INTERVIEW: Jonah Wilson. The artist behind popular “Raider Nation.”

INTERVIEW: Jonah Wilson. The artist behind popular “Raider Nation.”

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I woke up this morning with a link in my inbox to a YouTube video from one of my friends. “You have to check this out” was all the message said. After clicking through, I was taken to a video titled “Raider Nation” and the beat from Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” started playing. Within seconds, I was listening to one of the coolest remixes of “Black and Yellow” I had heard since Lil Wayne’s “Green and Yellow” for the Super Bowl. With over 700 plays in just 24 hours, I did some searching and finally found the Facebook profile of the account, which uploaded the video.

Meet Jonah Wilson. An alumnus of Mount Union and former football player, I asked him if he would be willing to do an interview with me about his song and also get us a link to the MP3 file for download. He enthusiastically agreed to both and I spent a couple hours messaging him with questions and reading his answers. Read on to see where Jonah got the inspiration for the track from, who his collaborator was and what he plans to do next! I’ll put the video and link to the MP3 after the interview. Enjoy!

UMU: Hi, Jonah. Thanks for agreeing to this interview about your video/music track “Purple Nation.” At almost 700 views on YouTube and being shared all over Facebook, I think we can say you have a hit on your hands. Can you give us the backstory to how you came up with the idea or were inspired to remix “Black and Yellow” with a purple twist?

JW: I am a Mount Union alumnus and former football player, so the song was inspired by my own personal experiences with Mount Union. Me and my best friend, VT, who collaborated with me on the song, planned to do a resin for Mount and it actually fell together in about two days after we started writing it.

UMU: I think the track gained a lot coming from someone who was on the football team and went to Mount; it added that authenticity factor. What about your collaborator VT, does he have ties back to Mount Union?

JW: He went to high school with me and has been my friend since my sophomore year at Copley, but no ties to Mount Union. He has been on campus and experienced the Raider experience, but no actual ties to the school.

UMU: You mentioned it took two days to put the track together after you started writing it. One of my favorite lyrics is “this is Mount Union / all we do is win / we at home on the road / yea we moving in.” Judging from how well this song came together, I’m guessing this isn’t the first time you’ve both came up with lyrics before. What was the actual writing process like? Any writers block, or did it all come pretty easy?

JW: In fact, we just started writing and making music about two months ago or so and we haven’t hit writers block or a proverbial wall yet. The writing process for this particular song was strange. Neither one of us had planned it. I was at home and decided to just record the chorus, so that took about 20 minutes to write and record. That night, Versean (VT) stopped by and listened to it and loved it, so he went home and came back the next day after he finished the middle verse. I wrote the first and third verse the same day, and we recorded and edited the second day. The rest is history. It all came easy to me because everything I talked about I’ve actually been a part of and it came easy to him because there is just so much history with Mount Union.

UMU: That’s really impressive for just two days of work. After you had finally finished, did you share it with your friends privately or did you just put it up on YouTube and let the Internet do the rest?

JW: After I wrote the chorus and recorded it, I sent a snippet of it to a few close friends and that was Wednesday. That Thursday, we finished the song and I was visiting a few alumni and coaches at Mount so I brought the finished song and surprised them with it because they all wanted to hear it after I sent them the teaser. That night they ended playing the song a few times at the bar stopped in. After I saw how excited people were about it I ended up putting it online Friday around noon.

UMU: It seems to be doing pretty well with the online audience as well with over 700 plays and no signs of stopping. Now for the question I’ve been most looking forward to: any future songs planned you want to tease for our readers?

JW: Haha, we have a lot planned for some music finished already. And if Mount Union keeps showing love, Raider Nation part two will definitely be a priority!

UMU: Sounds good! Now to wrap up this interview, I’ve already provided our readers with the link to the YouTube video, but do you have any plans to put up a link to the MP3 file for us to download to our computers and iPods?

JW: Absolutely, I’m currently trying to figure out the best way to put a link in the description of the YouTube video for download so by the end of today [April 30] it will be up and available for download!

UMU: Excellent, I know a lot of people will throw this into their warmup playlist!
Thank you again, Jonah, for doing this interview with me. I know our readers appreciate the insight into the making of “Raider Nation” and we all look forward to your next tracks!

JW: Thank you.

I would just like to thank Jonah again for doing this interview and be sure to check out the video on YouTube and download the MP3 today!

“Raider Nation” music video on YouTube
“Raider Nation” MP3 Download

 

Dropbox

Dropbox

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How many times have you been using a computer that isn’t yours and wishing that you could have access to all of your files? This seems to be a common complaint amongst many of the students I have worked with on projects, papers, etc. What if all those files could be accessed anywhere, even if you didn’t have a flash drive or your computer?

dropbox

Enter Dropbox. Dropbox is a tiny application that you install on your computer. When you install it, you are given a single folder aptly named your “Dropbox.” Whatever you put inside that folder will be automatically synced to your online account at dropbox.com and will be able to be downloaded and accessed anywhere there is Internet. However, the real benefit of Dropbox comes when you put most of your files in that one folder. Then, you suddenly have access to every single paper, presentation or photo that you want from any computer.

For me, I dragged my entire documents folder into the new Dropbox one after I installed the app. Since then, having all my documents available anywhere has saved my grade many times over.

The elegance of Dropbox lies in how it handles the syncing between web and computer. Whenever you save a file, Dropbox will immediately sync that version you just saved. However, it will also keep a list of previous revisions you have made to that particular file over time. Mess up your paper and want to go back to the original version? No problem. Log into dropbox.com and restore a previous version.

In short, Dropbox is like having a flash drive with all your files everywhere you go. They even have mobile apps so that you can access your files on-the-go.

Of all the neat uses I’ve found for Dropbox over the years, the most recent one was having a quick and painless way to transfer photos from my iPhone to my computer. Before, I had to email the pictures, one at a time, and then go and download them onto my desktop. Now, I just launch the Dropbox app on my phone and upload the pictures there. Within seconds, the photos appear in my Dropbox folder on my computer.

I highly encourage you to check out Dropbox; the first time you use it to download that presentation you forgot to bring with you will prove how useful and efficient it really is. Check out this link here for an extra 250MB tacked on to the 2GB free plan. Happy syncing!

Dropbox Signup

 

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

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Happy Easter!

Easter eggs

I just want to wish everyone a safe and happy Easter! Many of you have family in town or are just taking this time to relax before the week of exams. As for me, I will be spending the better part of the day trying to find my basket (yes, we still do that) and hopefully get in some more studying before the night is through. We are down to one, albeit one tough, week to go; keep the spirits high!

Scholar Day

Scholar Day

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If you haven’t seen one of the many posters around campus, SCHOLAR Day is this Tuesday, April 19. SCHOLAR Day is more than just a day off from classes (although I’m sure we all will appreciate the break!), it is a chance for the students of Mount Union to show off some of their best work; some which has taken months to put together.

Odds are that you know someone who is presenting either a poster or a presentation on SCHOLAR Day, however the schedule is divided up into several different parts and can be confusing at first. To help make sure you get the most out of your day this coming Tuesday, I’ve curated through the SCHOLAR Day resources and put them into a simple page for you:

  • The Main SCHOLAR Day Page contains all information about the day and it’s activities
  • 9-9:45 a.m. The first round of poster-presenters go. You can view all the names and posters here.
  • 10-11 a.m. The first presentations will begin. These presentations range from ones about cognitive and behavioral neuroscience to political science. All names and presentation descriptions can be viewed here.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Senior Recognition and Honors’ Convocation will take place in the Mount Union Theatre.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. No presentations or posters are being shown, as this time is blocked out to let the participants have lunch.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. The second round of presentations will begin. Refer to the aforementioned link to see the abstracts and details.
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. The second round of poster presentations start.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. The day will be coming to a close with the third, and final, round of presentations being shown.

I encourage you all to take advantage of SCHOLAR Day and at least check out two or three of the presentations / posters. Months of hard work by students you know will be on display and it is a great opportunity to learn something new. See you there!

Two Week Notice

Two Week Notice

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It is here. That magical stretch. The last 200 meters of the race. The last two weeks of school.

Two week notice

We are finally down to the last two weeks of the semester. The last 336 hours before we are blissfully free and ready to enjoy the summer months. I know it can be stressful with the exams right around the corner, but remember to spend at least several of these hours relaxing and giving yourself a break. Fun may need to be put on the back burner for a while, but that’s alright as you will have three whole months of beautiful weather to make it all up. Keep your spirits high and study hard!

To all of you, I hope that these last two weeks are enjoyable and productive. And don’t worry too much; summer is just around the corner!

Write and Forget With Simplenote

Write and Forget With Simplenote

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I’ve had a few people come up to me and say that they’ve really enjoyed the app recommendations from my last couple posts, so I’ve decided that one of my posts per week will feature a new app and how I’m using it to make college more fun, manageable or social.

Today, we’re going to depart from the game apps and take a look at a productivity app for all you note takers out there. Now, I know that most phones come with a built in notes application, but the one I’m about to show you has some great advantages over the competition for always having your notes available.

simplenote

With these last few weeks of school being increasingly important, it can help to have a “catch all” system for your ideas. Simplenote (link here) is an extremely simple way to sync your notes between your phone and the web. Along with having a web interface to access all your notes on the computer, it also has apps available for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and WebOS. If using the computer is more of your style, it also has Windows and Mac applications to keep you in sync.

The beauty of Simplenote is how simple it is (no pun intended). You create a new note, write down some things you want to remember or keep track of and you’re done. All changes are sent to your account on their website and transferred to any of the applications you use.

I personally use Simplenote as a way to quickly grab ideas I have while I’m on the go, but may not be able to act on at that moment. For example, if I’m out and suddenly remember I need to email someone when I get back to my dorm, I throw it in a list called TODO and forget about it. Later, when I’ve gotten back to my dorm, I open up my TODO list and there are all the items I added, but didn’t have to remember.

The other ways in which you can use Simplenote are endless. For me, Simplenote has had a spot on my first page of apps since I first downloaded it. Being able to throw all my ideas in a note and then forget about them has been amazing and low stress. Never forget another thing on the go again.

Go check out Simplenote and its free apps (although there is a paid version to remove ads at the top of your lists) and give it a couple days of use to get accustomed to this new “write down and forget” system. I’m sure you’re going to like it.

Mount Countdown

Mount Countdown

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Want to count down the seconds until summer, but don’t want the hassle of keeping track yourself? Check out the countdown time I made! It counts down the seconds until April 30 at 12 a.m., or essentially the last day any classes will have been giving exams.

mount countdown

Feel free to bookmark and reference this page to watch those seconds disappear!

Mount Countdown – Click Here

 

 

Words With Friends

Words With Friends

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words with friends screenshot

If you’ve read my last post, you know about the new social networking game, Foursquare. However, for those of us who aren’t as comfortable sharing our locations with our network, there is another game that seems to be taking over student cell phones everywhere.

The game I’m talking about is called Words With Friends (or just “Words” for short). Originally, when I first started playing, it seemed like a ripoff of the classic game Scrabble. But once you start playing, you realize that Words brings some unique features to the table that the average game of Scrabble just can’t compete with. Some of the coolest things about this app are:

  • Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android
  • Multiple games going at one time
  • In-game chat with the people you are playing
  • I guarantee some, if not most, of your friends already have accounts

The multiple-games-at-once concept might be difficult to grasp at first, but it’s actually pretty ingenious the way it implements this feature. Typically, the average Words game can take a day or two to finish. This is because moves are made at the player’s convenience, or in my case, when I get a break from homework or soccer practice. Because there can be a couple hours in between plays, Words lets you have multiple games going with different people to help make sure that things never get boring.

Those familiar with the game and rules of Scrabble will be comfortable firing up Words for the first time. But even new players can pick up on the concepts quickly. Words is available in both a free and a paid version. The only difference between the two is that the paid version removes all ads from the app and doesn’t show you ads in between turns. In reality, this isn’t as annoying as it may sound, and while I’ve got the paid version on my phone, I was really happy with the free one as well.

If you want to join in on the game, just search your app store for “Words With Friends” and you should find the app for your device. Feel free to start up a game with me by using my username: kyledreger.

Happy spelling!

 

Ketcham Tiger Woods

Ketcham Tiger Woods

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What does one do on a boring day in Ketcham Hall? Break out the old putter and golf ball of course. The video that follows is taken on the long hallways on the 2nd floor of Ketcham. We get quite a crowd whenever we start up some hallway golfing and it can get competitive quickly.

Whenever someone asks me what college dorm life is like, I show this video.

He or she walk away impressed.

 

Mayor of Mount Union

Mayor of Mount Union

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Mayor of Mount Union

foursquare

The more people I meet at Mount, the more I realize what a tech-savvy group of students we are. I would bet almost every single student uses some form of social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and many of us are walking around with smartphones.

However, aside from the typical Facebook and Twitter interactions, I’ve noticed another trend starting – geolocation check-ins. If you’re not sure what this means, maybe you’ll recognize the name of the service: Foursquare.

Foursquare is a service you can use by text message, or their official iPhone / Droid / Blackberry apps. The idea behind Foursquare is simple – whenever you go to a building, store, or other venue, you can “check in” to that spot and get points for doing so. The person with the most points over a period of the last 30 days is deemed the “mayor” of that venue.

There may not be anything too cool about just having the title “mayor” and your picture next to the venue listing on Foursquare, however what IS cool are the deals that stores are starting to give people who either check in, or are the current mayor. I recently got a free order of breadsticks with a pizza from the local Pizza Hut just for being the mayor there.

Foursquare is essentially a way to let venues reward their loyal visitors, however it seems to have extended beyond the stores and into the campuses. This past week, I’ve seen check-ins at all the residence halls, HPCC and KHIC. While I doubt there will be any real “discounts” for being the mayor of any of the buildings on campus, I do think that Foursquare is only going to become more popular among the students here. It’s fun, addictive and trying to achieve mayor status at your favorite buildings against your friends add that layer of competition.

If you haven’t heard of Foursquare before, I encourage you to check it out at foursquare.com and from there you can download its apps and set up your account.

Oh, and if you do end up signing up, feel free to add me as a friend. Although I should warn you … I’m the current mayor of the University of Mount Union. Game on.