GRAPHIC BY JADE KWITKIWSKI
The room pulses with an electric energy as synths, songs and strings swirl around the recording studio and into the ears of delighted listeners. Born from the brains of creative student musicians and crafted with professionalism, their songs are ready to cross the finish line on legitimate streaming apps like Spotify.
Through the Brookline Teen Center’s music program, BTC Records, students are able to advance their sound to another level. With BTC Records’ professional grade equipment and experienced mentors, students can craft their music from even a seed of an idea.
Junior Lilah Sesling released her first song, “Still Young,” a stylistically pop song, by exploring songwriting on a deeper level and receiving encouragement from friends along the way. The song is composed of Sesling’s vocals, guitar, synth and beats.
“I put ‘Still Young’ out as pop and I think stylistically, like writing-wise, most of my stuff tends to be around there. But I think recently I’ve tried to do less categorizing because it gives me a lot more freedom in terms of the arrangements and instrumentations of everything,” Sesling said.
Sesling has goals to pursue a career in the music field.
“Dream wise, I’d like to be a successful singer-songwriter and travel the world playing my songs for money and recording and all of that. But realistic wise, I’m probably going to go to school and major in production or something like that,” Sesling said.
As for junior Omer Kitov, he wrote his first song, “Imagination,” three years before he recorded it at the BTC. Recording and releasing the song was a way of pushing his music forward in a more professional manner.
“It was about getting caught up in your daydreams and paying attention to what’s going around you. Kind of like escaping into your daydreams and escaping from reality. After the song was released, it kind of felt like taking a baby that just was birthed home. I felt very proud, like I created that,” Kitov said.
For Kitov and Sesling, both were mentored and guided along in the process of recording and releasing by BTC’s Music Program Manager Wesley Kaplan. Kaplan has been in his position for the last three years and said that everyday his job has brought something entirely new and interesting.
Kaplan’s ultimate goal is to help young musicians find creative and musical independence.
“Music is probably the most wholesome vehicle for empowering people individually and solidifying social bonds. Unfortunately, there seems to be very few avenues for the latter in American culture, so it’s important that musicians and music fans assert their right to congregate and express themselves creatively,” Kaplan said.
As a teen, Kaplan was mainly self-taught musically, from writing and recording on his own to getting involved with local DIY music in Boston after high school. He hopes that his background is relevant to teens now who are looking to express themselves.
“I know I could have benefited greatly from having some kind of mentor figure as a teen. There’s so much I had to learn the hard way,” Kaplan said.“Music is also wonderful because no matter how old you get, it never stops being interesting and is always a way to connect with people.”