Popular Music News

MUNA featured on B-sides and badlands

February 21, 2019

MUNA, the hit band formed by USC Thornton Popular Music alumnae Katie Gavin ’15, Joesette Maskin ’16 and Naomi McPherson ’15 is featured on B-sides and Badlands’ Hook & Reel, a series showcasing music. They praise MUNA’s debut album, “About U” as still being a “queer-pop masterpiece” even two years after its release.


Rozzi

Rozzi’s new music video featured on MTV

February 11, 2019

MTV featured USC Thornton Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane’s ‘13 new single, “Bad Together,” from her debut album of the same name, released in November 2018. Rozzi, as she is known professionally, wrote the song in a hotel in Laguna Beach after an emotional break-up. She said of the video, “it’s a very personal song […]


Will Kennedy

Big beats that were hard to replace

February 8, 2019

Celebrated drummer Will Kennedy joined the USC Thornton Popular Music faculty this fall, taking over for the late Ndugu Chancler, a longtime faculty member beloved by students and faculty alike. Kennedy was first invited to campus as one of “The Magnificent Seven,” seven remarkable drummers Patrice Rushen, chair of the Popular Music program, called upon […]


Cooper Bell

Two recent USC Thornton grads featured in College Magazine

January 10, 2019

College Magazine included two recent USC Thornton alumni – Cooper Bell and Nick Kennerly – in their recent article, “Meet 10 Outstanding College Music Students.” A Popular Music major, Bell discussed his dedication to writing and performing music and how his USC instructors helped him grow as an artist. He also touched on the opportunity […]


Patrice Rushen and Annenberg’s Josh Kun to present at Ableton Loop summit

November 7, 2018

November 9th-11th, Ableton will sponsor the Loop summit for music makers with three days of talks, performances and hands-on workshops aimed at sharing ideas on music and creative practice. Among the many musicians, creatives, and technologists in attendance will be Patrice Rushen, chair of USC Thornton’s Popular Music program, and Josh Kun, director of the […]


Drumming and jazz events honor the memory of Leon “Ndugu” Chancler

October 18, 2018

In September, world-renowned drummer and USC Thornton faculty member Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, who passed away last Spring, was honored at the 37th annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival at the Watts Towers Arts Center. The day-long event featured a taiko drumming ensemble, percussion artists of all styles, members of the Locke High School […]


Jessi Mason receives ASCAP’s Molly Hymen Scholarship

August 6, 2018

Jessi Mason, a senior in USC Thornton’s Popular Music program, is the recipient of the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Molly Hymen Music Scholarship. The annual scholarship benefits an outstanding undergraduate of the school’s Division of Contemporary Music who is also undertaking Music Industry classes. Mason recently released her second EP, Night Owl, which received a nomination […]


Alumnus Ross Golan releases podcast recorded at Thornton

June 4, 2018

And The Writer Is…, a podcast by multi-platinum songwriter and USC Thornton alumnus Ross Golan (BM ’01, Music Industry), recently released an episode recorded at a Spring 2018 Popular Music Forum, featuring Thornton students and vice dean Chris Sampson. The podcast’s featured guest, GRAMMY-nominated producer Joe London, has released hit singles with Pitbull, Jason Derulo, […]


“Billboard” features Fabriq single

May 17, 2018

Billboard recently profiled the band Fabriq on the release of their third single, “Get Behind the Feeling.” Band members Daniel Davila (BM ’18) and Cooper Bell (BM ’18) are both recent graduates of the USC Thornton Popular Music program and draw inspiration from Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and Jamiroquai. close According to the musicians, “Get […]


Pop artist King Princess (Mikaela Straus) featured on ASCAP panel

May 8, 2018

Mikaela Straus, a pop artist who performs under the name King Princess, recently took part in a panel discussion at the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo, alongside musician St. Vincent and journalist Evelyn McDonnell. Straus, who is a non-degreed alumna of the USC Thornton Popular Music program, is the first artist to be signed to […]


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