Carefully arranging music notes on his launchpad, senior Christopher Contreras prepares to create a song. The rhythm comes meticulously to him, and the notes just seem to fall into place. He sits there, in the moment, with nothing between him and his craft. Life is extraordinary.
Contreras, who goes by Scotty on Soundcloud, began making music at the age of 10 with his brother. His instrument of choice is a “launchpad,” an electronic board that has many brassy notes and sounds.
“When my brother first discovered a launchpad, he would use it for fun.” Contreras said. “But when I got to use it, I started to get more comfortable with it and used it almost every day after school.”
Despite his initial fascination, Contreras quickly lost interest in using the launchpad and making music and his musical endeavours seemed to be temporary. However, one tragic day in February 2017, his life changed drastically.
“My uncle passed away, and I was in a dark place,” Contreras said. “[But] when I saw my launchpad that I thought I would never touch again, I tried to play a song that my uncle hummed [to] a lot.”
After his uncle’s passing, Contreras began dedicating his time to creating beats with positive messages and posting them on his Soundcloud page to lift others up in moments of darkness. These songs come with encouraging titles, such as “Good Times Fly,” and “Life is Extraordinary.”
“Music helps me break through my pain,” Contreras said. “It helped me realize that no matter what happens, I should remember my uncle for what he did [and that is] why music [is such] a big part of my life.”
Although February is often a dark time for Contreras, he has always used the month to remember his uncle and honor his memory. This February, Contreas is doing something life-changing for himself and his uncle.
“With God’s willing, I am going to release my first ever album, ‘Life’s a Beat,’” Contreras said. “I have been working on it for [the past] three years. Each song in the album represents something in our own life, hence the title. My uncle has always supported me and the things I always wanted to do, so thanks to him, I am able to make this happen.”