One Saint Leo Music Student’s Journey

Plato once said that “Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” Many students here at Saint Leo University agree and participate in the provided music classes and ensembles such as Saint Leo Singers, Chamber Singers, S.A.S.S, Saint Leo Rhythm Machine, and Saint Leo Strings.

While some students use these classes and groups as an extracurricular to exercise their love of music, other students hope to make it their career. One of these students is singer and songwriter Yohana Immanuel.

Immanuel is a Junior here at Saint Leo University and is a member of Chamber Singers, The Slam Poetry Club, and the Lion’s Den Club. He also takes private voice lessons from Dr. Cynthia Selph, Assistant Professor of Music. In addition to growing through these programs and clubs provided by the school, the Saint Leo Community itself has influenced Immanuel. The exposure to different cultures and people at the university has “helped me develop my flow and ultimately grow as an artist,” said Immanuel.

Immanuel’s passion for music began at a very young age. When he began singing at the age of 5, he never stopped. Only five years later he wrote his first song, “King.” This interest in composing only grew with Immanuel. Later, he and his high school friends began experimenting with studio recording.

“At my friend and producer Brandon’s house,” Immanuel said, “we started making music back in high school, and we’ve kept it going.”

The music that Immanuel creates is usually R&B, but he also likes to record hip hop and rap. All of his songs, regardless of genre, are almost entirely based in freestyle. He records himself freestyling and then constructs a song from the recording. He reworks the lyrics to be more personal to his life.

It’s a long process for Immanuel to finish a song because it’s important for him to only release his best. His newest song, “January 1st,” was just released this month to his SoundCloud page, https://soundcloud.com/yohanaimmanuel. He says that this song tells, “a story about a girl who only appreciates me for my potential but not for who I actually am.”

Immanuel is only at the beginning of his career and plans to do music for a long time. With the support of Saint Leo University’s music program, he will continue to improve and perfect his craft.

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