Bucknell Spotlight: John Chestnut in a Nutshell - #epic


#epic has finally come and there’s an awesome amount of student talent playing during the entire event. But one of the most anticipated acts has to be John Chestnut ’14. He plans to light up the stage as a 30-minute resident dj at the event. Luckily for me, I had a chance to talk with him at the 7th Street Café to learn more about him and his music before he performs his set at #epic.  

How did you get your start in music?

“I’ve always been around music. I played the trumpet all through elementary, middle, and high school. I picked up the guitar in middle school and high school and recorded some. But when I went to boarding school, I lost the time to play, especially when I came to Bucknell and it even became harder trying to balance school and a social life. But when I was in high school, I started to play with electronic music. During my sophomore year, I met Doug Bogan ’13 and I learned more about the style of music and I’ve worked the past two years with him. I learned a lot from him. Now I have my own midi controller, Ableton, and I make my own bootlegs.


What do you listen to? Do you get any influences?

“I try to listen to as much as possible. I go to hypem.com a lot to find new music. Girl Talk is a big inspiration for mashups. [Artists] Elf, Risk, and Hardwell all make really good remixes too. I try to listen to a lot that’s not in the Hot 100 like KOKO, Kill Paris, and Taku. And I work on my own music by myself.”

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Do you have any new music that you’ve recently released?

“The last time I released some new tracks unfortunately was back when I was studying abroad in China last year; I released four new tracks then. I’ve been working on a new song recently. I might premiere it if I think it’s ready but I still have a lot of work to do on it. People occasionally ask me to do remixes of songs and sometimes I will. Lately, everyone’s been asking me to do Frozen and I might just have to, even though I haven’t seen the movie yet.”


Have you had any particularly memorable concerts you’ve been to?

“I’ve always liked going to Dispatch concerts, they’re a lot of fun. There was one concert where they were zip-lining across the venue and their connections from Zimbabwe came and it was so much fun. I saw Billy Joel in concert and that was amazing. It was in Madison Square Garden. He was doing a cover of AC DC’s “Highway to Hell” and he had this roadie sing it and it was awesome.”

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What do you think of the Bucknell music scene? Is there anything you would change about it?

“It’s a lot of Top 40, electronic music, and some current trends. You hear some newer rap and a global kind of sound going on now [cue “Talk Dirty”-Jason Derülo on the speakers]. I wish people would search for new music to listen to instead of being force-fed what’s on the Top 40. I don’t like always having to play that kind of music when I’m in control. Like with anything Miley Cyrus, I might smash someone’s iPod if I could, I can’t stand it.”


Are you excited to be performing at #epic?

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve helped Doug [Bogan ‘12] at Chrysalis and Color Wars but now I get to this big an event. I really like the diversity of the set list. Also, it’s not a normal register or party scene like I’m used to but I like that. The hardest part may be deciding what music I can play though [laughs]. This is the first time this event is happening so maybe I can set a good trend. I’m looking forward to getting up there.”

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Now I’m going to leave you all with some questions too:

1.    Where are you going to be tonight?

Answer: At #epic watching John Chestnut perform a killer set!

2.    Will we hear a world premiere track?

Answer: No pressure, but I really hope so! But if not, that’s ok, we definitely still have your back John, you’re a really cool guy anyway.

3.    When will John see Frozen?!

Answer: Hopefully soon, he’s missing out.


John Chestnut is a senior Business and Management Major with a Chinese Minor who is also in Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. He was also the President of the Bucknell Hockey team for two years.