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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

VH New Music Fridays: An interview with Edgehill

We sat down with Vanderbilt-based band Edgehill who discussed the creation of their name, how their passions for music came to be and their latest singles.
Sophie Edelman
Happy New Music Friday! This week, Edgehill. (Hustler Staff/Sophie Edelman) (Photos provided by Divina Fernando-Eblen)

As a transfer student now attending Vanderbilt, it is always exciting to see how talented and unique my new peers are. One person that stood out to me is singer and guitarist Chris Kelly, a sophomore, of the Vanderbilt-based group Edgehill. Out of curiosity, I searched up his band on Spotify and listened to their new singles “Jonny’s Friend” and “Shooting Glances.” In pure amazement at the euphonious music, I decided that I needed to learn more about them and share their story with the Vanderbilt community.

Their roots

The group wasn’t always named “Edgehill.” In fact, Kelly explained that they started out with a series of names they now regret, including “the Backpockets.” 

“I liked it at first, but then now looking back and like with hindsight, it was terrible,” Kelly said. 

The band got their inspiration from Edgehill Avenue, one of the main roads around Vanderbilt’s campus, but interestingly enough, only Kelly originally liked the name. Drummer Jonathan Wilson, a sophomore, guitarist Jake Zimmerman (‘22) and bassist Andrei Olaru, a senior, thought the name could have been better but after some time, they fell in love with it.

Their musical passions 

Before the group came to be, music had always been an integral part of their upbringings.

“I want to say around fourth grade, I started teaching myself guitar off of Youtube videos. I even remember learning my first Green Day song… it was sick,” Zimmerman said. “Guitar has always been part of my life. It’s like a friend that I always have.”

“My mom had me matching pitch as an infant before I could even talk,” Kelly noted. “Both my parents are musicians so growing up, music was constantly a thing.” 

Drummer Wilson started off as a piano player but turned to rock music in high school.  He played the drums for his worship team at church and performed in his high school band. 

Not only is Olaru a bassist for Edgehill, but he was also a guitarist for other bands as well.

“Guitar is a really beautiful form of music that I’m really glad I got exposure to from a young age,” Olaru said. “In middle school I joined a band, and the majority of my social life was being part of a music scene.” 

Their greatest and latest tracks

“Shooting Glances” is the group’s most famous song, with over 207,000 streams on Spotify. Kelly described the songwriting process as the glue that brought the band together.

“We really piece by piece wrote it together even though we barely knew each other,” Kelly said. “Now we are super close and it came from the song.” 

“Shooting Glances” is a fun and playful song, where the speaker is “shooting glances” at a girl he wants to go after. The line, “but I’m intimidated by how good you look in blue” was actually inspired by a girl that Kelly was attracted to.

Edgehill’s newest single, “Jonny’s Friend,” is also out on Spotify. Sung from Kelly’s point of view, the song follows his third encounter with a girl he’s interested in who still only thinks of him as “Jonny’s friend.” This upbeat and energetic song has over 20,000 streams.

Edgehill revealed that they have more songs in the works, such as their next release called, “Love To Go” which they have already performed at their live shows. They stated that they are also in the process of recording new songs.

Edgehill’s upcoming events include an appearance at the music and arts festival Bummeroo, homecoming performances at on-campus fraternities like Alpha Tau Omega, shows around Nashville and plans to perform in Gainesville, Florida next month.

You can keep up with Edgehill by streaming “Jonny’s Friend” and “Shooting Glances” on Spotify or even possibly running into them on campus.

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About the Contributors
Samantha Han
Samantha Han, Former Staff Writer
Samantha Han ('25) is majoring in human and organizational development and communications in the Peabody College and College of Arts and Science. She is a staff writer for the News and Life sections and is from Bergen County, New Jersey. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her hanging out with friends or golfing! You can reach her at [email protected]
Sophie Edelman
Sophie Edelman, Former Staff Writer
Sophie Edelman (‘24) is studying cognitive, child and educational studies in Peabody College. As the former Music Correspondent, she is passionate about expanding coverage of local musicians and performances. She loves fish tacos, thrifting and working at Vanderbilt’s Acorn School! She can be contacted at [email protected].
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