From bachelor’s degrees to record deals, the endeavors of the University’s vibrant and talented community continue to shape the climate of the world, whether it be through academics or music. Here is a playlist of nine original songs written, performed and released by the Classes of 2022 through 2025.
“Japanese Soda” by One South Lark
Third-year College student and guitarist Grayson Worley, along with four of his childhood friends, formed One South Lark down in their hometown of New Orleans. Although the bandmates now attend different schools throughout the East Coast, One South Lark has managed to amass over 3 million streams on Spotify due to the traction of songs like “404” and “Japanese Soda.” Worley recently reunited with his bandmates to bring the indie surf-rock sound to Rugby Road at the Spring Quad Party April 9.
“Ballers & Senators” by Mick Mazin
“Ballers & Senators” is the opening track of “mickstape,” the debut album of fourth-year College student Eddie Micklovic. Rapping under the pen name Mick Mazin, Micklovic flows over soulful beats and delivers lines about the duality of the college lifestyle, from parties to priorities.
“The lyrics in this song primarily focus on my development as both a human and an artist throughout college,” Micklovic said. “It starts with me being ‘Nervous my purpose is more than just music’ — a fear I’ve had my entire life. It ends with me proclaiming that in five years
‘I’ll be goated like Ye,’ demonstrating the confidence I’ve developed in myself as an artist since I’ve come to U.Va..”
“brian tafazoli dies and goes to wendy's” by Brian Tafazoli
Brian Tafazoli, first-year College student and member of the Cavalier Marching Band’s drumline, is a whiz on the guitar. Tafazoli’s musical background and affinity for math rock artists like Chon contribute to layered melodies and complex rhythms running through “brian tafazoli dies and goes to wendy’s.”
“The song follows the story of growing from trauma,” Tafazoli said, recalling his battle with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of recurring pneumothorax during high school. With over twenty time signature changes, the song’s meandering trajectory reflects perseverance throughout a non-linear healing process.
“Musically, this is the most fun I’ve ever had making a song, and I feel like that’s easy to hear,” Tafazoli said. “There’s so much detail in the song that the amateur mixing unfortunately buries, but the process of making this song showed me that I want to make music for the rest of my life.”
“Switch Lanes” by Wayve
Fourth-year College student Wayne Barnes — also known as Wayve or 4C Wayve — brings melodic rap to Charlottesville, carrying with him influences from Juice WRLD and Roddy Rich. Barnes, who recently opened for Trippie Redd at UPC’s Springfest concert, has garnered 800 thousand streams on Spotify. “Switch Lanes,” with over half a million streams, is the standout track from Barnes’ debut album, “Self Discovered.”
“Clumsy Romance” by Luke Richard Powers
Second-year College student Luke Powers is a singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist with a taste for country and folk icons like John Denver and James Taylor. Powers’ most recent single “Clumsy Romance” precedes the release of his second EP, “As I Am,” out May 13. Powers’ influences come through in the form of sweet guitar slides, twangy vocals and heartfelt lyricism.
“Knowing that while I am very put-together, capable, and social in most settings, I can be rather clumsy when I start to really fall for someone,” Powers said about the song’s inspiration. “To be perfectly honest, this song was about that hope of finding someone okay with that.”
Powers reflects the theme of clumsiness by using a 6/8 time signature, giving the track a less structural, lagging waltz feel.
“What Kind of Man” by Farrah Hanna
“What Kind of Man,” produced by third-year College Student Elie Bashkow, is an emotive indie anthem released by singer and songwriter Farrah Nasralla, third-year College student. Hanna released her third single, titled “Growing Up/Apart” April 22.
“Just What I Need” by Marti
Caroline Hullman, a fourth-year in the College, evokes gritty vocals and spacey guitar chords on “Just What I Need,” the first single released under her indie-rock project titled Marti. The song was re-released last year as a part of Hullman’s self-titled EP, a cosmic fusion of edginess and emotionality produced by fourth-year Commerce student Nate Cantu.
“Queen of Cups” by Ceterus
Ceterus, consisting of three University alumni and third-year Engineering student Daichi Monma, became a popular indie-rock band within the University’s house show scene from 2019-2020. Despite Ceterus’ hiatus following the graduation of its bandmates, the band lives on through their published music and the existence of Sycamore Jade, a five-piece spin-off band formed by three former Ceterus members.
“Queen of Cups” is a highlight among Ceterus’ diverse discography, featuring catchy guitar riffs and a youthful chorus that reads, “For now let's chase the feeling / Raise your glass up to the ceiling / While the Queen of Cups is reeling / And I just can’t seem to get through to you.”
“Try” by Midge
After surrendering her spot as the frontwoman for a D.C.-based indie band to attend the University, first-year College student Megan Clancy now writes, records and produces original music from her bedroom under the moniker of Midge. Clancy showcases her velvety vocals and guitar skills on “Try,” one of the most notable tracks of her indie EP “Karaoke.”