Aguilar goes all in on pursuing musical dreams

With release of 'Distant Album' on July 4, Mac senior declares her independence as a singer/songwriter

Aguilar+said+the+hardest+part+of+recording+her+first+album+was+resolving+to+share+the+songs+beyond+her+circle+of+friends.+She+rededicated+herself+to+her+music+following+the+death+of+her+grandmother.+Photo+by+Jo+Pearson.
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Aguilar goes all in on pursuing musical dreams

Aguilar said the hardest part of recording her first album was resolving to share the songs beyond her circle of friends. She rededicated herself to her music following the death of her grandmother. Photo by Jo Pearson.

Aguilar said the hardest part of recording her first album was resolving to share the songs beyond her circle of friends. She rededicated herself to her music following the death of her grandmother. Photo by Jo Pearson.

Janael Copeland

Aguilar said the hardest part of recording her first album was resolving to share the songs beyond her circle of friends. She rededicated herself to her music following the death of her grandmother. Photo by Jo Pearson.

Janael Copeland

Janael Copeland

Aguilar said the hardest part of recording her first album was resolving to share the songs beyond her circle of friends. She rededicated herself to her music following the death of her grandmother. Photo by Jo Pearson.

MacJournalism summer staff

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Not every significant summer journey can be measured in miles. While many Knights have traveled long distances to grow as people this summer, senior Jazz Aguilar’s most important summer journey was personal and musical, and she made it without leaving her room.

Aguilar released Distant Album on SoundCloud on July 4. She told MacJournalism it was the first time she has shared her own songs with anyone outside her close circle of friends.

Of the 20 original songs she has written, she chose 10 and recorded them one day in her room, just her and her guitar.

She described the songs as “acoustic pop or singer songwriter music” and said the songs probably had to include traces of  Tracy Chapman, Ed Sheeran, Johnny Cash and Tash Sultana because those are the artists she was listening to while writing the album.

“I have never focused on what genre my music was as long as it’s honest music,” Aguilar said.

The most difficult part of the process, she said, was finding the courage to put her songs out there.

This [album] lets people have an idea of what I write about. Lyrically, it tells a story of who I am and how I am. Musically, it’s just the beginning.”

— senior Jazz Aguilar

“A lot of these songs are about people and stuff I’ve experienced, so it’s almost like my business is out there, but I just had to remember these are songs everybody can relate to in one way or another so I’m not alone with these feelings,” she said. “I want people to feel like I’m singing to them or like they are the ones living it with me because we have all experienced deep feelings in so many different ways. My best friend described my album as a whole like a mood swing. I’ve never heard anything more perfect because as humans we have a mix of emotions, and I find that it’s rare we only feel just sad or angry when it comes to different scenarios in our lives. Especially as teenagers, we all go back and forth.”

Aguilar said she and her family have been through a lot of tough times, but one of the toughest moments in her life–the death of her grandmother–ultimately motivated her to release the album.

Katie Edwards
Aguilar plays with Riley Edwards at Central Market on Father’s Day.

For two weeks following her grandmother’s death, Aguilar isolated herself so she could be alone with her grief.

My best friend came over and got me to leave the house to remind me that I wasn’t the one who died.”

— senior Jazz Aguilar

“I had absolutely no motivation to move out of the house,” she said. “I cried in the shower and sat and watched clouds pass by. I didn’t even realize it had been two weeks since I had left the house. The only reason I even stepped out at all was because my best friend came over and got me to leave the house to remind me that I wasn’t the one who died. My grandma loved my music and I felt I owed it to her to start pursuing it with all I have now.”

The current release, Aguilar said, is just the beginning.

“It’s like the introduction of the book. This [album] lets people have an idea of what I write about. Lyrically, it tells a story of who I am and how I am. Musically, it’s just the beginning.”

Aguilar said she plans to release a full production of the album with trumpet, violin, drums and piano accompanying her singing and guitar.

Krystal Castor
Aguilar poses in front of the Willie Nelson in SoCo.

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