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MSLCE Student Decides to Turn Passion for Music into a Career

By Jacob Nelson

John Simon has an eclectic taste in music.

Growing up in the ‘80s, he found himself inspired by Michael Jackson to pursue a career on stage, performing. But when he finally started a band, when he turned 20, the sound was less pop and more rock. He considers the band to be a punk quintet that delves into the sounds of The Beatles and the American post-hardcore band Fugazi.

But Simon didn’t consider turning his passion for music into a career until recently. He had been working in his family’s wholesale furniture business when his dad noticed that Simon had other interests. “He said, ‘If you really like music just follow it,’” Simon said.So Simon found himself interning with a digital media property where he spent four years writing blog posts and got to see firsthand what went into the lives of musicians he admired. “You guys will get me into cool events and I can cover them from a journalistic standpoint?” Simon said he remembers thinking when he first got the gig. “It just opened all these opportunities.”

The experience led Simon to decide he should go back to school so he could pursue his interest in some larger issues facing the creative industries — things like the future of streaming and even augmented reality. That’s when he stumbled onto MSLCE. “I literally typed into Google, just luck I typed ‘creative masters’ and low and behold there is the MSLCE,” Simon said. He said he then thought, “This may be built for me.” Ideally, Simon would like to channel what he learns at MSLCE into a career that would help make music as profitable an industry as it was before the online era.

“My ideal career… would mean that people would have to start to value music again,” Simon said. But even as he makes his way through different facets of the creative word, Simon will also continue to make it a point to find time to play onstage. “Performing is so therapeutic,” Simon said, “I will hopefully be doing it for the rest of my life.”