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Life As An Artist and a Student

Callie Messina
Marcbrian Desir aka Lil Desi performs at a show.

Musicians and athletes are often depicted differently, but when it comes to school, the differences fade away.

Marcbrian Desir, a 19-year-old radio and television major from Huntington, and Chris Carley, an 18-year-old Rocky Point native, also a radio and television major, are both musicians by night while resuming their studies full-time at Suffolk County Community College during the day.

Desir, musically known as Lil Desi, and Carley, known as PROPHETT, have both been making music for at least four years. Desi started when he was 14 and Carley started around the time of the pandemic in 2020.

Desi describes his life as hectic, having his days filled with school alongside work and music. In the same vein as an athlete getting kicked off their team for not showing up to a game, he runs the risk of losing momentum as an artist should school or work not allow him to keep up with his passion.

“I had to take a break from music for a little bit to focus on school.” That led to a drop in from 3,000 to 200 monthly Spotify listeners.

In the same way that colleges push their athletic programs by encouraging students to attend home sporting events, PROPHETT and Desi agreed that there are small things that institutions like Suffolk can do to make their artistic community feel more appreciated.

“I think it was fall 2022, there was an open mic in the Babylon Student Center. I feel like we should do things like that more often … give an opportunity for more students to showcase their talents.”

Jeremi Garcia, 19, of Central Islip, majoring in business administration, has been a musician for more than six years. He started professionally putting out music two years ago. Garcia is in his fourth semester at Suffolk and works as a service manager at Chipotle.

Garcia says his schedule has left him less time to sleep.

“Music can happen anytime,” he said. In the past, he’s started at 1 p.m., 11 p.m., or even 5 a.m.

Like Garcia, Desi is crimped for time. He has class from 7:15 a.m.-3 p.m., commutes to Huntington to work from 4:30-8:30 p.m., then does his school work.

“After that, I just want to record music for a majority of my time at night… but by that time it’s 3 a.m. and I’m exhausted and I have to wake up at 6,” he said.

He compares the life of a student-athlete to that of a student artist as two different struggles. “My life and struggle are more mental, while a student-athlete’s are physical.”

PROPHETT says though he can relate to Desi, he doesn’t mind the routine. “Personally, I like having a set schedule. I like knowing what I’m doing.”

When it comes to balancing acts between so many different commitments, PROPHETT and Desi again shared similar sentiments. While Desir described how difficult it is, PROPHETT made it clear that while difficult, “Everything is new to me right now… I feel like it’s difficult at first, but humans adapt, and they find the best way to deal with it all.”

The effort that gets put into being an artist compared to that of the effort it takes for someone to be a successful student athlete is similar in many ways though fundamentally different. Desi and PROPHETT both state that the similarities are there in terms of commitment and effort; however , while athletes work physically and have a community to support them, artists tend to work alone.

Desi added a word of advice to other artists on campus “Just be authentic and be you… a lot of people will be judgemental, they don’t see the vision that you have. Then when you make it those will be the people who will be the loudest about how they knew you before the success. Do what you want to do, try different things. What is real will prosper.”

If you would like to support the artists featured their links are as follows.

Jeremi Garcia aka Citysonder:  Instagram: @citysondermusic    Spotify : Citysonder 

Marcbrian Desir aka Lil Desi:  Instagram: @lildxsi  Spotify: Lil Desi 

Chris Carley aka PROPHETT: Instagram: @Chris.Carley_ Soundcloud: PROPHETT

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About the Contributors
Fran Tini
Fran Tini, Opinions Editor
Fran Tini is a 21-year-old journalism major from Lindenhurst who is passionate about social issues and making sure students' voices are heard.
Giselle Castro
Giselle Castro, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Giselle Castro is a journalism major from Central Islip and the Arts & Entertainment Editor for Compass News. Castro wants to attend F.I.T. to continue her education in fashion media.

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