POPulus to hold songwriting competition

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Sarah Mountain

Staff Writer

POPulus, Troy’s popular music ensemble, is holding its annual songwriting competition this month to bring in the musical talent of students across the entire university.

Submissions are due on Sunday, Sept. 15 and are managed by Zack Scott, a senior music industry major from Troy. Scott is a member of POPulus,  a group of students who write, record and perform their own songs.

“This submission gives students the chance for their song to be recorded by POPulus,” Scott said. “It would go on our album that will be recorded in November and released next semester.”

“I’m hoping to get some great quality music from the students so POPulus can perform and create this album to our best ability.”

The competition falls under the music industry program that serves as an “educational biosphere,” according to Robert W. Smith, coordinator of the Music Industry Program. 

“We allow songwriters to write, engineers to engineer, performers to perform,” Smith said. “We become a group where everyone can work with what they need.”

The organization is extremely diverse and allows for students from all parts of the John M. Long School of Music to come together and gain  real-life experience in many fields. 

This year will mark the eighth album produced by POPulus  completely created by the students. “We don’t limit to one style — we do all popular music genres from country to hard rock to hip-hop to R&B,” Smith said. 

Smith said they are looking for music that conveys the human experience, using universal themes anyone can relate to and appreciate.

According to Smith, this organization has led to many success stories, including one student branding Ilium Records LLC and even going on to win a Country Music Award. 

The competition this month is a call for songs that would be submitted via an audio file with a lyric sheet. Any type or quality of recording is acceptable so long as it properly conveys the demo. 

According to Scott and Smith, anywhere from four to eight submissions will be professionally recorded and produced by POPulus to be featured on this year’s album. 

Students whose songs are selected will be given the right to use the final recording as a demo for future endeavors. 

“People think of music as a universal language,” Smith said. “It’s for everybody. 

“It is not just for the formally trained. And there is so much great music talent running around this campus. There’s a lot of it that won’t come through the School of Music.”

There are many members of POPulus who aren’t the “stereotypical” example of who one would expect to be in a pop band, but according to Smith, grabbing talent from all corners of campus is essential to the success of the group. 

“What makes POPulus so great is the family-like vibe that we formed,” Scott said. “(It) makes performing more enjoyable… while having fun, we learn how to be a professional popular music ensemble.”

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