Skip to main content
Alumni/Community homeNews home
Story

CSUN celebrates Black History Month with Harmony in Diversity event

Working professionals in media and music came together to share inspiring words and stories about their experience in film and television scores to help students take their next steps. Taura...

Working professionals in media and music came together to share inspiring words and stories about their experience in film and television scores to help students take their next steps.

Taura Stinson, Kovas, Keith Wilson and moderator DeMarco White visited the Elaine and Alan Armer Screening Room to answer questions about their career and motivate the students who attended.

The “Harmony in Diversity: Celebrating Black Voices in Film and Television Scores” panel was held on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Manzanita Hall.

The event was presented by the CSU Entertainment Alliance and the Department of Cinema and Television Arts, and was sponsored by Starz #TakeTheLead, an initiative to highlight underrepresented communities in entertainment.

Stinson, a singer, songwriter and composer who has worked with Dr. Dre and Destiny’s Child, shared that music was always a part of her self-expression.

During the panel, she emphasized the importance of having a story behind a song and willingness to compromise. She expressed that she’s happy to be in the industry and not afraid of change in her career as a songwriter.

In a separate interview, the Sundial asked about her career longevity and how she stays motivated through times and trends changing.

“I am incredibly grateful for being a professional songwriter for my entire adult life,” Stinson said. “As far as staying motivated as the trends change, it’s pretty simple, because I love music and it’s hard for me not to be inspired by something in every song.”

Both Stinson and Kovas stressed the importance of having a story to connect with the audience, and letting it motivate you as a creator.

Kovas, a songwriter, producer and composer who recently scored “The Crossover” and “On My Block,” grew up in a musical family and spoke about his philosophy on keeping a positive frame of mind. A quote that stuck out was, “One of the mindset shifts is not seeing failure as failure: see it as feedback.”

He also talked about music in cinema like “Jaws,” “Psycho” and “Star Wars,” and how we feel and remember the music the most.

“Spend time with that aspect and find those collaborators that will help enrich your stories and elevate them,” Kovas said.

Keith Wilson, director of creative music production at Netflix, didn’t grow up in a musical family or start doing music when he was young. He fell in love with music when he came to Los Angeles with a friend, even though he had gotten a finance degree and was working at an accounting firm. Although it initially didn’t work out and he had to go back to working in finance, he eventually started working at Warner Brothers and then went on to work at Netflix.

In the panel, he gave the advice of being your true, authentic self when challenged with rejection in songwriting or animating for a director’s film.

After the event, there was a reception where students got to network and ask questions to the panelists that they weren’t able to during the Q&A portion. Most of the student attendees took this opportunity to make connections with other students or talk to the panelists.

The students left the event with new connections and tips and suggestions for their future careers.

Latest Daily Sundial