Berklee College of Music debuted Two Track, a virtual music video series on YouTube featuring Berklee student artists and alumni performing two songs of their choice, an original and a cover, in a small room with a microphone. The online series, which releases performances every Wednesday at 8 p.m. throughout the fall semester, was inspired by the success of the recent #BerkleeAnywhere series.
Each month’s performances tie in with a theme. For September, artists looked to the theme of “connection,” and in October, “transformation” will take center stage. The first performance debuted on Sept. 8 with singer-songwriter Zami Buggs-King.
The Berklee senior songwriting major, who performs as Zami, sang Lianne La Havas’s “They Could Be Wrong” and an original song titled “Thank You,” which speaks to the gratitude she feels for her relationship with her father. She chose “They Could Be Wrong” because of how it portrays the idea of what it feels like to be in the middle of a love story, she said.
“This is really the first time where I felt comfortable and confident enough to bring forward a song that I had written,” Zami said in a phone interview.
In her Two Track performance, “Thank You” is interwoven with a letter from her grandmother. As Zami reads off her grandmother’s words, the song’s piano chords come in, through accompaniment from her friend and fellow Berklee student Ljuliana Thomas.
“This is exactly what connection feels like to me, like family connection is kind of inexplicable. It’s not really something you can put a word to, you are just connected in all of these different ways specifically by love,” Zami said.
This week’s performance features acoustic duo Bookmatch, which consists of G Rockwell and Micah Nicol. Rockwell is a sophomore studying contemporary improvisation at New England Conservatory of Music, and Nicol is a 2020 Berklee graduate. The two started out as roommates, but after bonding over their love of bluegrass, decided to debut as a duo last September. They released their new six-track album, “Beacon Street Time,” on Sept. 9. They will perform the title track and cover Chris Stapleton’s “More of You,” which they chose because it follows someone’s lifetime.
“It[’s] sort of a metaphor for the trains in Boston, relating to relationships that I was in when I wrote the song. We felt that also related to connection because it was literally trains connecting for the theme of the song,” Rockwell said.
For the Berklee Two Track series, the Bookmatch duo hope their performance will compel audience members to listen to their music as well as help ground them in the present, tying in with the theme of connection.
“The song selection[s] get into reminding you of things that you have missed. Also, being able to just slow down and keep yourself present in whatever reality the world is in,” Nicol said.
Berklee’s Two Track series is available to stream at youtube.com/c/Berklee.
Riana Buchman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.