WRITTEN BY: SAVANAH DUFFY | STAFF WRITER
Typically the third Thursday of every month, students come out the ARC to hear their peers play music. Musoffee gives student bands and musicians a chance to show off their talent while those in the audience listen while drinking freshly brewed hot coffee or tea.
Sophomore students Dave Morris and Joy Fuliga have both performed at Musoffee. Morris performed in February and Fuliga performed Thursday night. The Point was able to talk to both of them about their musical passions and influences.
The Point: How long have you been performing publically?
Fuliga: I performed when I was younger. Then there was a time when I walked away from music, and then I came back to it. About four years ago I started performing again.
The Point: What made you walk away from music?
Fuliga: I pursued a ton of other things that weren’t healthy. I went through a period in middle school and early high school where I wrestled a lot with myself. I just chased all the wrong things and I didn’t find passion in any of those. So then I came back to music, and it was like falling back in love with someone. Or something. One of my first loves is probably music.
The Point: What got you first interested in singing and music?
Fuliga: I think I’ve always grown up hearing that I was good at it, so it was more of a “let me please people through this,” but then it became my own thing and I really fell in love with it. That might have been why I walked away. I thought, “If I can please people with other things, I might as well see where that takes me.” But it never was a good thing.
The Point: How do you feel like music influences your life?
Fuliga: I think it gives me an outlet. There was a time in high school when I felt like I wasn’t known in my musicality, so when I went home I would write songs for that. Sometimes, I’ll read stuff from back then and it’s like “Oh! This is probably from a deeply-rooted problem.” Or, “Oh! This is probably something that started growing then.”
The Point: What were some other songs from last night that you personally relate to?
Fuliga: I actually picked “Crazy in Love” because it’s just so great; I just want everyone to hear it. I didn’t mean to talk about love a ton, but different aspects of love and I’m still learning about what love means to me, both romantically and in my super solid friendships. My best friend from back home is teaching me unconditional love. So basically, just developing fruit of the Spirit.
The Point: Can you tell me about one of your three original songs from last night and tell me what made you want to write about that and what it means to you?
Fuliga: I’ll pick the last one. It’s probably one of my all-time favorites. Like, top three in songs that I have written. It’s called “Still do.” I wrote it a couple days after Paramore’s “Still Into You” came out. I loved the idea of “you give me butterflies even though it’s been a while.” When I look at the song now, it’s the ideal marriage. Encouraging each other not to give up and things like that, I loved that. And I dedicated it to ladies because, it’s a bit of a stretch, but the lyrics say, “I want you and I need you and I still love you after all this time,” and it reminds me of God speaking to us.
The Point: Tell me how you got interested in music.
Morris: It’s always been in my family. It got brought into my family because my grandparents got divorced and my grandpa was trying to win over my grandma so he kept buying her all these gifts. And then he bought her a guitar and she rejected it and gave it to my dad. When I was growing up he taught me all he knew. Once he taught me the chords, I started teaching myself.
The Point: How has music and performing impacted your life?
Morris: This sounds cheesy, but it’s like a means of expression. When I’m writing a song, how it starts is usually me just playing some chords that fit the mood of what I’m feeling. Then I just write it down and it turns into a song. I’m the “Musoffee guy,” “the music guy,” “the singer.”
The Point: Who has been your greatest supporter for all of your music and performances?
Morris: My main supporter was my family friend who passed away a couple months ago. His name was “Eladio.” Toward the end of high school, I kind of gave up music, I just thought I wasn’t good enough, and he would always be the one encouraging me. He got me back into music. It was kind of a sudden thing that led to his passing. I was abroad for that. I was actually in the Athens airport and crying super hard. Then I got right on the plane and I pulled out my journal and I started writing, and it turned into the last song I played at Musoffee, “Sad About It.” I wrote [the song] kind of vague, because not everyone has experienced stuff like death…but a lot of people have just dealt with a breakup, or a friend leaving and moving away or something.
The Point: So, I heard you tried out for The Voice last year, and you didn’t quite make it. Where are you with that this year? What are you planning?
Morris: In the past, I’ve auditioned for American Idol and The Voice. American Idol was when I was a freshman in high school and they told me I was good, but they wanted my voice to develop more. Which is understandable. But then, The Voice, I don’t know. I was told that TV shows like that are rigged a little bit. It also depends on the producers. My whole group didn’t make it. But they’re super selective because there’s a lot of people. I was kind of bummed, but at the same time, not really.
The Point: What are you hoping to do musically in the future, if anything?
Morris: I’m not completely sure, but the dream is to be a musician and tour with my friends around the world. Traveling and music are my favorite things. But, my backup plan is being a songwriter for other artists. I’m also a business major, so I could be a marketing or executive for a record label or something. There’s a whole bunch of options.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARMAINE AGBUYA