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Knights, Camera, Action: Julian Dimagiba

Musician Julian Dimagiba has drawn upon the valuable experiences gained during his time at Rutgers throughout his career with Young Rising Sons. – Photo by Franky Tan

It took musician Julian Dimagiba a long time to figure out where he truly belonged. After an unsatisfying couple of years at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and some roadblocks in his music career, he decided to give it the old college try once again — this time at Rutgers.

With a new perspective and the opportunities provided by the University's journalism program, he was able to spark his music career back up. The decision would pay dividends — today, the Marlboro-based musician is the bassist of "Young Rising Sons," currently touring the U.S.

In an interview with The Daily Targum, Dimagiba walked us through his musical journey and time at Rutgers.

"Growing up, my parents always just had music playing like The Beatles and The Doors and whatnot," he said. "It was always something that I wanted to do, just like play in bands, but of course, you know, 'Gotta go to school. Gotta get good grades.' … But music was always just in my life."

Music melted into different aspects of his life, even his academic pursuits. The reason why he chose journalism as a major was so that he could write about music, given his inspirations from magazines such as The Rolling Stone and Spin.

While Dimagiba focused on his studies during his time at Rutgers, the connections he was making and the close proximity to New York City helped him boost his musical career.

"If it wasn't for me going to Rutgers, I wouldn't have met the people that I am involved with now," he said.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism and media studies back in 2010.

During this time, he was also able to leverage the relationship he had been forging throughout the New Jersey music scene. Prior to attending Rutgers, Julian played at different shows around Monmouth County where he developed a friendship with a rival drummer Steve Patrick. They stayed in touch and recruited their singer Andy Tongren, ultimately forming their band Young Rising Sons.

They would go off playing different venues and making music together. One of their songs "High" sparked their rise to fame as they signed onto a record label and started touring full-time.

Throughout the years, the band has maintained a successful partnership, touring for 10 years and recently embarking on their first U.S. tour in "forever."

"We're super excited. There's a lot of work that went into this," he said. "It'll be a lot of fun. This is what we've been working towards since forever."

This tour comes after a "stale point" for the Young Rising Sons — but after the band experienced newfound success during the COVID-19 pandemic, they were rejuvenated.

With time, Dimagiba and his bandmates got back into their groove with their latest single "(Un)Happy Hour" having released this March. This record mixes punk and alternative tones, a staple sound among their discography.

Something he's come to realize with music is that it comes with an aspect of promotion on social media, something he hopes younger audiences also recognize. With the music hub that is Rutgers, he hopes that students feeling lost take advantage.

"For Rutgers students trying (to make music) ... follow your gut and don't compromise yourselves too much," he said. "Don't drop out of school just yet."

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