CollegeFashionista is excited to announce a launch of a new column this summer, Passionisto/a Spotlight. Today’s feature is a sneak peak at this column that officially run come May. 

Today’s Passionisto is a James Madison University music student whose passion for playing, listening, learning, and just about anything regarding music is infinite. What most intrigues me about this musical Passionisto is his natural ability to perform in front of any type of audience: from performing with the Jazz Ensemble at school’s performing arts concert hall to being with his small band rocking out at his fraternity’s house party. He rocks the stage regardless, no matter his accompaniment or genre of music. Where better to photograph him than in his own jam-space while completely emerged in his world of tune?

CollegeFashionista: Can you remember the first time you were exposed to the world of music?

Kevin Hinder: It started out around the time I was playing guitar. Growing up, I had listened to a lot of music all my life; my parents had hundreds of CDs. I grew up listening to the Allman Brothers and my dad would always listen to Frank Zappa (a bit inappropriate for five-year-old to grow up listening to) but I guess that’s where it begins.

CF: Did you become a musician at the time you were introduced to the world of music?

KH: Not yet. It wasn’t until about fifth grade when I started actively playing an instrument. One of my best friends got a guitar, and he started learning how to play. I became a bit jealous and wanted to figure out this new instrument for my self. So I went to the music store, and in the beginning of that year, I tried out some new guitars. Lucky for me, I got my first guitar that following Christmas. It’s what I had been wanting every since I entered my first guitar shop.

CF: How did you develop that passion?

KH: I started taking lessons with a man up the street from my house. At first with him, it didn’t seem to be all that I hoped for. And then, around eighth grade, my mom switched me over to a different mentor. His name is Brian Peters. He was my first serious guitar teacher that really got me into playing a lot of music; he let me bring what ever I wanted to learn. By ninth grade, I was successfully playing Grateful Dead songs. He was primarily a bass player. He would play his bass as I went on the guitar, and that really helped me to expand my playing; just being able to play by myself and have him back me up.

CF: I know you play in a band now with your friends, is this the first one you’ve been apart of?

KH: Back when I started playing I was really into hard rock such as ACDC and Metallica. My friends and me would play together when they all picked up the guitar around the same time as me. Eventually, I learned about more bands, beyond my comfort zone: Neil Young, Joe Walsh, The Beatles, Grateful Dead… And most recently, I have really been enjoying new music too. I guess it’s always been out there, but I just didn’t know where.

CF: How would you sum up your passion in the most personally expressive way you can?

KH: If I had a guitar right now in my hand, I’d be playing. I have SERIOUS guitar ADD.

CF: What music classes are you taking?

KH: Ear Training and Site Seeing, which teach the fundamentals of dictating corporations in melodies. Jazz Ensemble and Marketing and Recording Music are my other ones. I probably enjoy my marketing class the most.

CF: What do you hope to do?

KH:  At this point right now I don’t know, it changes every day. I just want to do a little bit of everything musically. I want to be challenged and learn as much as there is to learn.

This summer, I was lucky enough to get an internship with Mophonics, a small record label with offices in Manhattan and LA. This passion for music really led me to seek out an experience like Mophonics. This could be my turning point into actually working in the industry. It will be new for me and help provide me with the direction I want to head in to fulfill my musical goals. One day at a time.

Learn more:

Kevin’s band is called the Drunken Camel. To check out their Facebook page you can go here

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