Meet Yetunde Shekoni, Development and Marketing Intern at PCM. Yetunde is currently attending University of California, Los Angeles studying Ethnomusicology and plans on graduating in 2023.
PCM: Please share with us a little about your musical background and what you’re currently studying at UCLA.
YS: I was always surrounded by music. Even though my parents are not musicians, they always listen to music and helped influence my love of music. When I was younger, I would always sing around the house so my mom helped me enroll in singing competitions. From there, I also learned to play piano and guitar to help my songwriting skills. My love of music just grew further and I decided to study ethnomusicology at UCLA to learn about different music styles out there.
PCM: What made you decide to study ethnomusicology and what has been a highlight of your studies so far?
YS: I have always been interested in foreign cultures through languages, art or media. I decided to study ethnomusicology because it has allowed me to combine two things I love the most: music and learning about other cultures. A highlight of my studies so far has been participating in the Music of Nigeria Ensemble; I was able to learn more about my own culture and its traditional music.
PCM: As an ethnomusicology major and someone who enjoys traveling, what do you find most valuable about experiencing other cultures and ways of life?
YS: I love how being exposed to different cultures and ways of living has allowed me to challenge myself and my own ideas. Every time I learn a new style of music or travel to a new city, it opens my mind and exposes me to different ideas that I possibly never explored before.
Recently, I travelled to Dublin and I loved how refreshing the city was. The people were friendly, even though the city is very cosmopolitan, and Ireland has such a natural beauty. Everything from the accents to the narrow roads was just so unfamiliar to me. I think that as a musician especially, it is very important to open your eyes to new experiences to gain more inspiration and have more stories to tell.
PCM: Why did you want to apply for this particular internship at PCM?
YS: I was attracted to the Development & Marketing Internship because it would allow me to explore different areas of the arts industry. I already understand the creative side of music, such as composing and writing songs. However, I also wanted to gain experience in the more practical sides of the industry. Communication and marketing are such a huge part of the arts world and PCM has allowed me to explore that side even more.
PCM: Is there anything in particular you hope to learn or experience at PCM?
YS: I would love to hopefully learn more about classical music. My experience so far has been with mostly pop music and I haven’t had much experience outside of that realm. Working at PCM has allowed me to hear more from students’ experience and their repertoire.
PCM: Has there been anything that’s surprised you about PCM since beginning your internship?
YS: What surprised me the most about PCM is its feeling of closeness. It truly feels like a close-knit community. The building itself feels very intimate, and everyone knows each other.
Despite it being a small community, there is still a lot going on inside the conservatory. PCM has a lot to offer to its students and provides so many opportunities to learn and grow as a student.
PCM: What has been a favorite concert or musical experience you’ve had and why?
YS: Even though I love music, I don’t usually attend many concerts! One of the most memorable concert experiences I had was watching Celine Dion perform at her residency in Las Vegas. I grew up listening to all of her music, and she has always been an icon to me. She sounds incredible live and she knows how to perform, even when she is the only one on the stage.
PCM: Tell us something about yourself that most people might not know.
YS: I have so many hobbies! I am always trying to do something creative. During the pandemic, I started screenwriting. I love watching movies and going to the cinema so I decided to start writing my own movies, which has been a great way to put my imagination into writing. My favorite genre to write is science-fiction.
Even before screenwriting, I wrote songs. Songwriting is very therapeutic for me and has always come naturally to me; I love writing about not only my own experiences, but other experiences from friends, family or strangers. Writing has always been the easiest way for me to put my ideas down.