Rocking n Enrolling: James Rock’s life as a musician and a student

Originally a drummer, Rock picked up the keyboard rather quickly.. Rock had music theory training but developed his keyboarding skills through experience.

Alycia Bacon, Staff Writer

Between being a student, a waiter at the Ginger Man and a musician with a successful up and coming band, James Rock has a lot on his plate.

“Things like music I am super passionate about and I go into a trance,” said Rock.

“With passion driven things I push myself all the way. I really like to see where I can bring myself. It sounds cheesy, but I push myself 110 percent. You really have to push yourself and in doing so it pushes others too. It’s necessary to do what you love,” said Rock.

Living in Troy and in the Capital Region has been a very different experience for Rock, who came from a small town.

 In order to excel in art, Rock says it’s essential to live in a more urban area. Rock’s transition from Peru to the Capital Region opened him to new creative experiences. Shortly after starting Hudson Valley, he began his internship with Joshua Mirsky (vocalist for MIRK) as a recording/studio engineer.

Currently a liberal arts student, Rock hopes to use the time after he graduates to see how far he goes before pursuing another degree. His goal at Hudson Valley is to create a solid foundation.

Rock already has worked with musicians that he likes to create an album from start to finish. For him, there is no clear cut path to success.

“I’d much rather know that I tried and failed than just get a bachelor’s degree in something random and always wonder what could’ve been. I don’t think I could do that because then I wouldn’t be happy,” said Rock.

 Originally a drummer, Rock picked up the keyboard rather quickly. Rock had music theory training but developed his keyboarding skills through experience.

 “I went in on fire. I was really determined to do it. I liked the band and [everyone in it]; I didn’t want to fail and I wanted to impress them,” said Rock.

Rock has now been playing with MIRK for about two years. He has traveled with band as far as Boston and NYC. In Boston, MIRK played for a crowd of 5,000 people at the Scooperbowl.

Being a student hasn’t affected how far Rock is able to travel as part of the band.

“The professors at HVCC are super. I’ve built a really good relationship with them and I’ve never had a problem. Every time I email them ahead of time. The staff is really supportive of students who are trying to do something,” said Rock.

 “I have classes, homework, I have to mix people song’s, writing hooks, I have to write my own music and then I have to write music for MIRK,” said Rock.

 And for those students who are not so certain what they want to do yet Rock advised, “Figure out what you like to do. It’s all about just exploring and just putting yourself in different scenarios. Explore your passions. I guarantee there is at least 100 other people with the same aspirations as you and you’re only going to find them if you are openly pursuing your dreams.”

“If you’re interested in working with JAY-Z come talk to Mirsky because he’s done that and he would be happy to talk with you.  Don’t be hesitant to introduce yourself. I love meeting people and just talking. I want people to be the best they can.”

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