Through The Lens is our weekly series where we highlight current students and faculty, capture them on campus and ask them about their inspirations, advice and beyond.

1. Describe the moment/s when you knew that you wanted to study music further.

My father has a musical background and was the first person to expose me to the process of creating music. At a young age, I began to co-write songs with him, and he would go to the studio to record demo versions of the songs. One day when I was in 7th grade, he let me skip school to come to the studio with him. Enamored by the entire experience, it was that day that I decided I would work in music and I have never looked back.

2. Which artist, band or composer would you most want to meet and collaborate with? Why?

I have such an affinity for SZA. Her ethereal campfire melodies, soothing R&B vocals, and vulnerable singer/songwriter lyricism intertwine delicately to create a unique and quantifiable sound. Furthermore, her career serves as contemporary showmanship of how an artist can truly blossom when they are surrounded by the proper team. Top Dawg Entertainment President Terrence “Punch” Henderson’s initial interest in SZA and continuous dedication to the development of her artistry played an integral role in ultimately shaping her into the five-time-Grammy-nominated artist that she is today. I believe there is unlimited potential in SZA’s future and I would love to collaborate with her on any future endeavors.

3. If there is one piece of advice that you could give to other Music Business students, what would it be?

This can apply to students enrolled in any program here at MI, but my biggest advice is to throughly utilize all of the school’s resources, especially your instructors. They are living, breathing arsenals of information and expertise. Attend open counseling sessions and ask them for advice, ask them to tell you stories from their experiences, ask them for help with your personal projects- ask them anything. They are your truly greatest resource.

4. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned at MI so far? What has surprised you the most about MI?

The most important lesson that MI has taught me is that there really are no rules! The music industry is vast with opportunity, but it’s up to you to carve your own path. Most times when someone achieves large success in this industry, it’s because they are doing something a little bit different than everybody else, so MI has taught me to value and further develop my uniqueness.

5. What are some goals that you want to achieve in the music business?

There is a bit of stigma that exists surrounding the mutual happiness of an artist and their label when a deal is signed. In the age of the independent artist, I think it is more important than ever that record labels study and assess how to adapt to this shift in culture. I want to work in record label A&R, and in doing so, my goal is to help bridge the current label-artist contentedness gap. I may be the minority in this thought, but I believe there is a way for both parties to get what they want, so to speak, and I’m looking to help facilitate positive change in terms of how the artist-label relationship is traditionally viewed.