Student with classical training pushes boundaries in music

Elijah Hickman | Banner | Jon Hurtado, freshman music studio production major performs an original song for the first time at the CBU event, Woofest

Jonathan Hurtado, studio production and commercial performance major at California Baptist University, creates and produces his voice and sound against industry standards through music and other forms of art under his artist name, The Shadow Party.

While growing up in Fresno, Hurtado was classically trained in piano from the age of 7. In high school, he joined marching band and eventually left because he said it was not for him, but from there he learned skills rhythmically, and gained a working knowledge of production instruments.

He picked up learning the guitar and drums around that time, as well, to become a more well-rounded musician.

“The piano is my ultimate favorite instrument to play with 10 plus years of it. It is what I enjoy playing the most. The next one I love the most is drums, then guitar,” Hurtado said.

Hurtado also picked up DJing in high school, performing at events for the school, basketball games and parties. This—along with his history of being classically trained and having a lot of rock influence in his early life-—combined to create his sound today.

“My sound, is an atmospheric approach to hip-hop and alternative rock mixed. You can definitely hear guitars in my music as well as switching from rock drum beats and hip-hop trap beats,” Hurtado said.

After DJing and building a technique, Hurtado wanted to transition to creating his own music; his DJing skills and classical style helped build his style into what it is today.

Through teaching himself to produce and create music, Hurtado believes he has been able to make a style and sound people have not heard before.

“Approaching that sound and trying to translate what is going on in my mind is my creative process,” Hurtado said.

“I strive less toward perfection of what my music should be and more toward the beauty of what it is. I believe the beauty comes with accepting that it is never going to be perfect. This allows me to be more creative in the way that I make my art, knowing it will never be the same.”

“As a musician, it is important to me to always keep pushing the boundaries as an artist. Coming to CBU, I am learning a lot of new sounds and styles.”

Jake Driscoll, senior graphic design major, friend and inspirational artist and creative mentor for Hurtado, spoke highly of his friend.

“Jonathan believes he is going to inspire the world and there is nothing you can say that is going to convince him otherwise. He is hungry in his pursuit of music and I am excited to see where that leads him,” Driscoll said.

Hurtado explained more about what makes his music stand out.

“In terms of production, I know what I should sound like, and it won’t be the industry standard, but I feel like I am going against the current in the way I produce and create and that is what makes me unique,” Hurtado said. “I am content with the way that I produce because it is fast and it flows right out of me.”

Tom Brooks, commercial performance lecturer in the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music, said he sees a lot of potential in Hurtado.

“He has a very developed sense of direction and style in his original music; I hear a maturity there far beyond his years,” Brooks said. “When it comes to new music, instruments, technologies, etc., Jonathan is a voracious learner. His open-minded approach will help him go far in music.”

Hurtado was able to perform one of his songs at CBU’s event, WooFest. He is also working to perform more live shows in the near future. 

Hurtado’s new album, “AMANTS SANS PEUR,” will be released on April 9. It explores a more atmospheric electro-hip-hop style of music. Students can listen to his music under the name The Shadow Party on all streaming platforms.

Leave a Reply