Music Alumni David Hayden and Josh Urich Catch Up On Post-grad Life

David Hayden performed his country style music alongside his band during his recent performance at Humble Heart. Photo credit to @mars.kodachrome on Instagram.

Familiar faces from Point Loma Nazarene University filled Humble Heart, in Ocean Beach, on Sept. 8 to watch as three PLNU-originated bands took over the set list for the night. 

“This show we knew was going to be a really fun Point Loma reunion because all three bands were Point Loma alum or current Point Loma people,” said Josh Urich. “It was kind of why we planned it during the first week or two of school because we knew people wouldn’t be too slammed yet. Everyone was dancing and singing along to songs, having a good time – it was just a fun reunion.”

Among the list of performing alumni were 2023 alums Urich and David Hayden.

Hayden, a graduate of the accounting and commercial music departments, was the second performer of the night to take the stage. He put together his country music band about a year ago, reaching out to small coffee shops for performances – the first being Kakawa Coffee Shop in Point Loma. 

But, as time progressed, his list of venues expanded. Now, Hayden spends his weekends performing in bars across San Diego, such as Winston’s in Ocean Beach and Patrick’s in Gaslamp.

“Being able to put a band together and play fun music and see people enjoy it, singing along to songs that you love, and helping people have a good time has been a really cool thing to do,” said Hayden.

His love for performing goes deeper than having fun, however. His time in the commercial music department opened his eyes to the ministry side of things.

“I love that department. I can’t even put into words how much I love that department. It was such a thing of realizing how much ministry there is in music,” said Hayden. “We would go on all these choir tours singing in churches. Seeing the impact it has on people was really inspiring.”

Despite his love for ministry and connection through music, Hayden plans to keep music on the back burner of his career path for the foreseeable future, with his accounting career being his main focus.

“When I went to college, music was really the thing I was passionate about and wanting to pursue. But, I also wanted to go into some kind of business deal with a full-time career,” said Hayden. “I just wanted to keep music as a hobby and a part of my life. It’s one of those things where it’s like, sure if it takes off one day I’d love to take it full-time, but I have a lot of security knowing I have other things going on. In the meantime, on the weekends I’ll write and play shows,” said Hayden.

Urich, the closing performer of the Humble Hearts show, plans to take his commercial music degree in a different direction. In December, Urich will be packing up and leaving for Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a full-time touring and recording artist.

“Josh is all in. He took me to Miguels and told me about his dreams,” said Daniel Jackson, co-chair of the music department. “He’s a very thoughtful guy, he is going to go knock on some doors. I just say, see what opens up.”

The decision to pack up and move came from an eye-opening conversation with a new mentor. 

“I was talking to him and he was saying how I need to start taking some risks. It’s true,” said Urich. “San Diego is safe, I’ve been here my whole life. It’s a little bit stagnant, for the music scene, and that’s just kind of my push forward – I think moving [to Los Angeles], paying rent and being around that atmosphere will be a force that’ll make me work a lot harder.”

Urich has utilized the San Diego music scene for his career thus far, checking off his senior bucket list item of playing at the SOMA venue in Sports Arena.

“It’s a pretty big venue here in San Diego, one of the bigger small-time ones you can play at. I played to like 300 or 400 people on the SOMA side stage, which is huge for me because we had been playing to like 40 to 80 people,” said Urich. 

Still, with dreams of playing for bigger crowds in his post-grad life, the indie rock artist will take his lessons during his time in the PLNU music department with him to his future home.

“There’s a lot of real-world prep, learning the business side of music – how to handle contracts, what to look out for, do’s and don’ts, but also how to write a good song,” said Urich. “It’s definitely still going to be a challenge though, because specifically with what I’m trying to do –being a touring and recording artist– there’s really no rule book for that.”

Urich’s debut album, “I Wonder If They Like Me,” released on March 17, is available on all platforms