Alumnus releases a lo-fi album, book podcast

Myles+Watkins+dropped+his+album+%E2%80%9CSoul+-+Fi+%28aka+30+Minutes+of+Quality+Tunes%29%22+after+graduating+from+SDSU.

Courtesy of Myles Watkins

Myles Watkins dropped his album “Soul - Fi (aka 30 Minutes of Quality Tunes)" after graduating from SDSU.

by Kirstie Burgess, Staff Writer

With a love for lo-fi and a dream, graduate student Myles Watkins, also known as Myles the Squire, recently dropped his first full-length album “Soul – Fi (aka 30 Minutes of Quality Tunes)” on SoundCloud. There are 10 tracks on the album with a runtime of 31 minutes. 

Last year on Spotify, lo-fi came up as Watkins’ number one genre. He liked the sounds of lo-fi and wanted to incorporate a soulful, hip hop message into the sounds he loves so much.

“The whole idea of that album is every single song I cared about the soul of the person that would listen to it,” Watkins said. “I think with music nowadays a lot of folks, they put out music and they don’t ever think of the soul of the person.”

The first song he recorded was “Love Language” which he recorded in the middle of finals last semester. He based the song on the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, which he references at the end of the song. 

The third track, “Good Things,” is where Watkins realized he was finding his own sound. It starts off with a repetitive beat that is easy on the ears. In the song, Watkins raps, “You used to say, all good things come back in some way.” At first when you listen, you may think it’s about someone who left him. However, it’s about yourself.

“It’s about losing yourself for a while, and then remembering that you’re still you. You know?” Watkins said. “All good things come back and where are you at? Are you here? Are you a good thing in your own life? It can go for anybody. I think this whole album, it’s in second person, you can always relate it to yourself, or you can put it on and literally whatever person you’re around.”

Watkins raps a poem over a beat in the middle of the album. This is an integral part of his whole project because he arranged his songs to descend into the poem and then to rise up after it. 

“The way you start it, is the way that people are going to think about it if they don’t listen to anything else,” Watkins said. “So like here is a song that I think is gonna make everyone happy, but also it makes me happy. When I think of soul-fi I’m gonna think of the first one, Magic Y Roses, because that’s kind of the whole idea of it. It’s about being special and dynamic and about doing everything you need to do with people that you love.”

A notable thing about Watkins’ album was there is no cursing. He said he thinks rappers need to curse less in their music because there are other words they could use.

“My album was kind of a point to show that,” Watkins said. “Not saying that big words make you smart, but saying that you can convey a message, without using all of that. That’s going to be good for your listeners’ soul, but not saying it’s bad for their soul.”

He said he loves YG, who curses a lot, but one of the reasons Watkins doesn’t curse in his music is because he didn’t practice rapping with cursing.

Music isn’t Watkins’ only form of art. He created “The Books In The Trap” podcast by name playing off Nicki Minaj’s song “Beez In The Trap.”

When he was an undergrad at California State University, East Bay for political science, he found his love for reading. This occurred while he was the campus’s student body president. People in high positions at the school inspired him.

“If I’m given a role like this, I must have some capacity to do it. So I read like eight books from like June to December,” Watkins said. 

After that, he made a goal to read 60 books in 2019. 

“By reading a lot, it showed me I believed in my ability to learn,” Watkins said. “And that’s really what I did, 60 books is 60 abilities to learn quicker.”

During this time, he was also a youth career counselor, helping people find jobs in the Bay Area. He heard all kinds of stories from the people he interacted with. He started thinking about how to use his future master’s degree in public administration for public good.

“What do I think people would need to hear? What can I point them to to make long-lasting change in their lives?” Watkins said. “And I was like if I’m gonna read these really great books that are helping me feel like I’m getting smarter and help me feel like I’m understanding the world better, why not go in and find a unique way to go and share it to other people so they can say you know what readings actually cool.”

That is one of the reasons he created the podcast, from his love of reading to wanting to produce for the public good. 

He mainly reads nonfiction books that can teach him things. Watkins thinks fiction books teach you how someone else got through something, not how you can get through something. 

“I think life is more fun than any fictional book can ever show you,” Watkins said. However, he loves children’s books because they are all about teaching the kids a valuable lesson. 

Watkins was inspired by a Malcolm Gladwell quote which reads, “If a man has beautiful ideas, a lack of determination and persistence to carry them out he’s merely a dreamer.” 

Watkins wasn’t happy.

“That really pissed me off. I got really mad,” Watkins said “I was just like I have this great idea of making a podcast, and I believe it’s a beautiful idea and I think other people would be able to share in it. Am I a dreamer yes or no? No, so I made the podcast.”

He was also inspired by “Grit.” It was written by Angela Duckworth, and she talks about fully formed excellence. In his own words, Watkins explained it as, “Is this the best I can do at this moment, given the talents and abilities I have right now. Is this the best I can do?”

Making the podcast is easy for him because he has formulated his thoughts in an impactful way based on the book and writes down word for word what he is going to say. The hard part for him is how to make it good, how to keep the audience coming back for more.

Whether it is through music or podcasts, Watkins is trying to make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email