Students producing and pursuing their dreams

Eli Shumway, 19, pre-law major, and Ryan McKinney, 19, economics major, sit with the equipment to work on a song. Photo credit: Karli Dreizler

Eli Shumway, 19, pre-law major, and Ryan McKinney, 19, economics major, sit with the equipment to work on a song. Photo credit: Karli Dreizler

In the crowd of the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) 2014, Aladdin and Waldo danced together, partied together, and became a dynamic duo.

“I’ve been thinking of names for the duo,” Aladdin excitedly said over the thumping of the bass. “What do you think of 2Zoo?”

Waldo pulled out his phone and showed a note dated from a few weeks prior that said he should pitch the name 2Zoo. The bass then dropped and the two knew that it was meant to be.

Eli Shumway, 19, pre-law major, dressed as Aladdin and Ryan McKinney, 19, economics major, dressed as Waldo from Where’s Waldo. They began their progression as an electronic music duo when they finally decided on a name for the group.

“I was always a lone wolf but now I work with my best friend and brother. I’m so grateful,” Shumway said.

The group 2Zoo has been producing music for about a year, McKinney said.

McKinney spends about 14 hours weekly interning at Studio 637 in Hermosa Beach and Shumway works up to 30 hours weekly in the same studio. Shumway has been working at the studio longer and now gets paid for engineering and producing.

“We have our work and we have our passion project. 2Zoo is our passion and Studio 637 is our work,” Shumway said.

Shumway and McKinney believe they are unlike most people trying to produce electronic music because they put in so much dedication.

Kevin Yamada, 23, a producer and manager at Studio 637, said, “When they’re fully grown, the future of music isn’t ready for them.”

Trying to balance school, producing, and work is “literally the worst thing you could ever possibly imagine ever. Every night for the past few weeks I’ve fallen asleep fully clothed with all the lights on,” McKinney said.

School is their No. 1 priority, they both said. However, they have multiple jobs. McKinney is also a lifeguard at the YMCA, a background actor at Central Casting, and a Chief Master Sergeant for the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. Shumway also does live sound for Saint Rocke and Google.

The person who introduced Shumway and McKinney is Lindsay Allen, 19, undeclared major, at the University of Arizona. Because Shumway and McKinney work in a studio, it helps their music a lot, Allen said.

They get to work in such a creative environment alongside very talented people, which helps them grow as musicians, Shumway said.

“It’s such an awesome thing that they’re pursuing what they want to do in life,” Allen said. “Working at the studio has really helped their music. Some of their songs are so intense. You feel like you are playing Super Mario Kart.”

In the future, McKinney wants to get an investment banking job and work enough so that he can retire by age 40.

“I don’t want to have to work so that I can produce [music],” McKinney said.

Although Shumway “changes his mind all the time,” and he would rather be a homeless sax player in New Orleans, he would be miserable doing anything else besides something with music, he said. McKinney agreed.

Shumway and McKinney said that they love what they do and are so grateful that they were given this opportunity to work at Studio 637.

“We work hard, we play hard,” Shumway said. “We make a lot of sacrifices, but it’s so worth it.”