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Rochester Creates: Wyatt Moran

Rochester Creates: Wyatt Moran

Wyatt Moran’s songwriting repertoire and musical versatility would be impressive for any local musician, but at just 17 years old, the most exciting part about his music is the promise of what’s still to come. Moran, a rising senior at Century High School, has already recorded two EPs full of original music, Freshman and Sophomore, and is currently working on his third release — of course, titled Junior.

Moran’s music is as cathartic as it is youthful. His personal coming-of-age story is remarkably vivid in his first two EPs, but it doesn’t come through sacrificing relatability. The attention to detail is also apparent in his writing and production: Moran is an accomplished bassist, guitarist, drummer and vocalist, so he records all the instrumentation on his original songs. Fresh off a whirlwind experience at ROCKchester, where he played a role in nearly a quarter of all the sets — including his own — we sat down with him to talk about his beginnings, his style, and plans for the future.

Beginnings

“When I was about six or seven, my dad bought a bass and said ‘Wyatt, we gotta jam together as a family,’ because my brother knew how to play drums and my dad played guitar through college and med school. I was like ‘okay, easy enough,’ and he taught me how to play “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones, and that was the first song I learned on the bass. That’s how we started playing music as a family...

Ever since the very beginning, I’ve been playing music with other people, and I credit that as being very helpful for what I do now.”

 Wyatt at the youth music festival ROCKchester in June 2018 / Photo by Alec Fryer

Wyatt at the youth music festival ROCKchester in June 2018 / Photo by Alec Fryer

Four EPs in four years

"The idea started during freshman year, when I said ‘I’m gonna release some music because I think that would be good for me and a learning experience — and everyone will think I’m all that and a bag of crackers.’ I wrote Freshman and released it, and it was chronicling my freshman year of high school, but I thought that would be the end of it. I was talking to one of my friends afterwards, and they asked me ‘so, are you gonna release one for every year of high school?’, and I said ‘Yes. Yes I am. That was definitely the plan from the beginning.’ With that comment, it launched into something that was bigger than I ever originally thought it would be.”

On the new EP, Junior

“I think it’s common knowledge that junior year sucks. I think it’s arguably the worst year of high school for a lot of people, and I’m no exception. This year had a lot of challenges — academic, social, mental — a lot of mountains that I had to climb. I think this record is a lot heavier-sounding than any of my previous projects. I think it’s a lot more heartfelt and introspective - which is hard considering how sad and depressing my first two albums are — but I also think it’s my best work.”

Advice for new musicians

“You just gotta go for it. Talk to someone, email someone, ask if you can play at an open mic, just get out and get performing because that’s the only way that you're gonna get better, push yourself as a musician, and artistically improve yourself. I think that’s the trickiest thing to do, but also the most valuable. The moments where you screw up on stage, you learn from them and you’re like, ‘okay, that’s never happening again’ and you strive to get better — and eventually, you do get better.”

Make sure to check out Wyatt's music on Bandcamp

Isaac Jahns is a 2015 graduate of Mayo High School and a current journalism student at the University of Missouri. His main passions are writing music and telling people’s stories. Follow Isaac on Twitter.

Cover photo by Emily Nelson

Rochester Creates: Anna Canfield

Rochester Creates: Anna Canfield