Music group shoots video in the campus center

By Katie Landeck

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Katie Landeck/Collegian

Katie Landeck/Collegian

Against a gray cement backdrop in the basement of the Campus Center, Moe Edwards leaned into his microphone to sing, breaking the silence. Three boys carefully positioned themselves on the desk behind him, playing back up as he rapped Monday.

They were working on their second music video of the week under the direction of producer Johny Draper, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts last spring.

Draper met Edwards, who goes by the stage name of Biggs, through a mutual acquaintance. After listening to Edwards’ rap on a Facebook video, Draper, who had been working as a disc jockey and producing dance music in the Boston area, decided to head back out to Amherst.

“I had been looking for a rapper, and when Moe released a video, I liked his voice so I came up here to work with him for a week,” said Draper.

The first day of working together, Edwards recorded three songs titled “A Town,” “The Drop” and “Lost in Space” in the studio.

“First we ran through beats for about 45 minutes, and then we picked two or three of them,” said Edwards. “Then, they put me in the studio, and I just go with it. It’s not planned. It’s free flow.”

The songs were all written by Edwards, who calls himself the artist of the group. According to Edwards, his music is a reflection of what happens in his personal life.

“Basically, it’s me just expressing myself about what I want and how I feel right now,” said Edwards. “’Lost in Space’ is about me feeling focused [on making it in the music industry] but lost at the same time.”

After recording the songs, the group, which consisted of Bardia Fallah – who shot the music video – James Hadd, Steve Hahn and Jim Barabe, started working on its first music video the day after recording the three songs. The group used an idea that Draper had been kicking around for a while and made a glow-in-the-dark music video.

“I wanted to do something different, and a glow-in-the-dark music video seemed like a good fit,” said Draper. “We had the right song.”

Due to the time constraints of how long Draper was available to work with Edwards, Draper decided to produce the video for the next day.

“I didn’t sleep for like 20 hours,” said Draper.

After feeling like they were successful with the first video, they decided to use their remaining time to make the “live video” for “Lost in Space,” in the Campus Center. Originally, Draper had proposed trying to take over Blue Wall for the music video, but other members of the group talked him out of it as they did not want to disturb other people.

“It is quiet down here,” said Edwards. “You can spread out.”

Edwards said he enjoyed the experience.

“I think ‘Lost in Space’ was my favorite,” said Edwards. “I think it could be a really different alleyway for me.”

While Edwards defined “Lost in Space” as a pop song, he said that he is more of a hip-hop artist.

“I like the beat of hip-hop,” said Edwards. “I liked it as a hobby, so I practiced it until I got the talent. People say I am pretty good now.”

According to Edwards, he has performed at Hampshire College, UMass, Northampton and Amherst’s downtown. He plans on pitching his songs to local radio stations and hopes one day to be a well-known name.

“I hope I get somewhere,” he said.

In the meantime, Draper has returned back to Boston, at least temporarily ending the partnership. However, he said that if these music videos do well online, he will definitely try to work with Edwards again.

Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected]