Talkin’ Tunes with Professor Nelson Amaral

Marketing professor Nelson Amaral discusses his 'eclectic' taste in music

Talkin’ Tunes with Professor Nelson Amaral

Toronto-born Professor Nelson Amaral has been teaching at AU’s Marketing Department for two years. From Canadian rapper Drake to British pop-rock band The Beatles, Amaral doesn’t stick to one genre. In this week’s Talkin’ Tunes, Amaral talks about his diverse music taste with columnist Lauren Hain.

Eagle: Describe your music taste in three words or less.
Nelson Amaral: I can describe it one word: it’s eclectic.

I like everything. I like music. I like how it can move you, and depending on the mood you’re in, different kinds of music will move you. If you’re in a relaxed mood, then you might want to hear classical or soft jazz. If you’re in a hyper mood, then you want to play the kind of stuff they play at a rave like techno or something. If you’re angry, you might want to play ghetto rap. So depending on what [I’m] feeling, that tells me what I want to listen to.

E: How do others react to your taste in music?
NA: They’d be shocked. I think there’s a stereotype of professors, at least [there was] when I was younger. I remember thinking all professors listen to classical music all day and maybe jazz if they’re on the fringe. So I think if they knew my favorite artists were like Nate Dogg and N.W.A., that might be a little bit surprising to them. But I grew up during the ‘80s in the inner city and when that whole movement was taking place. That kind of music resonated with me.

E: Who is your favorite artist?
NA: It’s probably Drake.

He makes me feel a little homesick sometimes. He’s from Toronto [too] and a lot of his videos are shot there. I watch his videos and I see places I used to hang out at when I was a kid. I think his music is cool. One of the things that’s tough about hip-hop is that a lot of it sounds the same. When an artist comes that uses different beats or rhythms or has a really unique voice, that really turns me on to that music. Like another person that I really like is Yelawolf, he’s an Alabama rapper that was signed by Eminem, and he’s got a really unique sound.

E: What is your favorite album?
NA: “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles.

I was going to say “Thriller” by Michael Jackson because that was my first record, but before I bought “Thriller,” I had been listening to “Yellow Submarine” for years because my dad was a big Beatles fan and it was the only Beatles record he owned. It’s a really kid-friendly album. Like the song “Yellow Submarine,” those kind of songs are clean and they’re very vivid. Especially later on, their music was like telling stories and when you’re a kid, it’s a lot of fun to listen to. I remember running around the coffee table in my basement when “All Together Now” plays because in the end the song gets faster and faster, and I remember my brother and I singing out loud. That album is probably my all-time favorite.

E: What is your favorite concert that you’ve attended?
NA: U2, two years ago.

It was in Minneapolis at TCF Stadium where the Minnesota Gophers play. It’s like a 55,000 person football stadium. I’ve always wanted to see U2 live; this concert was incredible because it was happening during a torrential downpour. There was lightning happening during the concert and U2 kept performing. What was amazing was the diehard fans, and I’m not a diehard fan, but you get swept up in the emotion that those people are feeling. It’s like you were standing in a shower; it was pouring like buckets of water, but nobody left or moved.

It ended up being a really incredible experience because when do you just get to stand in a downpour like that with 50,000 other people? When you looked around, you saw that if anybody left, they were cursed and boo-ed and other people would throw things at them because it’s like “How dare you leave? Who cares about the weather?” So that was a really cool experience, we stuck it out for most of the concert. After it stopped raining, we started to freeze, so we left, but that was the best concert I’ve ever been to.

E: Name one song you think all AU students should listen to. Why this song?
NA: “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.

It was an important song for me during some difficult periods in my life. I know how anxious and stressed college can make students. I think listening to this song might remind people to keep things in perspective.

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