Putting pencil to paper, frustratingly crumpling up ideas and scratching his head for new ones, this is the process sophomore Patrick Surban goes through to develop a song. In the studio, a microphone records his words one by one. He produces a self-made beat and reminisces back to when he was 12 years old where he found a passion–rapping.
“I started rapping because I wanted to put my name out in the world for everyone to see,” Surban said. “Maybe someday I could get big like the other rappers in the game.”
When Surban moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Las Vegas, he was introduced to an unfamiliar city with opportunities that he could take advantage of.
“When leaving my hometown in Alaska I knew I would be able to start out fresh in a new area with a bunch of new opportunities,” Surban said. “The sad part about leaving Alaska was leaving all my friends and clothes behind; I rap about it in my song ‘Fresh Prince of Las Vegas.’”
Despite having limited knowledge on music and rapping in general, Surban creates his own uncomplicated beats and uses simplistic words to develop his tunes. He combines his own style of rapping with modern-day and old school rap, taking inspiration from Travis Scott and Kanye West, to ensure originality and a range of emotion in his pieces.
“Being a SoundCloud rapper myself, I know how difficult it can be to come up with original ideas and beats straight from scratch, so props to him, ” sophomore Cyncir Pollard said. “It can get very time consuming and upsetting when it takes a while to record.”
Surban’s passion for rhythm and poetry has lead him to produce numerous singles such as “Wolf Cypher” and “Baby.” His raps cover a diverse range of topics from his emotions and lifestyle to childhood memories.
“I make my raps by making a beat first, then I hum along to the beat and create a flow in my head that sounds good, and after all of that, I come up with the lyrics,” Surban said. “I get my ideas from Spongebob because that show has a lot of life lessons that happened to me that I can relate to.”
Those close to Surban, such as his friends and family, follow and share his music on SoundCloud. Surban tries to post on SoundCloud at least once a week; however, it can take him up to two months to complete a song.
“I feel that Patrick’s music is very fun, catchy and upbeat; I can get up and dance to it at anytime of day if it played,” sophomore Kathrina Bornios said. “He always works to push out new music, even if it means no sleep for three days straight.”
Surban occasionally performs at small cafes and coffee shops as he wants to display his hard work and talent to others around the city.
“I see myself pursuing my rap dream as a career because when I go places to perform, there are record labels watching me there,” Surban said.
Although Surban has priorities such as school, rapping comes after he finishes all his school and homework. Rapping plays a significant role in his self-confidence and has shaped him to be the bold and determined individual he is today.
“Rapping lets me express myself and let me not hold anything in,” Surban said. “It makes me feel comfortable to state my own opinions and say whatever message I’m trying to get across easily.”
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