A Slew of Student Singles for Your Summer Playlist


Corey Rome

Single covers for Olivia Royal’s “Please” (top left), Brett Castro’s “Much About Sadness” (top right), YIORGOS’ “What We Do” (bottom left), Anxia’s “Moonlight” (bottom right).

Connor Gatesman, Music Editor

NYU’s schools are overflowing with talent — exuding itself through any and all platforms; music being no exception. With students and alumni dropping singles left and right, NYU has once again exerted its influence in the music industry, with some stand out releases you should definitely give a listen.

Olivia Royal, a sophomore in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, has just dropped her first single titled “Please.” The truck is sultry and percussive, with Royal’s voice piercing powerfully atop the stripped back and infectious beat. Royal is a musician from Chicago who learned how to produce for more creative independence. The lyrics of the single are rife with romantic yearning and articulate a powerful yet delicate subject without ever feeling forced. If anything, the mixing could use some work, but Royal’s passionate delivery combined with snappy instrumentation is more than enough to make up for any weakness to the more technical elements, especially for a first single.

Also in Clive Davis, next up is Brett Castro’s “Much About Sadness.” The song is a promotional single for his upcoming debut EP “Cry a Little Quieter,” which drops this week. The song is a slow-burning R&B ballad featuring Casto’s crooning vocals, with smooth instrumentation. The soundscape is rich and carefully mixed. This, along with Castro’s strong musicality, is what gives plenty of reason to check out his upcoming project.

Keeping with the R&B theme, YIORGOS, also known as Yiorgos Karaminas, partnered with Village Records — an organization run by Steinhardt Music Business majors — to release a brand new track titled “What We Do.” The song is a true throwback jam with an infectious sample-heavy beat pulsing under Karaminas’ effortless vocals. It’s catchy and radio ready; a great tune to bring on the summer weather. The song is accompanied by an equally impressive music video, filled with plenty of unique lighting and camerawork.

The final tune, titled “Moonlight,” comes from Brooklyn-based songwriting group Anxia, consisting of Clive Davis alumna Jodi Lynn and Wesleyan alum David Stouck. The electro-pop single combines glitch hop — a subgenre of electronic music — with finely tuned vocals that are chopped up infectiously to the rhythm of punchy percussion. The bass is weighty and layered tastefully with snappy hand claps and glistening effects. The moody synths flow fluidly across the soundscape. This track is also well arranged, with impressive waves of energy that rise and fall dynamically throughout the track. Equally impressive is the mix; the vocals sit perfectly atop the well-crafted instrumentation. The song drops on Spotify and iTunes on April 27, but you can listen to it early with this exclusive Soundcloud link.

Email Connor Gatesman at [email protected].