-Benny Warnick and Alexa Jenkins
Across the campus of Mississippi College, various sounds can be heard flowing through headphones, speakers, and other student-utilized electronic devices at all times. Music keeps the students of MC going, so we at the Collegian decided to poll the students on which 2014 releases they enjoy most. We received a wide variety of answers, but two artists came out on top as the favorites of the Choctaws: Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande. The artists create sounds that are on two different ends of the musical spectrum, showing the wide variety of musical tastes amidst the Mississippi College student body.
Ed Sheeran first received American popularity with his 2011 release +. His generally folky vibe mixed with poppy, hip hop undertones tickled the ears of teens and young adults across the world, with “+” selling over 840,000 copies (Billboard).
The British-born singer/songwriter made a huge impact with his album X, released in June 2014. His song “I See Fire” was used in the film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, launching the already-trending Sheeran to new heights of popularity (Rolling Stone).
Sheeran has been likened to such artists as John Mayer and Coldplay, mixing heartfelt love songs with controversial topics such as drugs, sex, and anti-conformity. His use of wordplay and a quick-moving tongue are reminiscent of a young Jason Mraz, utilizing elements usually found in hip-hop and rap music paired with acoustic folk melodies to create a sound that’s both unique and easy to groove to.
Ariana Grande is a bubbly popstar who found fame through the Nickelodeon show Victorious, and released her first album Yours Truly in June 2013. As she gained popularity with the generation that grew up with Beyoncé and Britney, her name became associated with music as well as television.
In the year following her album release, Grande toured briefly with Justin Bieber before headlining her own shows. She was widely acclaimed at the American Music Awards, and the President’s family invited her to perform at the White House Easter Egg Roll.
Grande’s 2014 release, My Everything, was described by Rolling Stone as the place “where the 21-year-old Nickelodeon starlet grows up.” A year of touring, learning, and recording clearly benefitted the young artist, as the album debuted at number three on the Billboard charts. Her upbeat pop sound, carefree attitude, and profound confidence provide her audience with fun dance music asr well as an interesting artist with whom they can relate.
Other notable artists among MC students include country rock band NEEDTOBREATHE, particularly their 2014 album Rivers in the Wasteland, as well pop artists MKTO’s self-titled album. With multiple big name artists planning to release albums before 2014 wraps up, we at the Collegian will be looking out for changes in what is “Now Spinning” for students across the campus of Mississippi College.