Environmental studies and sustainability junior Monte Pride uses music as an outlet for his emotions into his music, giving intimate performances usually consisting of just himself and his guitar.
Pride has been playing guitar since his freshman year of high school. He grew up in Okemos and said his surroundings inspired him to create his own sound.
“Hopefully, I will be able to do music when I graduate,” Pride said. “I want music to be my main focus when I graduate but I also wanted to make sure I graduated with a degree just to have something to be secure.”
Pride said he has to balance school and two part-time jobs while pursuing his passion for music. Pride currently does all of his own booking and promotion.
“I guess music doesn’t really factor into that because I really enjoy it and it is what I really want to do,” Pride said. “It never feels like it’s a burden or anything, having to do all my booking and promotion and stuff, because I enjoy doing it. It is definitely difficult, but I have learned ways to balance everything.”
Pride said his passion for music was inspired by the artist The Tallest Man on Earth. Pride would spend hours learning guitar parts and he said he once knew almost every single song from the artist.
From there Pride took that inspiration and has been performing ever since. Pride recently released a 12-track album titled "Hawthorne Morning Sound."
"At first it was really nerve-wracking getting up in front of people, but I quickly found that it was an awesome and just a really special thing to share with an audience and to be able to connect with the audience,” Pride said. “That was kind of the first thing that drew me into it.”
Pride has played in venues across the state. His most recent show was April 7 at Mac's Bar in Lansing.
“I have met so many friends and so many amazing people in Lansing and just Michigan through music,” Pride said. “It has been a really special thing and it has been a way to really connect with people and just reach out.”
Singer-songwriter Michaela Stock opened for Pride at Mac’s Bar. Stock is a freshman at Hope College in Holland, Mich. Stock started performing a year and a half ago for the public and said she met Pride last summer.
“I was setting goals and I was writing for a class and something I was writing about was opening for a band at Mac’s Bar and how that was a goal of mine,” Stock said. “As I was writing that piece for the class, he texted me to open for him at Mac’s.”
Stock said she hopes to keep performing with people who include Pride in the future.
“Something that I find really inspiring about my friendship with him is his openness with his creativity,” Stock said. “He is an artist to his core, that is just who he is, so talking with him always makes me want to create more and it always makes me want to be better at what I am doing.”
MSU alumnus and former MSU educator Ben Hassenger played in a Lansing band called Mystic Shake for many years. He said he met Pride when he and his family watched his band for many years.
Hassenger has been playing music since he was young. He said he encouraged Pride to keep pursing a career in music.
“It is not necessarily an easy life, you got to have your heart into it and not worry about the financial rewards right away,” Hassenger said. “Just be true to yourself and if you’re true to yourself and you're playing the music you want to be play rather than what you think everyone else wants to hear, you will find an audience and they will stick with you.”