The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Student performer illuminates the stage on piano, bass, drums or guitar
Local musician and City College student Casey Groat plays guitar in downtown Sacramento. Christopher Williams // Staff Photographer // [email protected]

Elizabeth Rodriguez | Guest Writer | [email protected]

It is the night of his first performance with his band, and they’re up next. The current band is finishing up, and Casey Groat can feel his heart beating a million miles a minute.

He and his band have been practicing their songs for the longest time, and he is finally going to introduce his voice to the masses. He hears the band’s name being called: It’s finally their turn.

Groat is a 21-year-old City College student who spends most of his time writing and producing music in genres from electronic to folk. The singer/songwriter has been making music for many years now and is a musician on the rise. He delights in playing local coffee shops and open mics.

Ever since his first experience with an instrument at 12 years old, Groat has made his primary profession as a musician, playing a variety of instruments that include, but aren’t limited to, piano, guitar, drums and bass. Having an account on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, both websites for musicians to upload music to share with the online community, Groat has been producing songs and uploading them online, as well as spreading the word of his work on his Facebook page.

He also performs live in local cafes. His most recent performance was on April 9 at the Naked Lounge, playing alongside other local artists Martin Purtill and Travis Hayes.

During Groat’s performance, a small color projector is illuminating the stage, creating a soothing ocean-esque wave effect, as he performs a few songs from an upcoming EP of his acoustic tracks. The type of music he performs matches the prop and intrigues the audience.

“I thought he did fantastic!” says former high school classmate Annamaria Calderon, who decided to attend the event. “In all honesty, I have never heard any of his music, and I was surprised about how much I really enjoy it.”

Another former high school classmate, Brandon Wilhelm, attended Groat’s concert.
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“I loved it,” Wilhelm says. “I am a huge fan of Ray LaMontagne, and Casey reminded me of him so much, but Casey was a notch higher.”

Groat’s musical influences involve artists from the ’60s, such as Paul Simon, Jackson C. Frank and Nick Drake. But like any musician, Groat has his own way of beginning a song. Groat’s method starts with the sound before he writes the words. He admits that the inspiration to write lyrics lies in things that happened in his life.

“Most of the time my lyrics come from relationships and experiences that most of us go through,” says Groat. “Sometimes I’ll just write lyrics from thin air.”

After looking for something to write about, he says he then looks for rhyming in his lyrics, which he admits doesn’t take longer than a couple hours for a song. He also takes poems he or his brother writes and mixes them with said rhythm.

Groat lends a hand in the music community by assisting others in recording and producing music. Recently when he helped record an album for local artist Andrew Castro, Groat explains how he started out recording the sound before the vocals, and then wove them together. He added touch-ups to make the song as good as possible.

He is currently working on producing an EP for his electronic act named “Gaiaxis”, which is to be released during the summer of this year, as well as making another EP involving his acoustic sounds. But for now, he has recently released a music video on YouTube for his song “Atlas”, which is one of the songs on “Gaiaxis”.

Based on the voices of those around him, Groat is captivating locals with his electric sound, his music bringing a new twist to the Sacramento music scene.

To hear Casey Groat’s “Gaiaxis,” visit tI8KrXDo6wc

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