Junior Andrew Jolly and senior Ali Yumuk release debut rap album


Caroline Judd

Taking a break from recording, junior Andrew Jolly and senior Ali Yumuk laugh while working on their debut album “Up To No Good Volume 1.” The album is made up of eight original rap songs available on SoundCloud and Spotify. “Being together in a studio and recording together is a lot better than recording on your own in your own studio and then sending it to them,” Jolly said. “It gives you a much greater connection because you’re both part of the atmosphere of the album, and you’re a part of all the songs, even if you don’t have a part in them. Being in the studio with people is a such a tight knit feeling.”

Sparked by a shared interest in music and their favorite rapper Logic, senior Ali Yumuk and junior Andrew Jolly, wrote, recorded and produced their own rap album.

After meeting for the first time, the two realized their shared passion and a collaboration began.

“I met Ali in ASL class on the first day of sophomore year,” Jolly said. “We hit it off and became really good friends. He told me that he does music, so I looked at his SoundCloud account and realized that it was really cool. He said that we should work on something together, so I started writing verses while he sent me beats.”

Growing up with many musical influences, Jolly became inspired to become a musician and began producing music sophomore year.

Eminem was one of my first inspirations in music because my dad introduced me to him. He’s one of the best rappers of all time,” Jolly said. “Jack Johnson was probably my first ever artist that I looked up to. My brother and I would always listen to him. ‘Better Together’ and ‘Banana Pancakes’ are some of my favorites and that whole album was just amazing.”

Though “Up To No Good Volume 1” is strictly a rap album, Yumuk listened to a variety of music growing up. It wasn’t until he was 16 that Yumuk realized rapping was his specialty.

“All of the music that I used to hear on the radio or from my parents [has influenced me],” Yumuk said. “My aunt was a musician, and I used to go to her concerts a lot. I used to listen to everything. I listened to music from pop to rap to rock.”

Hoping to turn his musical aspirations into a career, Jolly does not have his eyes set on fame but a platform on which he can spread a positive message to the world through music, just like his favorite artist, Logic.

“After watching interviews with artists and the lives that they live, I became super inspired, especially by Logic,” Jolly said. “He’s so different from other musicians in the way that he cares so much about his individual fans and stays humble despite how big he is. All of that inspired me to do all sorts of different kinds of music, have fun with it and spread a good message. I want to tour the world. I want to make music with other artists, go see fans and be a good person. I know that it’s the smallest thing for an artist to see a fan, but it’s the biggest thing for a fan to be able to meet an artist. If I could be like that to someone or to a whole group of people, that would just be so cool.”

Taking steps to build his platform and following, Jolly is enrolled in multiple music courses including Music Tech, AP Music Theory, Concert Choir and Jazz Choir. One of his greatest inspirations is his choir director Brian Parrish.

“Mr. Parrish is one of my biggest inspirations to pursue some field of music just because he showed me all of the different things that I could do with it,” Jolly said. “He is such a lively person and has so much to show with music. His passion for music inspired me to pursue music and do it with my life.”

Though Yumuk has a recording studio in his house, he is also enrolled in Music Tech because the school is able to offer equipment and knowledge that Yumuk does not have yet.

“They have some software that I don’t have yet so I get to learn new things. Through the teacher, Jolly and I get to learn things that we haven’t learned before,” Yumuk said. “Right now, all I have is my desktop, my microphone and a few pieces of soundproof foam.”

While Jolly and Yumuk may be short on money for new equipment, they are not short on motivation for their craft. Both musicians are full of passion for a future career in music and hope to inspire other young artists to follow their dreams.

“Don’t stop trying because if you stop trying, you’re never going to know if you could have made it,” Yumuk said. “There’s a one in a million chance that you could make a hit, but you might get that chance. You don’t know if you don’t try.”