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

Athlete-turned-musician fills summer days with beats

City College music student Nick Rhodes was a former football player for Humboldt State University. Vhonn Ryan Encarnacion // Staff Photographer

Jordan Conlon | Guest Writer | [email protected]

As you direct your eyes from his all-black Oakland Raiders hat all the way down to his size-14 sneakers, you begin to wonder who this man is. In the room, no celebrity sticks out who would require a towering bodyguard for protection. A bear wouldn’t stand a chance in a height competition.

Then you begin to wonder if he himself is some sort of celebrity. Is he a football player? He used to be. At one time, college recruiters from several colleges had their eyes locked on him during his high school football games. Is he a basketball player? He used to be. Did he go pro?

Nick Rhodes, the 6-foot-4 man you are mystified by, is just another student here at City College. Though he has all the size and all the talent required to succeed in college football, his heart belongs to something else. That passion of his is music.

After playing football at Humboldt State University, Rhodes returned home to Sacramento to be with his family and to focus more on academics. Outside a full load of challenging classes, he keeps busy by helping out his family, working and further developing his passion for making music, as he constantly comes up with new ideas and sounds on a daily basis.

“He stays up late until the early morning on his computer trying to perfect the music he plays on repeat until he is satisfi ed,” says Rhodes’ mother, Sharon Tomacello.

Early morning is no exaggeration, as Rhodes says he has often created some of his best work past midnight. In fact, there have been times when Rhodes says he has even forgotten to sleep. While completely engaged in his production process, the only thing that matters is how the product sounds to him.

“It will take me at least a couple of hours to complete a sound I am really satisfied with,” says Rhodes. “I often erase the entire project before the first hour if I am not happy with where it is going.”

If Rhodes is able to get some rest, he says he usually wakes up before the sun rises to get ready for work, where he puts in overtime the majority of the time. After work, Rhodes spends time at home with his two little brothers and mother. He enjoys relaxing after a long day watching a movie or a show on television, but it is not long before he finds himself back at his computer creating a new project.

Though it seems like a busy schedule for the 24-year-old athlete-turned-music producer, Rhodes still fi nds time to attend City College full time. He says he hopes to complete his degree so he is able to get hired for a state job in Sacramento.
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Rhodes graduated from Jesuit High School in Carmichael before playing college football at Humboldt State. His size allowed him to succeed as an offensive lineman in his two years of college football.

Rhodes says he returned home because there wasn’t much to do in Humboldt, even though he would have most likely been the starter for the football team for the next couple of years.

“I think he just missed his family and friends back home,” says Daniel Tomacello, Rhodes’ younger brother.

Some say that practice makes perfect. Rhodes says the more work you put into the development of music, the better it sounds, but it is hard to establish the perfect sound. It helps him to come back to the beat at a later time so that he is able to hear what needs to be changed.

“In the summer when I don’t have school, I will make up to five or six beats a day,” says Rhodes.

Most of the beats Rhodes makes end up being stored on his computer’s hard drive. The reason they are stored is simply because he has plans of selling them in the future, which he has already done.

Rhodes has sold over 50 beats for at least $25, a price he says is a major discount for the quality of product.

“There are a few artists on the East Coast that have become my regular customers,” says Rhodes.

Rhodes finds time for his true love — music — while still working and going to school full time. He has dedicated himself to his passion and continues to work toward becoming an even better producer.

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