnPlugged events on campus helped him get his name out to the public and keep the drive to keep moving forward not just in music but in life.

He has been preparing and training for a performance such as the one presented to him for a while and he plans to start practicing live in front of roommates and friends in the coming weeks just to assure he is fully prepared.

He has constantly been rearranging his set to assure a great performance and when it comes to being on stage, Williams plans to conquer his nerves and use this opportunity as a great chance to increase his fan base and most importantly to keep moving forward.