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NMSU alumni pursue music career out west

Torbyn Naray (aka Torbyn Nare) has always been in love with music and dance. He began DJing at parties and small events in his early teens because he simply liked doing it and thought it was fun. Today, Naray proves to be an innovative and extremely motivated artist, having worked with some well-known acts and performed internationally.

Torbyn Naray performs at NMSU’s 2019 Summer Jam at the Pan Am. (Photo by Sebastian Espino)

Becoming a DJ and legitimately pursing music as a career has not always been the plan for Naray, however.

“Back when I was younger, from the time I was like 14 to 18, I was under a different DJ name and just DJing graduation parties and quinceañeras and weddings and like house parties, mostly with just the intention of just DJing and just doing it for fun,” Naray said.

It wasn’t until 2014, when Naray was a student at New Mexico State University and met Jonah Kennon, his close friend and manager, that Naray as an artist and group, would actually develop.

“From around 2014 until [2017] was really when the vision started to build up a little bit and I started to get an idea of like, wow, like I could want to pursue the artistry side of things,” Naray said.

Both Naray and Kennon found that their goals were attainable and with some inspiration and support from other people along the way, they kicked off what the group is today.

Since the beginning, Naray and Kennon had a natural, symbiotic relationship, according to Kennon.

“It was like a very natural symbiotic progression where we both were doing everything we needed to do, so that we could push each other as far as we could go and we could push everyone in the circle as far as they could go as well,” Kennon said.

Eventually, their combined efforts led them away from just doing small events and put them on a path to bigger and better things.

“[The group’s work] kind of just naturally flowed into taking [the group] away from just doing events and just doing production to more things on the road and doing bigger shows like the shows we did in Mexico and for [NMSU],” Kennon said. “I was booking the shows for the university and planning them, and [Naray] was making sets and planning up with the whole vision for the actual show.”

Since moving out to Los Angeles over two years ago, Naray and Kennon have encountered both obstacles and opportunities. The pandemic hindered their progress in doing more events and putting on major shows; however, they have taken that time to refocus and expand their areas of interest.

For Naray, the past year has been about getting back to the music.

“I’ve tried to reel things back in a little bit closer to music and I’ve spent less time focusing on some of the business aspects,” he said.

For the company as a whole, the focus has shifted to building an app that aims to be a musical and visual immersive experience, according to Kennon.

“We have also been building an app that came about during the pandemic. I can’t talk too much about it yet, but it’s an immersive experience, and the application will be closely tied to music and visual experiences,” Kennon said.

Kennon added that the group is “gearing up to launch a side project, a different company,” that will also center around immersive events.

The group will look to put on more shows once restrictions loosen up across the country.

What was once a simple idea has taken Naray and Kennon and others who have collaborated and worked with the group to new heights. Perseverance and support have given the group the means to accomplish their goals and conjure up new ambitions.

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