The ultimate guide to SU’s student musical acts

The ultimate guide to SU's student musical acts

Student musicians take campus by storm growing as artists and performers
Published: March 13, 2022
Syracuse University band The Knu
(L-R) Brett Turnquist, JP Abner and Spencer Hillman of The Knu perform at a Sofar Syracuse gig in October 2021.

Across Syracuse University, bands, solo artists and creative organizations constantly churn out new content. SU musicians bless campus sonically with their stream of new singles and albums, ranging from R&B to country to pop. Here are six local artists to keep on your radar in 2022:

1.  Sarah Gross 

Sarah Gross’s music industry beginnings came from a passion for recording, after learning about it and the realms of audio experimentation, “I’ve been recording ever since,” she said. During the pandemic, her TikTok account gained traction through her original musical content. From there, Gross harnessed opportunities and expanded her career, playing music festivals, shows in New York City and meeting other artists. She said as a bandleader, she’s learned even more.

“The most valuable lesson was to only surround myself with people who love the music as much as I do,” she said. “We all contribute our own ideas.”

Her music, including her latest album The Riversides, can be found on all streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Unreleased demos, covers and exclusive content are on her Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages. 

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Gross continues expanding her exclusive musical content across multiple platforms.

2. The Knu

“The Knu is a pledge to always be doing and learning and experiencing new things,” said the rock band’s Brett Turnquist. “That’s why our range is so large because we always strive to break out of the chains of comfort. The world will see that soon enough, and hopefully, join that movement.”

The Knu possesses a special range of sound. Turnquist said they didn’t have the intention to enter the music business originally, but they “started jamming together, and then started doing small shows with friends, which has now evolved.” In the coming years, they’ll be exploring and creating all genres of music.

“Pop, rock ‘n’ roll, disco, hip-hop, metal, hard rock, maybe some punk, some jazz… we just love to learn new things,” Turnquist said.

Their music can be found on Youtube, though the band is releasing their first single in a month on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music and more. 

Syracuse University student band The Knu
(L-R) Spencer Hillman, JP Abner and Brett Turnquist of the band The Knu.

3. Studio89

Studio89 brings together four musicians–guitarist Vir Batra, drummer Nick Beebower, bass guitarist Sam Parrish and lead guitarist Jesse Herman–together in the creation of music. The band formed out of The Bandier Program in Newhouse where they discovered their mutual musical passions as well as how to sustain a career in the music industry.

“We all play a very equal part in bringing the sound that we create,” Batra said. “We each compliment each other, and the sound that we bring together is much more unique and full.” 

Studio89 currently has one single, “On Your Own,” out on Spotify (and all other platforms). They’re working on releasing videos of their shows online.

Syracuse University band Studio89
From left: Nick Beebower, Sam Parrish, Jesse Herman and Vir Batra of the band Studio 89 at their Mardi Gras show in 2022.


ISHĒ is a bridge between worlds,” said the musician of his name.  ISHĒ stepped into the music business back in 2019, through working in Los Angeles with various producers. “This is great as it gave me an idea of what the music industry was and how it worked, and what I would want to do in it,” he said.

“At the core of everything ISHĒ is love and a desire to connect,” he said, hoping to create music to speak to one’s spirit. “I have to say that my start in the music industry would not have happened without Gidget Migliaccio, Noah Webster, Henry Touma and Justin Shukat.” 

Find ISHĒ’s music on Spotify or Apple Music, including his 2021 single “Looking For You Now“. The deep cuts, however, are on SoundCloud.

Musician ISHĒ poses in Harare, Zimbabwe in August 2021.
Musician ISHĒ poses in Harare, Zimbabwe in August 2021.

5. Picture Us Tiny 

Jackson Velli has always been a songwriter and producer, but formed Picture Us Tiny in March 2020 right when the pandemic hit.

“I had all this emotion, and found solace in writing a lot of tunes, just as a way to process it all,” he said.

Picture Us Tiny released a self-titled album in October 2020; the single “Josie” is the band’s most recent release.

“I like to describe Picture Us Tiny as a pop-punk circus,” D.C. native Velli said.

He especially enjoys punk music and uses it as a way to express his emotions.

“Punk music is so beautiful because it often comes from times of emotional turmoil,” he said. “The music doesn’t need to be complicated, but rather be a platform for storytelling.”

Velli also played with a live band last semester, performing around campus as well as co-writing and producing songs. “I work with an engineer I’ve known since I was really young. It’s really special to have this tangible project with so many different hands and influences involved,” he said. 

You can listen to Picture Us Tiny on Spotify or wherever you stream music. 

Band Picture Us Tiny performing their pop-punk sound at a recent event.
Picture Us Tiny performing their pop-punk sound at a recent event.

6. Omgimjoe 

Omgimjoe is a singer and rapper from Syracuse, who grew up listening to bands like 1017 Brick Squad and wishing to build a career like theirs. The musician, whose given name is Joe Morgan, began his own journey here in the Salt City.

“I got started in music with my friend Weston Stroud–before an inclusion officer changed the demographics of ESF, we were two black kids navigating that SUNY-ESF lifestyle and making music,” he said.

From there, they began doing shows and creating bands. Morgan is also the vocalist of the rock n roll band STUMP. Listen to them here.

He released a 2020 album titled “The Myth of Fitting In,” and to listen to more of his music, head to Spotify.

An ecstatic Omgimjoe performance.
An ecstatic Omgimjoe performance.