Few recent college graduates are able to turn their undergraduate course work into a marketable product. But Braden Urevick ’16 has done just that with The Willow, an EP he created as part of an independent study in songwriting and production with Associate Professor of Music Nathan Link.
Urevick’s interest in music has been lifelong and played a role in his decision to attend Centre.
“I grew up listening to just about anything I could get my hands on and taught myself how to play a few instruments,” he says. “I ultimately chose Centre because I could balance academics, a sport (football) and music.”
That decision allowed Urevick to become part of a musical community at Centre—including the Kentucky Music Ensemble, a group headed up by Link.
“I found the Kentucky Music Ensemble the spring of my first year and was never the same,” Urevick says. “The ensemble is one of Centre’s great hidden treasures. It is such a great way to have fun and grow as a musician, get class credit and hang out with some of the best people you will ever meet in your life.”
Creating an independent study in songwriting and production allowed Urevick to foster his creativity for course credit, and opened Link’s eyes to the impressive breadth of Urevick’s musicianship.
“It was only gradually, over his four years here, that I came to know all of Braden’s musical skills,” Link says. “When he first arrived at Centre, I knew him only as a guitarist. Before long I learned he was skilled at many instruments. Then, more recently, I heard him sing and realized what a great voice he had. Finally, this year I got to hear his songwriting, which I find very impressive.”
Beyond supervising Urevick’s independent study, Link also contributed to the music on the album, much to Urevick’s appreciation.
“Dr. Link helped with everything from playing and singing backup in a few songs to mixing and producing the album,” Urevick says. “Essentially, he made it epic.”
While Urevick’s music has a distinct regional sound, he hopes the EP will be embraced by music lovers of all kinds.
“I really wanted to hone in on the music and instruments of Kentucky and Appalachia, yet keep it relevant enough that someone my age would want to listen to it,” he explains. “If anything, I hope people can listen to my music and think of it as authentic and honest. And I hope it makes someone happy.”
Link was impressed with the quality of the music Urevick produced for The Willow.
“Braden’s songs show at the same time his ample talent and his genuine love for playing music,” he says.
The independent study with Link allowed Urevick to accomplish one of his long-lived goals in the collaborative environment of Centre’s classrooms.
“Actually setting aside time and effort to create an album has always been a dream of mine,” he says. “I put a good degree of thought and effort into the album and I think I’ll look back and be proud of it.”
Since graduating in May, Urevick has had time to look back on his Centre experience and some of his favorite moments.
“I enjoyed so many things about being at Centre, but what I loved most were the people and the opportunities I had. I couldn’t have asked for better friends or professors,” he says. “I will always be grateful for my time at Centre.”
by Elizabeth Trollinger
September 9, 2016