With the help of Music Industry Creatives, an IU organization, student bands Westhead and Citruses will release new music in upcoming weeks.
Thomas Barham, president of Music Industry Creatives and an IU senior studying arts management, said MIC’s focus shifted last September to a hands-on approach that connects musicians with resources they need for their projects, such as similar to a music management group. Artists of any genre come to the group in any stage of production and are helped by multiple student-run committees.
“We started the organization to be a hub for musicians and interested parties to come to, and we just essentially want to bridge all of the gaps and have this music community be more tightly knit,” Barham said.
Briggs Blevins, director of production in MIC and an IU sophomore studying arts management, said there are around 100 students involved in the club. Blevins said he loves the community of MIC and working in the club is fulfilling for him.
Hip-hop and R&B band Citruses has soul and pop influences. Members Luka Chazal, Tommy McDermott and Jack Read are seniors at IU. Chazal and Read are studying audio engineering, while McDermott is studying informatics with a music theory minor.
Chazal, who is also the head of engineering at MIC, said he and Read met in a class during the first week of their freshman year. They’ve been making music together ever since, and third group member McDermott said the two have a distinct sound. McDermott said he started playing music with them a year and a half ago. Although Chazal and Read have had background beats done for a while, the three started working on the album two or three months ago.
All of the members contribute instrumentally with McDermott contributing vocals. Chazal and Read are the producers and engineers. Chazal said he began producing music at the age of 12 when he got a digital audio workstation, while Read started producing music in high school. Both started playing instruments when they were around 6 years old.
Citruses released their first single on Feb. 18. Their next single will be released on March 4, preceding their album “Citruses” which releases on March 18.
Max DiFrisco, also known as Westhead, leads the other band releasing music. He’s a first-year transfer student at IU studying audio engineering. He’s also an engineer for WIUX and MIC.
Indie folk band Westhead started two and a half years ago. DiFrisco said he started working on the album, “And Just Like That,” during quarantine.
DiFrisco said he collaborated with about 20 other musicians on this album. He was the main producer, songwriter, mix engineer, vocalist and instrumentalist.
He said the album is about managing all types of relationships, especially during quarantine.
“We were all forced in the last two years to really think about what our relationships mean, what relationships are important to us, and how to navigate those relationships if we’re not able to see somebody every day,” he said.
DiFrisco started performing in seventh grade while attending an after school program called the School of Rock in Chicago. He was in his first band his freshman year of high school and started producing music with his bands during his junior year. They performed at Lollapalooza and opened for Peach Pit during DiFrisco’s sophomore and junior years of high school.
“I just want to make things happen, whether it be my own or somebody else's,” he said. “I just want to work on what I'm passionate about.”