Written by Shamira James
Ryan Hunt is a senior here at Roanoke College, majoring in music with a concentration in marketing. He is 22 years old and lives just 15 minutes from the college. To his friends, he’s known as funny, cool and a little wild but to most of the campus he’s known as the photography guy.
“When I was five years I started taking piano lessons. Most people, when they’re that young either love it or hate it but I was in between. I was also really into the Beatles at a really young age. My parents bought all their records and that got me further into music. Fast forward to 10 years old and I started playing for my church, which I still do a few weekends at a time. I’m also in a local rock back with a bunch of guys from church in their 50’s and 60’s and we play 70’s and 80’s rock music and it’s actually really fun. Eventually I stopped playing piano because I just didn’t like it as much anymore. I really didn’t like practicing anymore, I just wanted to play music that I liked instead of music my piano teacher picked out for me.
Some time in middle school I started listening to hip hop music and I wanted to combine my piano playing with hip hop so I did that for a while. Then, in the 9th grade Tyga [a rapper] tweeted that he wanted producers to send him beats and I did. He emailed me back that he liked it and to send more and then in October of 2012 he told me he liked one of the beats particularly and that he wanted to use it for his album and I thought that was really cool. The album came out in April and the track list had ‘Lil’ Wayne’ on it so that was super exciting for me. I did a song for Soulja Boy [a rapper] too, but I can’t find it.
“When I got to college I didn’t make beats as much mainly because I couldn’t find opportunities to write songs and make beats for big rappers and I just kinda got bored, so I got into photography as a hobby. I figured it would be really fun because I would see people at basketball games and concerts, they get front row seats so I wanted to get into it. In December of 2016, I bought a really nice camera. Right now, I work for the Roanoke Times in the sports department and I’ve done really fun games at like UNC and UVA and that’s so much fun. You get to sit on the floor and hopefully not get bodied by some 7 foot 300-pound guy running into you. I also get to do concert photography and that’s been cool. I’ve done Luke Bryan, The Eagles and Wale.
Right now, I’m working on my senior project. I’m writing my own music to a one hour cut that I made to the Star Wars ‘Rogue One’ movie so that’s so much fun. I’m no John Williams but it’s really cool to write a whole orchestra for the different scenes, it’s really powerful. I don’t know what I’m doing after senior year but I want to find something that combines marketing, advertising, music and photography because I feel like they coincide really well.”
Follow Ryan Hunt on all social media @RyanHuntMuzik.