Point Park student seeking radio opportunity

Written By Emily Bennett

photo courtesy of Dan Carter
Musical artist Narue Pearson encompasses diverse genres of music. Pearson, a sophomore sports, arts and entertainment management major at Point Park, will be performing Nov. 13 at Dance-a-Thon and will sing the National Anthem at Rock Fest in Springdale, PA. on Nov. 14.


Before he releases his six song EP in December, titled “19,” R&B artist and Point Park sophomore Narue Pearson sat down to discuss growing up in the Pacific, landing managers with big-name ties, and breaking out boldly into the Pittsburgh music scene. 

Pearson is only 19 years-old. Of those 19 years, only three of them have been spent making music, but he’s got a lot to show for it. 

“Last year, I started getting actually serious. People were telling me, ‘you can really sing.’ I started writing my own songs,” Pearson said during an interview Tuesday at Starbucks Wood St. “After seeing the results I got after putting out my own songs and covers, I realized that this is what I should do.” 

Despite boasting 9,000 plus Twitter followers, managers that have credits with Mac Miller, and bragging rights to Pittsburgh’s Underground Music Awards, Pearson sees himself as just another college kid. 

Honolulu is Pearson’s hometown and he lived there until he was 16. The Hawaiian native gives his island roots credit for the acoustic vibes he so largely embraces. 

“The music scene had a lot of ukulele and a lot of acoustic. You can say that might be why I’m so into that sound,” Pearson said. 

He didn’t start singing until his senior year of high school. 

 “I got into music when my father passed away. I felt so young. He always wanted me to sing,” Pearson said.

Pearson wanted to be a dancer or a filmmaker before he considered music.  Currently, he’s a sports, art and entertainment management major at Point Park and plans on finding a job in the music industry if he isn’t regularly making music himself. 

His adaptable style is something that he believes makes him marketable as an artist.  

“You can’t really put me into a genre…my music depends on how I feel. Sometimes I make upbeat pop music, other times all I want to do is make super dark R&B music,” Pearson said. “Other times, I want to break out my guitar and just do an acoustic song, and the next day I’ll do dubstep or EDM songs. Other times I want to do songs with a rock or gospel singer… I’m all over the place. I’m versatile.” 

Pearson is constantly keeping track of ideas. He keeps a backpack and notebook with him at all times, and uses his phone to type down any thoughts he thinks might be songwriting-worthy. 

Stefan Schecter, a senior production manager at A&R and iStandard Inc., said during a phone interview Tuesday that he knew he had to work with Pearson when he came across a clip of him singing. 

“I immediately knew he had talent and potential. I could hear it,” Schecter said. “I reached out to him and started working with him in my home studio location in Pittsburgh. Narue’s success and development is a main priority.” 

Being part of the largest production community in the world that’s placed records with the likes of Diddy, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, Yelawolf and G-Unit, Schecter knows his way around the music industry, and plans on helping Pearson accomplish the same. 

“He is a star in the making, and I will always be pushing doors open for him,” Schecter said.

Nigel Calvimontes, who owns and runs DailyBreadPA.com, a city clothing and lifestyle brand that helps local artists and throws events to aid their success, met Pearson through mutual industry friends who were helping mentor and manage him. 

“Narue has so much raw talent. He also has a great mindset towards work and music,” Calvimontes said during a phone interview on Thursday.  

Pearson landed a spot on the television show Rising Star before the network cut production. Calvimontes said he was helping Pearson prepare for his audition on the show. 

“Narue actually won an official spot on the show, after having gone throughout the New York City trials. He made it to LA and was supposed to be on the show before the network ended up canceling the program,” Calvimontes said.

Pearson still has the plane ticket to Los Angeles that he plans on saving “for a rainy day” and didn’t view the missed Rising Star opportunity as a setback, but a chance to improve. 

“Here I thought I was going to make it big, but I realized I had so much further to develop musically,” Pearson said.

He knows how to balance school, music and explained the key to success is mastering timing. 

“You just have to make a schedule. I’m a student from eight to four. Then I take about an hour for homework, and then after six, I’m an artist,” Pearson said. “I’m either doing a show, either at the studio working, writing a song, or I’m on social media marketing myself, branding myself, because that’s all important. It’s all about timing.” 

He refuses to take the stereotypical rap route. Schecter said that Pearson’s style is different than most. 

“Narue is pursuing a very different sound than most kids his age from the city are,” Schecter said. “It’s commendable to take a discovered talent and really work hard to do what you know you’re good at rather than taking the rap route.” 

Pearson won Pittsburgh’s Underground R&B Artist Award. The Pittsburgh Underground Music Awards serve as an outlet for up-and-coming Pittsburgh artists to be recognized by performing and receiving votes. 

“Winning R&B artist of the year was pretty cool. To have that at 19 years-old, and not even be from here, that was pretty cool,” Pearson said.

Pearson views the video sharing site, Youtube, as a positive outlet for musicians. He uses Justin Bieber, an artist he admires and draws inspiration from, as the most prominent example. 

“YouTube has made a lot of singers. Almost everything I do, I put on YouTube,” Pearson said. 

Pearson idolizes Justin Timberlake and looks up to him as an artist. 

“You don’t hear anything negative about him. He could leave for ten years and come back and put out a song and he would be exactly the same. He’s legendary,” Pearson said. “I don’t want to be an artist with a one hit wonder, I want to be legendary.”

Pearson values the power of independence and isn’t afraid of doing things on his own. He advises up-and-coming musicians like himself to be aware of who they allow in their life. 

“Surround yourself with people who support you when you’re just starting out, when you have no money, be with those people,” Pearson said. “That’s what I want to tell artists. Stay independent as long as you can, because you can accomplish so much by yourself.”

Pearson wants to be on the radio and more specifically, he wants to be on 96.1 KISS — Pittsburgh’s hit music station. He has the drive to make it happen, but needs the numbers. 

“I slammed the administration with emails of my songs, and met twice with them…I just need some more people to request my songs so that I can get played in January,” Pearson said. “They do a Pittsburgh Sound feature, so sometimes they play local people. I’m trying to get them to play my songs.” 

Pearson is performing original songs and covers at Point Park Nov. 13 at the Dance-a-Thon. On Nov. 14, he’s singing the National Anthem at Rock Fest in Springdale, Pa. 

Pearson’s social media presence is thriving. He boasts almost 2,400 Instagram followers, nearly 9,200 Twitter followers, and his original song “Without You” has close to 6,700 plays on Soundcloud and can also be found on YouTube. Before the end of the year, “19” will be available on both outlets. 

Follow Narue on Instagram: _naruepearson_, Twitter: narue_pearson  or visit his website or Souncloud at naruepearson.com and soundcloud.com/narue-1