Slums of Harvard knows how to move its audience, and the band’s vibe is spreading through Albuquerque.
The act consists of six Volcano Vista High School alums: rapper Leroy Sandoval, singer Nevin Montaño, bassist Zach Chavez, drummer Nick Mourning, and guitarists Johnny Marrujo and Toby Gomez. The band came together to make fun music and promote an easygoing, positive way of life. What formed was an eclectic blend of genres that is difficult for any artist to produce. Slums of Harvard pulls it off.
“We’re just … six guys hanging out, playing music, having fun,” Sandoval said. “We just like what we’re doing and we’re going to keep doing it.”
Each of the act’s members bring their musical tastes to the writing and different elements can be found in the band’s sound. It has an indie pop feel that seamlessly interchanges with soft rock, complemented by the hip-hop stylings of Sandoval and disco-esque rhythms and riffs by all the musicians.
Not to mention some very catchy hooks.
“We look at everyone’s strengths,” Chavez said about the writing process. “We love having these catchy hooks people can sing a long to. I feel that’s where we’re going now as we’re all coming together … and that’s beautiful.”
The most consistent structural aspect of the band’s writing is the combination of rock and rap vocals in each song, which is something only a few bands outside a phase at the turn of the century can execute well.
“All six of us are completely different; it all just comes from collaboration and just kind of putting egos aside more times than not,” Sandoval said.
Though the group has been releasing singles since 2020, and has enough of a collection to produce a full album, they are focusing more on the modern strategies of the music industry. They put a lot of effort into each single, but also consider what resonates with audiences, taking notes of what works and doesn’t work during live sets.
“Every single song we write, we write with our whole heart,” Sandoval explained. “Everybody truly takes pride in what we do and what we release and who we are as a band.”
The audience is what matters the most for Slums of Harvard. They simply want to groove with their fans and play music that people want to hear. Just like a band feeds off the energy of a crowd, the audience equally senses the energy of the act as well.
“We attract good people” Chavez said about the band’s crowds. “It’s just like this nice little oasis.”
The band members of Slums of Harvard fuse their talents well, especially considering their diverse musical tastes. It’s proven in their sound, to the benefit of the audience, and it’s welcoming to generations of music lovers.
“I think our audience is super broad,” Sandoval said. “I keep saying I’m everybody’s parents’ favorite rapper.”
Chavez added, “We’re just trying to have fun and get out there and show everyone else a good time.”