Freshman Christopher Murphy, also known by his stage name “Khari Levard”, is pursuing the one thing he’s dreamed of since eighth grade – his music career. Although there was a time when he dreamed of being a professional athlete, he realized that his true passion was music, with or without the fans.
“If there were no incentives to make music, I would still love to do it. But I feel like when it comes to sports, I only like doing it because people watch,” Murphy said. “I see that as having more passion for music than for sports.”
Murphy, like many other student creators on campus, follows his passion through content creation. Becoming a recording artist is his dream, but it all starts with what Elon has to offer. Campus students run small businesses, make music, choreograph dances, and more to fulfill their dreams or prepare for a brighter future.
Perfecting your craft
In eighth grade, Murphy’s friend Daelon Carr, who goes by the name “Deezy,” told him he was good at writing lyrics and then rapping them. Before he knew it, Murphy was making music with Deezy, who then started his music career.
Murphy draws inspiration for his music from J.Cole. Murphy studies his music and the production associated with it to learn and shape his craft.
“I use that as motivation and put it in my own form, but every once in a while I guess you can kind of see a bit of his inspiration in my music,” Murphy said.
Majoring in music production and the recording arts, Murphy said schoolwork sometimes interferes with his music-making, but other times it helps him learn more about the art.
“There are other times when I have to work for the school with classes and it’s not like it’s work for me,” Murphy said. “It’s like doing what I love.”
Manage a business
Freshman Lucy Horn started her business during quarantine when she saw other sellers making big profits from her own Instagram purchases. She started by reselling second-hand clothes, but now makes her own products.
Horn sells sweatshirts and tote bags with original designs printed onto the material with a Cricut. She creates the designs, prints them and glues them to the product.
“I started going for it and making a pretty good amount of money,” Horn said. “Then once I started making my own stuff, the amount I was bringing in probably tripled…last year I think I made about $20,000.”
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a small business owner in North Carolina is $45,748, which Horn earns about half that amount.
Although her business keeps her busy, Horn prioritizes her academics, where she puts on her “vacation mode” to put school first.
“If it’s about having to talk to a customer and tell them that I can’t finish it in time, and that I’m willing to refund them or send them another sweatshirt, I’m more willing to do that so I don’t miss anything for school,” Horn said.
Engage as an artist
Students who place orders with Horn can receive free on-campus delivery to further engage with the Elon community. Murphy, on the other hand, said he doesn’t advertise his music much on campus.
“I have a few people here on campus who know that I do music. I’m more of a quiet guy, so I don’t really tell too many people,” Murphy said. my fanbase.”
Murphy finds inspiration in the world around him and takes a few months to think about his song lyrics. He said he would think about what to write for a while, then sit down and write the whole song in one go.
“A lot of my ideas come from what I see, what’s around me, what I find interesting,” Murphy said. “If there’s certain feelings or things that I go through, that’s where a lot of my inspiration for writing comes from.”