A student recently released an EP recorded in a friend’s house.
Nick Villalon, acting senior, was inspired by a former co-worker to record Little Things and Heartstrings
“He told me to constantly keep writing and so I did,” Villalon said. “I wrote about trees, dogs, anything. Then he started listening to my songs and told me I needed to be recorded.”
Villalon teamed up with Billy Muschinske, a student from The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, and began recording songs.
“He and I just clicked and he helped me record all my stuff,” Villalon said. “We would meet up whenever we had the time. I would go over to his house and he would hook me up through the processors in his room.”
Little Things and Heartstrings is available on iTunes for $7.92 and on Soundcloud and Spotify for free.
“Nick’s music is really inspiring,” said Taylor Blackman, music theater sophomore. “He’s been working on it forever. I’m glad to see it come to life finally.”
Villalon said he drew inspiration from artists like John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
“I definitely have that folk thing going on a little bit, but I also have this classic thing in my voice like a Beach Boys vibe, ” Villalon said.
Villalon first realized he loved music when he listened to Elvis Presley at 8 years old because he liked a girl who didn’t like him back, he said.
“Everything that Elvis was saying I thought ‘oh my God this is how I feel,’ ” Villalon said. “The fact that some guy who probably wrote this when he was 18 appealed to me when I was 8, it said a lot. I thought music was really important.”
Villalon attended high school in Sugar Land, Texas, and started performing with a youth ministry band in church.
“There was this guy that I really admired and he had this fantastic voice and could play guitar like a madman,” Villalon said. “I asked him if he could offer me voice lessons and he said ‘no’, but his mother could, so she taught me.”
Villalon joined his high school choir junior year, which led him to audition for the musical. After that, he started doing more theater and choir and eventually decided that was the career path for him.
“He’s an incredible actor,” Blackman said. “He is someone who works hard for everything he gets and takes criticisms like a pro and applies them the very next second.”
Villalon said he likes being able to switch his mindset between music and acting.
“I would always ask myself ‘is music taking away from my acting career or vice versa?’ ” Villalon said. “But the more and more I think about it, I realized I got to do both.”
Villalon plans to release another single before graduation named The Next Big Thing.
“The best thing about it is people stopping me around campus and telling me they really like my stuff,” Villalon said. “I love getting feedback and knowing that my point as an artist is coming across well. I think it’s great that it connects with them and allows them to have a better day.”