By Gabe Fernandez

Freshman mechanical engineering major Nick Williams hopes to use his first collegiate winter break to release music he’s been working on since high school.

“I have four songs recorded on my computer for myself,” Williams said. “But I have a little book of them and hope to get all those done.”

Even though creating original music has been a part of the Silver Spring, Maryland-native’s life since the second grade, the act of writing his thoughts down into music didn’t begin until high school. The thought of recording anything didn’t cross his mind until the second half of his senior year.

Williams recalled that a friend of his introduced him to using guitar pedals, SoundCloud and a lot of the recording process in general.

“I feel like a lot of people their senior year, no matter how big their school is, meet a whole lot of people their last semester and think ‘where have you been during my four years here,’”  Williams said. “So I met a good amount of kids who were musicians and taught me to record what I had.”

However, despite using his newfound friendships to save what he wrote, Williams chose not to upload the songs anywhere. He attributed this decision to the fact that he never thought of playing music as anything more than a hobby.

“I never intended to try and get famous off the music,” he said. “I just wanted the recordings in case I didn’t have a guitar somewhere so I could show people. It was never like, ‘check out my SoundCloud, I’m trying to build a platform off of music.’ It was more, ‘this is my hobby. I did this cool thing, you should listen to it.’”

Williams added that, for the most part, he only performed in front of his friends prior to college. If there was a guitar somewhere, he’d pick it up and play it if people asked him to. He has found some musical outlets in college as a member of the acapella group Faux Paz, but had not performed in front of a crowd until an Arts Scholars coffeehouse on Dec. 2.

At the coffeehouse, he performed his original song “Words,” which he says is about being overwhelmed in the moment and not having the ability to say what you’d like to say to someone, though you really wish you could.

Elizabeth Langlois, sophomore computer science major and one of the organizers of the coffeehouse, said she was surprised and impressed by Williams’ performance.

“We didn’t even contact him about performing tonight,”  Langlois said. “He just showed with his guitar and asked if he could play. We wanted to use this to showcase the talent in the community, and he really helped us accomplish that.”

After going from years of only singing in the shower and in a boy’s choir in D.C., Williams is taking strides to record some of his work and start performing live as a solo. Yet, he still maintains the bit of humility that he’s always had, even though he is excited about what the future holds.

“I think, deep down, I’ve always had a far off fantasy of somehow getting discovered, going off and playing music, but it’s never been a driving factor,” Williams said. “It’s always kind of been a hobby. So it’d have to happen first before I’d want to do it. I’m happy with what’s happened so far, and what’s going to happen, but I’ll let things just fall into place.”

Featured Photo Credit: Featured photo courtesy of Nick Williams.

Gabe Fernandez is a senior journalism major and can be reached at gfernand@umd.edu.

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