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Student performers shine during Miami Music Week

The last full week of March has become a showcase of some of the biggest acts on Miami’s electronic dance music stage. This year, the event featured talented students from the University.
Miami Music Week stock image with orange and green gradient

Miami Music Week is one of the most highly anticipated events in the industry, with top DJs and musicians from around the world descending on Miami to showcase their talents. And some of those who shine during the weeklong affair are students from the University of Miami, making a name for themselves in the techno and electronic dance music world.

The student performers, who play everything from electronic dance to punk music, are handpicked by different venues to participate in multiple events throughout the last week of March. The showcase provides a unique opportunity for the young musicians to perform and gain exposure in the local scene, while also becoming a testimony of the University’s talent. 

“I was feeling really excited, surprisingly not nervous this time,” said Steffi Rangel, a senior who serves as public relations director for WVUM, the University’s student-run radio station, and often plays at underground local venues. “I play techno, but I love blending it with dark electro, Latin deconstructed club, hard groove, and breaks at times. Playing electronic music also allows me to be very creative while mixing, because I could layer the elements of the different tracks and create a unique feeling and energy for the dance floor.”

Perhaps one of the week’s most well-known events is the Ultra Music Festival, which boasts a lineup of world-renowned DJs including Afrojack, David Guetta, Marshmello, and many more. However, because Miami Music Week is often when all local venues put together a series of events as well, this allows students like Rangel to show their unique style and flair.

For instance, Domicile, a rave venue in Little Haiti where Rangel headlined on Saturday, is unique in its approach to how it has partygoers interact with the performers. Oftentimes, phones and cameras are not allowed in the venue, allowing people to become more focused on the performances.

“I love the emotion that techno provokes within people and the togetherness you feel on the dance floor during a really good set,” said Rangel. “The owner of Domicile asked if I’d like to play Saturday’s event, so I definitely took the offer.”

Noelle Piatas, a third-year student who attended several events, was especially excited to see students like herself performing. “I was really interested in seeing how they stack up with bigger DJs I normally listen to,” said Piatas. “I think it’s an exciting idea that we already have students here who are playing at such big events like this, and it’ll probably mean good things for their careers in the future.”

“I’m very grateful for the friends I’ve made and the progress I’ve had from when I first started DJing,” said Rangel. “And just happy to be a part of the growing underground scene in Miami.”