Student Spotlight: CM Interviews Singer-Songwriter Regina Zaremba

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Cornell senior Regina Zaremba is studying media communications and has a minor in atmospheric science, but what’s her real passion? For Zaremba, there’s nothing better than strumming away on a guitar and recording music. Not only a great student at a prestigious school but also a rising YouTube star, Zaremba knows a thing or two about achieving balance without sacrificing her dreams. I chatted with Regina about her music, her life and her school.

Zaremba started singing when she was only seven. But for a seven-year old, being a musician seemed like a far off goal. Maybe too far off. But when she got older, she begged her parents for a guitar and when she finally got one, it was love at first sight.

Zaremba’s influences come from everywhere–life experiences, people on the street, or even conversations overheard at bagel stores. Though she writes her own music, she loves doing covers as well. “I think arranging the cover is really fun for me because you get to listen to the song and then you sing it yourself but you can also put your own twist on it; you can really do anything.”

She also has many musical idols, though the one that stands out is Bon Iver. “They blow my mind. I have seen them live a few times and every time has been absolutely incredible,” she says.

Her writing process, Zaremba explains, is quite simple. “When I’m walking around places, I get ideas for little lines for songs and I’ll write them down in my iPhone. Then when I get home I pick up the guitar and I usually write the guitar part first and play around with it.” she explains.

Zaremba’s YouTube account recently hit 50,000 viewers, which she finds totally amazing. “I got 50,000 and it may not be a lot to other people but I think that having 50,000 people that have watched my videos that I have made myself inside my apartment for 50,000 times is pretty crazy.”

When it comes to her school, Zaremba loves Cornell. “Honestly, it’s a huge school but I think what I like most is the sense of community here,” she says. Even though Cornell ranked highest on our list of most high-strung universities, Zaremba disagrees. “I think there is a competitive atmosphere but it seems to me that it is often exacerbated from the outside view. I guess I may have just gotten used to it,” she said.

Zaremba’s most recent musical project is 22 Tuesdays, a 22-week video series of weekly new song recordings (There’s more info on her blog). The project will culminate with a live event on YouTube on Tuesday, January 29th, during which Zaremba will chat with viewers, take cover requests, and give what she calls “a personal concert.”

Her main motivation for doing this event? “I just realized that it’s very easy to let go of something you love and want to be doing because you have to do all of this other stuff,” she says. “I think that’s really why I was motivated to do this 22 Tuesdays thing on YouTube because if I made a commitment I wasn’t going to break it.”

Like most of us, after graduation Zaremba plans to get “some kind of job.” Ultimately, though, music is her call and she says she “would love to do music if given the opportunity.” Currently, Zaremba is working on her newest project “22 Tuesdays” of music on YouTube.  Check her out here, and join her for 22 Tuesdays here next week.

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