Scholars, artists, curators, activists, local historians and members of the public will convene at Syracuse University Oct. 6-7 to discuss the rightful place of monuments in our society and the increasing complexity they represent today in terms of their cultural,…
Southborough to the Stage: Bandier Program Student Hits High Note in First Year
A high note of musician Padma Mynampaty’s first year at Newhouse might have been entertaining the crowd during her first live show with a full band at Syracuse’s Westcott Theater. “It’s one of my favorite things just seeing everyone sing the words to a song I wrote in Massachusetts and now I’m in college,” Mynampaty said in recalling the October show.
A sophomore this fall in the Newhouse School’s prestigious Bandier program for recording and entertainment industries, Mynampaty is a first-generation Indian-American singer-songwriter and recording artist from suburban Boston. After releasing her first EP (extended play) “Daisy” in December 2022 and the single “Supersonic” in March, Mynampaty has one foot in the creative side of the music industry while she studies the business side.
Mynampaty, who records and performs under just her first name, creates music that’s dreamy and soothing, framed by relaxed guitars and sprightly percussion. “I really wanted to put out an album because I wanted to show a story and just have something that people could listen to,” she said. “I thought it’d be really sweet to put a bunch of songs together at the end of the year just to be proud of a body of work.”
As a child, she wrote poetry and played the guitar, a combination of skills that would develop as she started performing covers at open mic nights. “I wanted to start performing on my own so I started to write songs,” says Mynampaty. “The main draw for me getting into music was that I could write songs about how I was feeling because that’s the only way I could really express myself.”
Her performances look a little different now, rocking out with friends on a stage that hosts many of her favorite artists, like Setnor School of Music alumnus Charlie Burg. Her Westcott Theater backing band consisted of friends and fellow Bandier students Anjali Engstrom and Romy Vanalmen, as well as Grace Ferguson and Giulianna Lapalucci, both students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The right mix
Mynampaty’s first year at Newhouse was one of accomplishments and growth. Bandier mixes the business of music, media, marketing and entrepreneurship with hands-on experiences that prepare students for a successful career in the music industry. “I can learn about the business aspect of music and be a student, while also playing house shows and making music,” says Mynampaty. “I feel the balance of being an artist while being a business student.”
Bill Werde, director of the Bandier program, is proud of what the 2022-23 group of first-year students have accomplished. “We have an incredible freshman class, and it’s been really gratifying to see them come in and express themselves, taking the standards and culture of the Bandier program to even higher heights,” he said. Bandier was named a top music business program by Billboard magazine in 2022.
Mynampaty’s favorite aspect of the program is the tight-knit, community feel. As all the students work toward their music business career goals, it can be comforting and encouraging to know they’ll all be in the industry together, maybe even colleagues at a company, Mynampaty said. “Being in an intimate group of people doing the same thing you’re doing is really fun,” she said. “Everyone in my class is super tight with each other … and just being in an environment where people are just as passionate about you is motivating.”
Perks of the program
Another perk that Mynampaty enjoys is the David M. Rezak Music Business Lecture Series, which is exclusive to Bandier students and features music business executives discussing their careers and the industry. One lecture featured Sam Hollander, a multiplatinum songwriter and producer from Crush Music. The next day, Hollander conducted a songwriter workshop for students and gave invaluable feedback on demo songs students played for him. Mynampaty connected with Hollander, which led to an internship at Crush Music. “It’s super cool to have that connection and knowing that I’m going to be able to continue with it past just that workshop and lecture that he gave to us in Syracuse,” she said.
Mynampaty said her dream is to go on tour and “keep making music that I’m passionate about.” She hopes to release another album this fall. “I’ve always known I really like songwriting and telling stories and sending it to my friends and having them relate to it,” she said. “I just love building little communities with my music.”