16 July 2022 Music is Key for Malcolm '24

This sophomore plays nine instruments, writes and records his own music. 

Between balancing schoolwork, a job at Wegmans and life as a college student, there are plenty of responsibilities competing for sophomore Ivan Malcolm’s attention.  

Recording music, though, brings a little clarity. 

“When I sit down and focus on the music, my mind just goes blank. I’m just thinking about what’s in front of me,” says Malcolm, a music major who plans to attend graduate school for music composition. 

A passion that developed during high school, Malcolm has embraced his musical endeavors since coming to Hobart and William Smith. Malcolm plays an array of instruments, including piano, drums, bass, violin, ukulele, trumpet, flute, clarinet and saxophone. He also writes and records his own music under the name Tru3king Kross. 

This music has been uploaded on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music and Apple Music.

Listen to Malcolm’s music here. 

Malcolm mainly records rhythm and blues, rap and hip-hop, though he also dabbles in jazz. Recently, he’s started recording funk. 

When a melody comes to Malcolm – even if it’s 3 a.m. – he’ll sit down at his computer and write it down. He then creates a drum backing followed by piano and freestyles lyrics over it. 

“The big thing for me is to come up with melodies and lyrics and create as many things as possible,” he says. 

Malcolm’s background in music started when he was a child, though he did not seriously study music until high school. 

He started taking music classes, building his formal music education and expanded his playing capabilities. This was also when he was introduced to music recording, thanks to a music class. 

Recording started simple for Malcolm, putting a drum beat over “Fur Elise” on GarageBand. After building skills using the software, and with his teacher recognizing his talents, Malcolm was put in an advanced music production class, where he continued to build his production skills. 

Wanting to share his creations, Malcolm started posting his music on SoundCloud and, later, Spotify. 

“I think writing music and constantly drawing myself in different genres, countries and languages through music, is going to help me with whatever I end up doing,” he says. 

On campus, Malcolm plays in the Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble and helps with Music Department performances.