New band Zaramela aims to embrace opportunities

Sally You, Shea Anthony, asst. A&E editor, asst. features editor

The blaring sound of a trumpet, played by junior Aaron Gamalinda, takes over the melody as a deep, rich saxophone, played by junior Mike Jang, and a methodic drum beat, laid down by junior Malcolm Engel, combine to form a catchy tune. After a brief introduction, junior Kris Hansen begins crooning his first words while his instrumental assistants play on.

This is the beginning of an original song “Sunday” written by Zaramela. Zaramela is a band of seven junior boys from both North and South. In addition to the members listed above, the band also features saxophonist Josh Schwartz-Dodek, guitarist Jameson Brenner, and North bassist and vocalist Inho Park.

A key factor in the formation of Zaramela was Malcolm’s dad, Mark Engel, because he believed the members had musical potential.

“Earlier in the year, Malcolm’s dad told Malcolm to get a band together [because] he wanted to help us get started,” Schwartz-Dodek said. “He saw that we had a lot of talent and places we could go with [music]. We [had all] been playing music [together] for [a long time so we] finally decided to give it a name and organize it.”

According to Hansen, naming the band was very simple.

“Our trumpet player, Aaron, is in a Spanish class and they were [studying] a guy named Pablo Zaramella,” Hansen said.  “Honestly, the reason why we chose [the name] has nothing to do with the guy. We’re just trying to prove that we don’t need a crazy, meaningful name to be an awesome band. It just sounds good.”

Zaramela finds inspiration for their songs in a number of different place.

“Our songs are kind of like The Roots,” Jang said. “They’re [a mix of] hip-hop and jazz.”

Though highly influenced by The Roots’ songs, Zaramela takes notes from a wide variety of musicians, including Frank Sinatra and Biggie Smalls.

According to Hansen, song writing is a collaborative process that each member uniquely contributes to.

“Jameson usually comes up with the bridge, I’ll write the lyrics, and Josh will usually come up with a little horn solo,” Hansen said.

The band members build off of each other’s work in order to achieve a desirable result.

“Once the scales and basics are written, everyone has their own input,” Brenner said. “I’ve made changes to lyrics, [and] Kris has made changes to guitar chords. We’ve all made changes to everyone else’s part [because] it’s great to have a different ear listening from a different perspective.”

According to Park, writing and performing with Zaramela has created enjoyable memories.

“I think [my favorite part of being in a band is] just the experience of making music and having fun with a group of friends that you’ve known for a long time,” Park said.

As Zaramela becomes more focused in the summer, they hope to move forward as a band and make themselves more known to the public.

“We want to progress and start recording more often,” Brenner said. “There’s really no limit; opportunities will come and doors will open; we can only progress.”

Learn more about Zaramela and their upcoming summer performances on their Facebook page, ‘Zaramela.’