Musician Spotlight: School of Art Senior Caleb Carter


By Faith Orcino

Word Count: 613


Cougar Chronicle: What is the degree you will be graduating with?


Caleb Carter: Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts Emphasis in Music.


Cougar: What is your musical specialty? How long have you been perfecting your craft? Did you have to overcome some difficulties along the way?


CC: I’d say that would have to be guitar performance. I’ve been playing guitar for almost ten years now. And of course, with everything else, there will always be obstacles you have to overcome. One that I’ve had would be this existential crisis I had about a week ago where I was having thoughts like, ‘Am I just a musician?’


I love music and everything about being a musician, but is that all I am? Like, I was thinking about what life would be like if I pursued a “real job” and not a career pejoratively deemed a hobby. I’m past that now though, because I realized the reason I’m pursuing music is bigger than that. It’s more of a calling than a choice. Or maybe I’m crazy. Either way, I’m happy.


Cougar: How was your time here in CSUSM? Did you start here as a freshman or transferred from another school? As being part of the inaugural graduating class of the School of Art, has there been changes in the quality of the School?


CC: I have mixed feelings about my time spent here, haha. I’ll elaborate later. I came in as a freshman, but I did try transferring out to Berklee (College of Music) and UCLA during my second year, but that didn’t work out. The only reason I wanted to transfer out is because this school is too new; the music program wasn’t quite where I expected it to be. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with the professors. Absolutely nothing wrong, they’re all great and possess skill and talent that I could only hope to have someday. It’s just that this school is new and the music program (not sure if I could speak on the whole SofA) hasn’t exactly been established.


There’s a significant amount of students that don’t know that we have a jazz ensemble, let alone a music program. We just need more students (and serious ones at that) to create a higher demand, which would eventually lead to more funding and overall support. But that comes with time. The school will be at that level someday.


Cougar: What do you have in plan for your postgraduate future?


CC: I plan on grinding. Like, hella grind. This music thing is going to work out, but it takes so much work. A lot more than a lot of people are willing to put in. I’m going to make some lifestyle changes, like: practicing four hours a day instead of two, making beats every single day, picking up two jobs so that I can finally move to LA, etc. I know that’s a fairly vague answer, but there are so many things that I want to do with music career wise, it’s hard just to choose one thing. Why not do them all at once? I know I’m capable, but like I said earlier, I have to put in WORK.


Cougar: Is there anyone (or a number of people) you would like to thank or give recognition?
CC: Everyone. Really, everyone. I mean, I’d love to give thanks to my mom and my sisters, Dr. Imara, Dr. Bradbury, Dr. Cheng, Rendall, Kyle, David, Chelsea, Audrey, but the list goes on and on. I’d just keep it simple and say everyone, because I truly am thankful of everyone I’ve met along the way. And those people should know who they are.