Posts tagged with "Heather Reibsamen"

Q&A × Keenan Te

By: Heather

Keenan Te started posting singing videos on TikTok a year and a half ago and has amassed over 1.6million followers. 2021 has been a hectic year for Keenan, with his last song Dependent being released in April. Dependent currently has over 50 million plays across platforms and flew to number 1 on Indonesia’s Viral 50 Spotify chart, as well as the Top 5 of many other countries across Asia.

We had the pleasure of corresponding with Keenan to learn about his inspiration, who he looks up to, and so much more. Read on to find out his answers!

What first got you into music?

Music has always been a big part of my life ever since I was young. There are videos of me when I was 1 or 2 years old singing and putting on ‘concerts’ for my family hahah. My parents played a big part of the start of my music journey, my dad taught me how to play piano and my mum taught me how to play guitar! It’s always been something I’ve been surrounded by.

Who inspired you to make music?

My parents have always been super supportive of me which I’m really grateful for. I remember watching Australian Idol for the first time when I was 2 and thinking I would love to be on a stage like that or do something like that in future, so singing has always been something I’ve wanted to do.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

The music I usually write are sad pop songs that are about real situations and feelings that I’ve gone through or experienced. I hate talking about my feelings and I’m really bad at it but for some reason putting them into a song comes naturally to me, so I love being able to do that.

What inspired you to write “Dependent”?

‘Dependent’ actually came to me in the middle of the night and it only took me around 20 minutes to finish writing! I had spent the day thinking about a past situation I had been through, where I couldn’t get over someone but also knew that they weren’t meant to be in my life anymore. I knew that the internal battle of wanting to move on but also not being able to was something that a lot of people would be able to relate to, so I sat down at the piano and kind of just sang whatever came to mind.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind “I’m Done” and “Hello”?

I wrote ‘I’m Done’ right after I had an argument with someone, and it was just what I was feeling at the time. I wanted to write a song that people could vibe to but also scream their lungs out too right after a breakup or something like that.

I have a list of random lyric ideas in my phone, and there was one that said, ‘it’s the last time that I’ll say hello.’ I liked the idea of a breakup song about saying goodbye to someone being called ‘Hello’ hahah. I kinda built the song off that initial line.

How would you describe your experience on TikTok?

I love using TikTok and I am so grateful to have built a community on there! It actually started off as a joke, out of boredom one night right as the pandemic was beginning in 2020. I didn’t really understand how to use it at first but then just thought I’d upload a few singing videos, not expecting for anyone to see them. I remember waking up in the middle of that night because my phone was buzzing like crazy with notifications! I’ve been posting singing videos daily since that moment and it’s mind-blowing to me that over 1.6 million people follow me and want to hear me sing.  

What is your creative process like?

My creative process for writing songs always starts off at either the piano or guitar. I usually just sit and hit record on my phone, and then sing whatever melodies or lyrics that come to mind. It’s usually a whole lot of gibberish at the start but once I find a melody I like, I try to build off that and build the song around that. Sometimes it can take me as quickly as 15 minutes to finish writing a song, other times I let myself brainstorm over a few days. I

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

There are so many people I’d love to collaborate with. Definitely Olivia Rodrigo, I think we could write a cool duet together hahaha! I really like Clinton Kane’s songwriting as well, would be super cool to jump in the studio with him.

If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?

Justin Bieber. I’ve watched a lot of clips of his tour performances and stuff, and it just looks like so much fun!!

What is one message you would give your fans?

If you have a dream or goals that you want to achieve, don’t be afraid to put in the hard work and take risks to reach it!

What is the most useless talent you have?

I can type really fast. I’ve been able to since I was like 9 hahah

What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your music career?

If it wasn’t for my music career, I would probably be doing something marketing or business-related. I had started my business degree before any of my TikTok or songs had begun to gain traction, so that would probably be the industry I would be in if it wasn’t for my music career.

Outside of TikTok, where have you performed?

I’ve done some local performances here in Melbourne and was featured on Australian TV a few times too. I actually appeared on The Voice Australia in 2019 as well but that feels like an entirely different world and person hahaha. I’ve grown a lot since then and am really happy with how things are going right now.

How do you think the internet has impacted your career? The music business in general?

The internet and social media helped my career so much! Social media has been the way that new people discover me and my music and has helped me connect with fans all over the world, which I love. The music business as a whole has also changed heaps too since the introduction of social media, Tik Tok especially. There are more opportunities for singers now to get their music out there without having to spend heaps of money on advertisements and stuff like that.

What is your favorite song to perform?

My favorite song right now to perform would be my recent song ‘Dependent’. There’s something that hits different when it comes to performing songs that I’ve written myself, compared to singing other people’s songs. But if I had to choose a song that isn’t mine, definitely ‘Jealous’ by Labrinth.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

I love how Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes turned their social media following into a full-blown music career. There are a lot of artists that have done the same, and it’s something that I admire, as I can relate in some way, but am still working on.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice that I’ve been given is that everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that both bad and good things help shape who you are as a person and can lead to better opportunities in the future.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I love that the internet is creating so many opportunities for independent singers and musicians, but I would love it to be even more accessible somehow!

Would you agree that it is important to learn, study and understand old music and music history?

Definitely, old music trends and sounds reappear in today’s music so it’s important to have an understanding of what music was like in the past. I also just find it so interesting to see what the music industry was like before I was born and see the culture and also who were the biggest stars at the time!

What’s next for you?

I have a few exciting projects in the works, and also a lot of songs coming out! My next single will be out next month so I’ve been working hard on that. I’ve been working really hard on these next few songs that are coming so I’m really keen for everyone to hear them.

Follow Keenan Te

TikTok

Instagram

YouTube

Spotify

Photo Credit: Taine Noble

College Student illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Independence University Closure and Investigation

By: Emily Bunn × Heather Reibsamen

In the wake of the weekend, Independence University is suddenly closing, causing panic and confusion for its student body and the federal government. Still, as of Wednesday morning, the University’s website hasn’t been updated to publicly broadcast the closing. Independence University’s website’s owner, The Center for Excellence in Higher Education, has not been updated either. The Center for Excellence in Higher Education owns three other colleges that are also in the process of closing. Now, the university looks to push its students to new colleges, raising suspicion about the reason for the closure.

Independence University is chiefly focusing on relocating its student body to Miami International University of Art & Design or Georgia’s South University. Students additionally have the option of stopping their schooling and requesting a return of their federal student loans. However, upon looking into the transfer plans, the Education Department said that Independence University’s “students are being pressured to transfer,” and that the arrangement is “unusual.” Students are worried about credit transfer, falling behind in classes, and the impact of relocation.

One Independence University student – who had been working to get her Bachelor of Science in the college’s Web Design and Development program, Dianne Eveler, expressed frustration about the scandal:

“The most I can say about these tragic findings is this.  Finding only a few days before you are expected to graduate was disheartening.  Also, the terrifying item was to see the hard work you put into place disappear in a moment with no warning, no idea this was happening.

For the most part, the College lacks empathy because many of the faculty were given very little notice or lost their job that day. We have no support in who to contact, or in my case, am I getting my degree.

The truth be told, I went into my Student Portal before I lost access and saw my credits of 180 go to zero, and a new graduation date appear. I’m so scared I lost my degree. I was working so hard to get a perfect 4.0 to have that work lost.  I have learned a valuable lesson, do more research in a college, and never ever do an online learning program again.”

Furthermore, this isn’t the first time that Independence University has been federally scrutinized. The Federal Student Aid chief operation officer, Richard Cordray, commented that the university chose to shut down to avoid the findings of the earlier examination. In 2020, the Center for Excellence in Higher Education has been discovered to be in connection to fraud by the Colorado Government. Independence University had then been placed on a monitoring list and had government restrictions placed on the college’s receival of taxpayer money. Due to the impending pressure on students to transfer, federal employees warranted that a more in-depth investigating is required regarding the university’s reason for shutting down.

The accreditor for Independence University reports that it’s approval of the college had ended in April, as the school failed to maintain acceptable graduation and employment rates among students. This end of accreditation also resulted in the loss of federal money to the University.

In a statement to USA Today, Cordray explained, “We have already emailed students to help them understand they do not have to be rushed into accepting a transfer to another school of CEHE’s choosing.” In spite of the college’s sudden closure, the Federal Student Aid chief operation officer cautions students to not make any hasty decisions. Under President Biden’s administration, the Education Department is “more willing to exercise its regulatory oversight” reports USA Today.

As uprooted students scrabble to find answers, they’ve had to resort to asking their fellow peers, college administration, and the U.S. Department of Education. Heather Reibsamen, who had been working to get her Bachelor of Science in the college’s Graphic Design program, explained how the tragic situation unfolded for her:

“The last week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Since the announcement that the school was closing, students have scrambled to figure out what their options were. We were sent a form with a few choices: transfer to a “teach-out” school or lose everything we have worked for, to put it bluntly. Initially, I thought everything would work out since I only had a few credits left until I graduate. However, I was met with disappointment and more unknowns. The “approved” teach-out school is Miami International University of Art & Design. I attended the meetings I was told to attend and was unfortunately met with the news that this school does not teach in my state. I was told I needed to find my own college to transfer to and would potentially have to pay out of pocket due to my student loans being tied up with Independence University. Many students were faced with this. Many students are not able to graduate on time because of this.

No one was prepared. No one was warned. We scrambled to get our last assignments in hoping they would count towards the credits we had been working on. There are students that were supposed to graduate last Sunday, however, they have been met with uncertainty. No one knows if the credits we have worked so hard to complete will transfer over. There are employees that have been employed through IU for years that were let go at just a moment’s notice.

I immediately began the search for a school that was accredited and not-for-profit. I reached out to Southern New Hampshire University to see what options I would have if I transferred to their school. I was greeted with understanding and encouragement. Many colleges are learning about the dilemma with Independence University and are seeing the wrongdoings towards the students and staff. SNHU has been every bit of encouraging and supportive during this transition. I consider myself one of the lucky ones so far. I found a school that is regionally accredited and is geared towards the success of the students. I am hopeful for a smooth transition.

Independence University has left the students and staff in complete confusion, and we are all struggling to make sense of it all. We have hope that everything will work out and fear of what still may come.”

Finally, on Wednesday, the college’s closure was announced to students via email. This delayed response highlights how a University can operate in complete disarray, with its students completely unaware of the behind-the-scenes scandal.