Moves were made by aspiring music artists from the Stanislaus and San Joaquin County area this past Sunday.

The Cypher is a project that brings musicians together for podcast interviews, recordings, and music video productions.

Nevin Shoker (senior, Mass Media, Communications), leader of the project, explains what a cypher is. Shoker said, “It’s basically been made famous by XXL Magazine and BET. The Cypher Effect is an independent one. They gather artists... that is not that yet famous but on the verge of becoming famous… and are put on the XXL freshmen list. So that’s like a must watch. These are the people you should be looking out for that are going to blow up in the next year or so. Emerging artists! So every major artist we have has been an XXL Freshman. They are pretty good at predicting them."

His inspiration for the project sparked the idea of a local cypher project, “I was thinking, this happens on a famous scale why can’t we do something like that on a local scale?”

The artists were given the opportunity to showcase their talents through their music performance. The hip-hop music artists touched on their background of how their musical journey began and shared goals for their future in music.

™ BennyHahn (Benjamin Alejandre) is a music artist from the San Joaquin Valley, explained how his passion for music began. “It would have to be a combination of things. My friends along with the power of music in general… when I started writing, I began to relate more with other artists and was able to dissect how they went at [writing] their songs. I gained more respect and gained happiness in life.”

The motivation of the artists was present during the process. A lot of time and effort was devoted to the finished product.

Kevin Mosqueda (senior, Music Technology) created the music track that the artists rapped over in both the first and this cypher. Mosqueda said, “I have been making music for about six years now. I started off with EDM and now I’m making hip-hop. My thing is more universal, I can be a part of hip-hop and also be a part of electronic music and I think that's the main goal for me.”

Kenta Bell, an artist originally from Japan describes his future with music, “ create, and by “create”, I mean that in every aspect from creating job opportunities for people around me, creating new streams of revenue, or even creating shows or videos. I want to build an environment and platform for people like myself to be able to use their creativity to their maximum potential and extend that talent to benefit communities in need or topics that need exposure” he said.

For some artists, the experience was simply just enjoyable to be a part of.

J’Wonder (@Jwonder_1), an artist from Hanford, California, explained the process that has set up his path in writing music. Wonder said, “Last year over the summer I started writing and then I made my project EP, it’s like six songs, in January. It was on Apple Music, Spotify, all the platforms...For right now it’s a little side hobby type thing I like to do in my free time.”

Alway$ also described his journey of finding happiness again by making music. “I have spent a lot of time not having fun and worrying about followers and play counts. It made me pretty unhappy and my music became a burden...I plan to just make as much music as I can that I’m proud of”.

This is the second cypher conducted by Shoker and his team and there are more projects planned for the future. The music video is being prepped to be released in early March.

For artists that are interested in being featured in the next Cypher video, Shoker tries to mix artists that are genuinely motivated to be a part of his project. He said, “I look for if you have talent, if you have the drive, and if you want to show up. That’s it”.



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