Music Lovers Unite

  • Julian Ring at GRAMMY Camp
    Photo: Tiffany Lo

(The sixth annual GRAMMY Camp, produced by the GRAMMY Foundation from July 10–19, is a residential summer camp for high school students with a focus on providing hands-on instruction about careers in the music industry. will feature select blog entries from camp participants relating their first-hand experiences from this unique educational opportunity. To apply for GRAMMY Camp in 2011, click here.)

By Julian Ring

GRAMMY Camp is a place for people who love music. However, the term "music" is quite general as it describes many styles, genres and sub-genres. Along with these various forms of music come many faces and personalities from different backgrounds. The beauty of GRAMMY Camp is the diversity of not only the students who attend it, but the variety of people who inspire them to do their best.

Los Angeles-based electronic music production student Kamari Carter cites his biggest influence as renowned hip-hop artist/producer Danger Mouse. Kamari refers to an interview in which Danger Mouse described his unique style. "He doesn't like how in old house and trance music, you can tell the next eight beats, 16 beats, 32 beats," says Kamari. "He despises that. He tries to mix up everything and he tries to make a completely new sound."

John Bassel, an Oakland, Calif., combo bassist, has different tastes in music. "My biggest influence would probably be [the late bassist for the Who] John Entwistle," he says. According to Bassel, Rancid bassist Matt Freeman was an early inspiration and, through him, Bassel learned to play many of the greatest punk bass lines by ear. "And John Entwistle influenced [Freeman], so I moved up to listening to the Who, and I started figuring out those bass parts," he adds. As opposed to Kamari's taste for cutting-edge electronic music, Bassel prefers tried-and-true rock and roll. "That's basically how I learned how to play bass," he explains.

For Griffith, Ind.-based combo guitarist Cody Tripp, it's all about music from the South. "I try to be as open as I can about playing everything, but I guess my background is more in rock, blues and country," he says. When citing major influences, Cody immediately lists the late Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Steve Gaines for his "Texas swing-style playing. I also like Stevie Ray Vaughan because of how much soul he's got." Cody says he hopes to continue the guitar as a form of musical expression. "I'd like to try teaching, or studio work, or just playing around," he says.

While these are only three examples, it is clear that musical tastes and influences vary among this year's 80-plus campers. From electronic beats and rhymes to rock and roll, blues and country, GRAMMY Camp is a place for people who love music.

(Julian Ring is a Bay Area high school student attending his first GRAMMY Camp as part of the Music Journalism track. Ring operates his own music blog, Up To 11, which features his views and opinions on music.)

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