Photo Credit: Alicia Maciel
When thinking of someone to do my first Student Spotlight on, my mind IMMEDIATELY went to Alicia Maciel. I have known Alicia for over a year now; we work together on the DePaul Music Business Organization executive board (where she currently serves as Vice President), and for The Chicago Vibe (where she currently works as a manager/contributor). She is one of the most dedicated and passionate people I know, especially toward her involvement in the Chicago music scene.
When I asked about where her love of music came from, Alicia went into great detail. Alicia grew up on the Southside, and was never very social and sort of felt like an outsider, because she enjoyed investing in education and felt more advanced, while the kids she grew up with did not have those similar interests. She states that, “that’s what lead me to listen to music. Live music was the one thing I was able to do anytime without having to be social or having to feel like an outsider because I always felt like an outsider growing up. My dad also listened to a lot of rock genres, and I think that heavily impacted my love for rock music.”
Many people can relate to a story like Alicia’s. Whether it be feeling like an outsider, or having a parent’s interest influence you, many people are lead to music through one of these ways. But, what Alicia really has excelled at, is transferring her passion for music into actually getting involved in the music scene.
“What got me to want to do music business is realizing that I can’t really create music, but I have a strong passion for live performances, the impact music has on people, as well as showing everyone how great someone’s musical talents are,” Alicia states. She tried to pursue many different instruments, but didn’t feel she had the ability to create music, but still had the passion for it.
“I started going to concerts frequently in sixth grade, and as I kept getting older, I realized there were job opportunities to go to concerts for free. In high school, I started street teaming for Riot Fest and other venues—which the main priority is being able to go to concerts for free, but now it’s grown into photographing shows, reviewing, interviewing, promoting, and plenty more.”
Since starting to get involved in the scene in high school, Alicia has managed to build quite an impressive resume. She has street teamed for multiple venues and festivals (including Riot Fest, Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Metro, Fearless Records, Fueled By Ramen, and Concord), volunteered for the IHSA jazz competition during high school, and was a runner for Green Street Fest. She has also just recently completed an internship at 2112. Currently, she’s working as an ambassador for SoFar Sounds, where she is able to learn a variety of skills suitable for the music industry. She also does concert photography, and is the creator of a biweekly segment featuring local bands called Dishin’ @ Dimo’s.