Community, Edge, Music

Creative collective fuses arts, music, multimedia content

Sophomores Justin Pack (left) and Imari Conway (right) are co-founders of FireSquad Collective, a spoken-word oriented music group on campus. Esther Ponce de Leon // Contributing Photographer

Sophomores Justin Pack (left) and Imari Conway (right) are co-founders of FireSquad Collective, a spoken-word oriented music group on campus. Esther Ponce de Leon // Contributing Photographer

Sophomores Imari Conway and Justin Pack are bringing a new wave of integrated artistry to campus. They are the co-founders of FireSquad Collective, a creative unit that hopes to revolutionize the way students enjoy all kinds of talents.

While the group has mainly created music so far, FireSquad Collective aims to combine all of the arts. That is, they aim to tie in music, visual art, photography, writing and more, all in one organization.

Conway and Pack met as freshmen last year. Conway studies musicianship, artistry development and entrepreneurship and specializes in classical piano. Pack is majoring in motion pictures with minors in music business and entrepreneurship.

When it came to music, the duo hit the right chord together.

“It actually started with us making music together,” Conway said. “We freestyled. From that, we decided we need to get our name out.”

FireSquad is part of Speak What You Feel (SWYF), a club devoted to poetry and the spoken word.

While members of SWYF can join FireSquad, Pack emphasizes that FireSquad is its own entity.

“As long as SWYF is helping us achieve what we have to achieve right now, we’re fine with collaborating with them and working with them,” Pack said. “If, down the line, we want to split off and do something else, we have that mutual love for each other and mutual respect for each other. Throughout all of this, we’ll be fine.”

Because FireSquad is not an official club, it does not receive university funding. However, being its own collective allows members to have full creative control of the music, videos, photos and art they create.

In the future, Conway and Pack plan to create clubs, including one called “RAP.”

“I would like to retain the exclusivity FireSquad has as its own brand and its own collective,” Pack said. “‘RAP,’ which is an idea we threw around, includes rhythm and poetry, but it’s more geared toward artistry and musicianship.”

Conway and Pack are working toward making      FireSquad known around campus. They created stickers with the FireSquad logo and filmed a music video that has not yet been released online. The group stays very active on social media.

The collective is not very large, as FireSquad consists of five core members who work on all its projects.

“For right now, we meet kind of closed-off,” Conway said. “It’s the plan before the plan. We’re getting everything ready so we can bring everyone else along later.”

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Pack said. “We can’t rush it and skip steps to get where we want to be.”

Because FireSquad consists of a small, cohesive group, it is only accepting new members who share its ambition and drive.

“I’ve never been a settler,” Conway said. “I’m getting serious about this music. We can do this if we have the promotional push, and we have to be together. Eventually, we’ll get a big enough fanbase to pay the bills and do what we love. We just want your ears.”

Pack echoed this sentiment.

“Whenever we put something out or we perform, you’re going to get 120 percent of us every time,” he said.

FireSquad plans to have its first performance on the Lakeside Patio at the end of September.

With such passionate and driven co-founders, be prepared to watch FireSquad become a “dorm-room name.”

To keep up with FireSquad Collective, follow the group on Twitter at @FireSquaD__ or on Instagram at @FireSquaDCollective. For more information and to get involved, email Conway at iic4@miami.edu.

September 7, 2016

Reporters

Esther Ponce De Leon


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Hurricanes fans, get out your pencils, calendars and a list of your favorite hotels. The Atlantic Co ...

Three former Miami Hurricanes — defensive lineman Chad Thomas, offensive lineman KC McDermott and de ...

In all technicality, the Orange Bowl is a postseason, neutral-site bowl game that includes a top tea ...

When it comes to recruiting, the scariest sentence for Miami Hurricanes fans is this one: Nesta Silv ...

This time, there was no miracle Miami win over Duke. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 13- ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

The Beaux Arts Festival of Art debuts at a new site with picture-perfect weather and a panoply of or ...

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a “Beloved Community” has inspired a number of University of ...

Following a promising performance during the fall portion of the 2017-18 campaign, the University of ...

The University of Miami track and field program travels to Texas this week to compete at the Texas T ...

The Miami women's tennis team will begin its 2018 spring season this weekend on its home court. ...

The University of Miami released its 2018 football schedule Wednesday, highlighted by a nationally t ...

Notes from Miami's 2018 Football schedule. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.