By: Kylie Richards
New this semester, the Loyola School of Communication brings live performances straight to your home through the music series Lo-Fi Fridays. This series highlights student musicians and takes place on Fridays at 12 p.m. CT on Zoom.
On April 16th, 2021, Lo-Fi Fridays featured student artist Ehmed Nauman. Nauman is a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago majoring in Communications and minoring in Music. Nauman is originally from Las Vegas and moved to Chicago to begin making music with inspiration from the city. Due to COVID-19, Nauman has not been able to work with a band, but has been working with solo artists and on personal music.
Nauman launched this live stream performance from home, sitting in an armchair and strumming the acoustic guitar. The first song played, titled “Sink,” was released in Summer 2020. This upbeat number incorporated fast notes and chord changes that were visibly unphased and smooth through Nauman’s exquisite guitar proficiency. The lyrics of this song encompassed the idea of making changes and growing through choices to become successful in this world.
An unreleased song was played second, titled “Caught in the Lights.” This emotional song embodied soft, simple sounds that progressively built up as Nauman strummed the guitar impeccably with quick motions. The third song in this set received its namesake from revelations in the infamous freshman dorm on Loyola’s Lake Shore campus, Mertz Hall. Nauman titled this number, “Quiet Hours” which was inspired by the dorm’s nighttime restrictions. This melody complemented Nauman’s voice perfectly and contained heavier percussive elements through masterful guitar riffing.
Next, Nauman played a major song for their upcoming album, “Drowned.” This tune embraced a dreamlike strumming from Nauman’s guitar that transported the audience to an intimate moment. The flowing nature of this song effortlessly connected the entirety of this performance emotionally. After “Drowned,” Nauman graced the audience with an unfinished number called, “Turning Off.” Although incomplete, this song’s heavy and intense nature left the room ringing.
The final two songs in the set were entitled “Try It Out” and “Off The Bone.” Originally, “Try It Out” incorporates a dense drum beat, but the acoustic version highlighted the uniquenesses of the rhythm. “Off The Bone” which was described by Nauman as the “biggest banger” in the set, definitely lived up to the title. This song’s raw, heavy beat contained the elements of a classic rock song.
The guitar and musical expertise possessed by Nauman was evident in the versatile skills in both their voice and instrument, and throughout the entire Lo-Fi Friday performance. Nauman hopes to eventually release a solo album, so be on the lookout for new and upcoming music. You can learn more about Nauman’s work here.