More than a mix-tape

A quick finger jabs the play button and almost simultaneously a rush of electronic music fills the headphones. The different noises make a beat so strong that the room seems to shake.

Behind the laptop sits a teenage boy, looking sleep-deprived and yet completely at ease. That’s because he’s partaking in an activity he adores: making music. The mixture of varying beats is good, but not quite perfect, according to creator Stefen May.

May, a junior at Hinsdale Central, creates his own music. Travelling to a studio downtown nearly everyday, May has made countless beats and melodies.  He spends endless hours working towards releasing his first album, “More Than a Mix-tape.”

“It’s basically all that I do,” May says. “I’m in the studio everyday and I usually am working on something while doing homework- that way I keep up with class.”

Carlo Zenner, sophomore, agrees that May spends an excessive amount of time in the studio. “He’s literally always there. Like I’ll be snapchatting him and of course he’s in the studio,” Zenner says. “I guess his work is paying off though because I listen to his music and it’s actually not bad.  And that means a lot coming from me. I can be pretty judgmental of music.”

Ever since he can remember, May has had an intense passion for music. “I’ve played piano since I was like four but I didn’t actually start making my own music until I was about 13,” May says. “When I was little I’d never actually practice the piano. Instead, I would fool around and make my own melodies. I didn’t like being guided by the piano workbook. As I got older, I realized I could write music.”

In addition to his professional recording studio, May also has a home studio that he built himself. That studio is filled with top-notch technology that helps May to create his music.

“A lot of my stuff is electronic or computer based, which is what all modern music is like today. I have hardware as well, such as woofers, keyboards, drum pads, mixer boards, etc.” May says.  All of that equipment can get pricey, even running into the thousands. May, however, doesn’t see this as much of a problem. “The past few years I’ve just been asking for money from all my family on my birthday and Christmas. That helped a lot.”

Although the music making business can be tricky and time consuming, May admits that he enjoys every minute of it. “The time it takes me to make a song really depends on how complex the song is,” May says. “If I’m working on a song, I’ll spend a day on it, make it, then sit on it for a few hours and eventually come back to it. That way my mind is fresh and that tends to make me more creative.”

Eventually May will complete a full song and add it to his mix-tape. He works on his album almost daily; making sure each song is perfect. The release date of “More Than a Mixtape” is to be announced.