Heads up: “F*****” is either not what you think it is, or exactly what you hope it is.
Who needs an established music career in order to come up with solid music and entertaining videos? Definitely not the group that calls itself the Foss Hill Five, whose catalog of music up to this point was… nonexistent. But in MUSC 108, that doesn’t matter.
You heard right: “Late Night F*****” was written, recorded, and produced for a class right here at Wesleyan, a class that I myself am in. The incomparable (and so very liberal-arts sounding) “History of Rock and R&B” has its students team up to create songs, music videos, and even a class magazine for both a midterm and final project. Well, in addition to a test, which I am procrastinating studying for by writing up this blog post.
Aside from us boring people who wrote essays or designed a publication, some students rapped, remixed, re-instrumented, or re-sung existing tunes. But the most creative students went original, composing their own music, lyrics, and performing it all themselves.
That was the route taken by the ensemble of Henry Molofsky ’13 (Keyboard, Bass Synth, Lyrics, Composition), Adam Brudnick ’13 (Guitar, Production), Camille Bordet-Sturla ’13 (Vocals), Michael Zazzaro ’13 (Guitar, Composition) and Alex Kuwada ’13 (Vocals, Lyrics), who devised “Late Night F*****” as an ode to “the ultimate Wesleyan weekend transition: from partying on Fountain to ordering Falafel Cart.”
Get your mind out of the gutter— “F*****” is just “Falafel.” Watch the video above, and then read more about this epic, school-mandated collaboration
According to lead vocalist/rapper Kuwada, who you see throughout the video,
We wanted to do a song that was Wesleyan-specific, and we all love the falafel cart and believe it’s a Wesleyan staple. Also, one of our guitarists, Mike [Zazzaro], is a diehard falafel patron to the point that he has become boys with Dominic (the guy at the cart), and gets his orders expressly made via text request. Which is hardcore.
The class’s professor, Eric Charry, doesn’t actually give any instructions on how to go about making any music, but after half a semester learning about the blues, rock and roll, R&B, and soul, a three-minute tune is nothing, right? Well, to be fair, not everybody comes into the class with musical talent (and you really don’t need any), but the school does give you a hand in recording and production — the recording studios over at Green Street Arts Center, run by John Bergeron, are at your disposal (for two hours).
And some people do strike it solo, but the Foss Hill Five seem to have benefited from a group effort:
Writing the song was a really cool experience. Henry [Molofsky] came up with the chorus right after we hatched the falafel idea. Mike and Henry composed the music, and Adam [Brudnick] and John [Bergeron], from Green Street, produced it.
Writing the verses was awesome— I spent a few hours getting a bunch of rhymes out of my head and onto paper then got some great feedback from the group and others on how to tweak it.
Granted, for the music video, they did get some outside help from Matt Lichtash ’13 with filming and Daniel Nass ’13 with editing. The results are excellent, though. That there is some viral-ready material.
As for whether the Foss Hill Five will have a reunion for the class’s impending final project at the end of the semester, Kuwada said there is no doubt: “We had too good of a time to go our separate ways.”
Oh, and if you were wondering: That tahini sauce poured on Henry Molofsky midway through the video? That’s real tahini sauce.
You can see the rest of the midterm projects here, and if you’re disappointed you didn’t get into the class this time around, don’t worry— it’s taught every Spring.