A Rock Star in the Making

Sophomore hits the stage to get a head start on a music career


Maya Sagett

Judah playing on stage. Photo courtesy of Judah Sloane.

Maya Sagett, Staff Reporter

From a young age, Judah Sloane (10) has found his calling in music. Whether it’s playing on stage with his church band, rocking out in the studio, or pencil-drumming during class, nearly every aspect of his life is driven by music.

For Sloane, it was love-at-first-play. When he first picked up a guitar, something clicked, and the rest is history.

“I had my first guitar lesson when I was eight, and I just really love music,” Sloane said. “I loved seeing people I know on stage, and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. Ever since then I haven’t stopped.”

One of the ways Judah contributes to his community through music is by participating in his church’s band. Although he dosesn’t see himself doing this for the long run, there’s nothing wrong with a little extra practice. However, playing in his own band is what Slonae really finds joy in.

“I prefer my personal band, just because the music is more fun to play,” Sloane said. “In church band, I try as much as I can to make it sound so cool, but then I’ll get told like, ‘That’s too cool, you need to dial it back a little bit.’ And then I get to write my own music for a personal band which is also very fun.”

Even if it’s a hobby for others, Sloane sees his music as what’s going to take him all the way. So for him, finding a band poses a bigger challenge if other’s don’t have his same mindset.

“I’ve been looking for a band, and I’ve been in and out of bands since I moved here,” Sloane said. “I’m just trying to stick with the one who has the same musical passion as me and wants to put in the same amount of effort as me, which is hard to find.”

The work Judah is willing to put into a band is like no other. He wants to put in the hours and really make the man and music they create something special.

“I see a band as a future in life,” Sloane said. “If they don’t want to take it all the way, or they don’t want to get songs done to play in a show within the next month, then it’s not worth it.”

Sloane’s career doesn’t stop at playing in bands. While he’s writing and recording his own songs that he eventually wants to publish, he found a place where he can learn about all aspects of a music career from a professional standpoint.

“I am getting an internship at a local music studio called Gaslight Studio in Clayton,” Sloane said. “I am an assistant to one of the music producers there, so I set up microphones, I run them to channels to go into a music software that he then uses to record, edit and produce.”

Music has also developed into the way he processes and thinks things through on a daily basis. It could be during school, talking with friends, or just sitting and thinking when he finds himself making rhythms on any nearby surface.

“Whenever I’m thinking through a math problem, I will be pencil drumming, or humming some type of song while thinking through my process,” Sloane said. “It’s many things like that and just going throughout the day, always playing music in my mind.”

Judah’s skill goes beyond the guitar, though. What he’s learned on the guitar has allowed him to pick up many other instruments, including the ukulele, bass, drums, and singing. After being able to learn all of these impressive skills, the fluidity and personality behind music is what draws him to it above all else.

“My favorite thing about music is that there’s not one right answer,” Sloane said. “It’s very diverse, and it expresses who you are as a person and your opinions on different events that you experience throughout your life.”

Sloane sees music taking him out of high school, and even into a long-term career. It’s not something that he takes lightly, and building connections now is what he finds most important in order to reach his goal in the future.

“I’ve seen music as a future for several years,” Sloane said. “Which part of the music industry hasn’t become too clear until the past two years, where I’ve focused mainly on music production, which will be a perfect thing to study in college.”

If he can eventually “make it big,” though, that’s where all of his hard work and practice will finally pay off.

“I can write, record, and produce my own music, and if that happens to go viral and go big, then I’ve made this music studio and business that can stay steady and be a good source of income while I continue to do experimental things with my own music,” Sloane said.

After all this time thinking about and planning for the future, though, things like school become harder to focus on and prioritize. However, when it all works out in the end, Judah’s willing to do what it takes to take his career in the music industry to the next level.

“The truth is I don’t really balance my time well. I pick what I want to prioritize and what I feel is most beneficial for the rest of my life,” Sloane said. “I see school as a very temperamental thing that’s just a step along this big journey. So if I stay out at the studio an extra hour and lose an hour of studying, causing a worse grade on a test, then that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”