Freshman amasses considerable followers on Instagram

April 25, 2019 — by Alexandra Li and Alex Wang

As the senior class performed for their last quad day on Sept. 21, photographers lined the front row of the audience, capturing each moment. Among these was freshman Ethan Chang who had recently gotten into photography.

Chang, whose primary Instagram account is @selmixes, has found quite the audience for both his music and his photography. His account has garnered more than 12,000 followers, with his eight posts averaging about 3,000 likes each.

On Soundcloud, Chang’s most listened to track is “BVRNOUT x KROMATIKS - Follow Your Heart (ft.Cadence Ludden) [SELMIXES Edit],” with more than 37,000 listens.

Chang first started making music in seventh grade when he was inspired by watching YouTube videos, he said. He usually creates electronic music but sometimes experiments with rap.

He usually finds the inspiration for his songs that he puts on Spotify, Soundcloud and Amazon Music on the spur of the moment, he said.

“Sometimes I’ll be doing homework and some ideas will pop into my head and I’ll start a tune,” Chang said.

Out of the nine tracks on Chang’s SoundCloud, where he primarily puts his music, four are remixes of songs while the others are original compositions, featuring rhythms and beats created by Chang.

After Chang finishes creating each track, he uses a website called Amuse to distribute his music. With the service, he can simply upload his tracks and listeners will be able to find them on music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Although music is “a hobby” of Chang’s and says he does not “expect to be going anywhere with it,” it routinely takes up a major part of his life. He regularly spends four to five hours a day making music and takes about a few months to finish a song, he said.

Additionally, Chang said that in eight grade, he contacted Fairlane, an artist Chang admires, for feedback on his songs and tips to create music, and since then, Fairlane has acted as a tutor. Since then, they’ve maintained contact through Skype, and Chang reaches out to Fairlane whenever he has questions. However, Chang said he has not been in touch with Fairlane recently; the last time Chang talked with him was in January.

Aside from music, Chang believes that he has a stronger passion for for photography. Chang was originally inspired by senior Nick Burry, who took him out on a photo shoot about a year ago after the two exchanged messages on Instagram.

“Over the course of the next year, he developed a crazy interest in photography and film,” Burry said.

Chang said that when he goes out on photo shoots, he mainly likes to take portraits, but sometimes, he will take pictures of the landscape. Many of these photos are displayed on his second account, @selmkolder on Instagram, which has around 70 posts including nature and people.

After these photo shoots, Chang would send Burry some edits of his pictures. Burry said that he tried to teach Chang everything from composition to coloring, and Chang was a quick learner.

“He loves this topic so it's not hard to explain stuff to him,” Burry said. “He made a short edit 30-second clip that was pretty phenomenal in my opinion.”

Others besides Burry clearly also hold high praise for Chang’s talents, considering his significant following on Instagram. While Chang is unsure what to make of his fame, he said that he does his best to reply to everyone.

In the future, Chang said he hopes to attend film school and continue growing and learning as he has from Burry.

“About a year later, it's pretty crazy how much he's learned and figured out, a lot of which was on his own,” Burry said.

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