Student reflects on being a young musician


Photo used with permission from Mason Yu

Mason Yu (’23) records songs from his studio set up in his room. Despite years of interest, he said he started to take production seriously this year with the upcoming release of his first project in late-December.

Emma Lucas, Staff Writer

Mason Yu (’23) said he embarked on his music journey when he was 12-years-old after drawing inspiration from various hip-hop artists such as J.Cole and Iann Dior. He said he admires Cole and Dior in particular because of their ability to convey a sense of vulnerability, which resonated with Yu, who said he has struggled with finding his own self confidence.

However, as he has gotten older, Yu said he has grown increasingly better at dealing with criticism from others regarding his music. 

“Big artists now would never be where they are if they stopped making music or not one person told them that their music sucked, or they were never gonna go anywhere,” he said. “I look up to artists that have a lot of self confidence in themselves because it definitely affects myself. It definitely gives me the inspiration to become the better person and artist.”

Yu also said his music focuses on a more personal lens. Doing so allows listeners to get closer to him as an artist, which he said evokes raw passion and emotion. 

He said that vulnerability is a powerful tool used by not only himself, but also his role models in the music industry. 

“Some of the best songs are the songs where it reveals, kind of, the most about a person,” he said.

Music in general is kind of a way to escape reality in a sense. It puts you into, kind of, different worlds.”

Moreover, Yu said he continues to find ways to weave deeper themes and lyricism into his work. He said this is more prevalent in his recent projects, including his extended play set to release in late-December. His upcoming song “Remedy” explores the idea of “using music as a remedy to help with the pain in life.” 

Yu said he often turns to music as an outlet to express the things regular words cannot. 

“Music in general is kind of a way to escape reality in a sense,” he said. “It puts you into, kind of, different worlds.”

Yu said the school has been particularly supportive of student artists like himself. 

“They give people a wide variety of chances to continue their artistic dreams,” he said. 

Music should be less about, kind of, the money and the fame that come with it, and should be more about the lessons that you try to teach.”

For example, Yu said he looks forward to taking the Digital Music elective next semester to gain a more thorough and thoughtful understanding of what really goes into music production.

Being a self-taught musician and producer, Yu said he recognizes that there are many areas in which he still needs to actively work on. By taking the class, he hopes to refine his style and method. 

Ultimately, Yu said he hopes to carry out his music journey in the future and establish a platform in which he can “truly spread positivity” and “be that big role model for other people.” He said he wants to shadow the artists which have given him guidance which applies to various facets of his life.

“I think music should be less about, kind of, the money and the fame that come with it, and should be more about the lessons that you try to teach,” he said. “If I do manage to get myself that platform, by working hard and making good music, then I think I could definitely help people who have the same self confidence issues as me.”

To listen to and learn more about Yu’s music, click the link here: