At the age of five, Quentin Jeyaretnam ’16 learned to play the piano. His passion for music, however, did not ignite until his thirteen-year-old self came into contact with a drum set. Using those drums, Jeyaretnam played in a band, and since then he hasn’t “been able to get enough.”
At Deerfield, he has continued playing the drums, while also learning how to play the bass guitar, the guitar, the keyboard, and various percussion and string instruments. He specializes in jazz, blues, rock, and funk, but is also well acquainted with classical, reggae, and samba styles.
“DA’s music programs have greatly increased my technical musical ability and my understanding of music in general,” said Jeyaretnam. “Having the opportunity to work with all these great musicians has allowed me to elevate my playing to an even more professional level.”
Jeyaretnam also credits group practice as an important factor in his skill development. He owes his ability to play the drums to practicing and performing with his childhood band. Here at DA, he frequently plays in the band room with Nate Steele ’17 and Gavin Kennedy ’15. He expressed, “I love long jam sessions where everyone listens to one another and complements each other’s playing, quite literally creating something out of nothing without much thought or premeditation, bar establishing a key to play in.”
In addition to Steele and his DA teachers, many other people inspire Jeyaretnam musically. His idols include “rock and jazz legends like John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Jaco Pastrorius, and Paul Chambers.” Though he is incredibly fond of their styles and careers, Jeyaretnam aims to enter the music industry with his own unique musical style.
His musical abilities reach beyond playing a variety of instruments. “I’m fairly experienced in studio production, and have helped some other Deerfield musicians produce their tracks (such as Aaron Bronfman ’15), while also providing creative input for other producers on campus like Clay Wadman ’16, Tarek Deida ’15, and Tai Thongthai ’17,” he stated. Jeyaretnam’s wide range of skills will serve him well in his future musical career.
After Deerfield, he plans to minor in music production in college, and then, during his two years in the Singapore Army, engulf himself in the country’s rich music scene. In Singapore, he hopes to “work with local musicians in as many different genres as [he] can.”
Jeyaretnam said, “Music will stay with me forever. To me it is a very spiritual experience, and I find myself transported into a new world when I listen to or play good music. To be able to feel the emotion and passion in a song, that’s what music is all about.”