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Daily rhythms: Pitt student creates online playlist following

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A Beat A Day

A Beat A Day

A Beat A Day

By Brady Langmann / Staff Writer

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It was 3 a.m., and Alex Oraschewsky had just returned to his apartment from clubbing in Ireland.

It was Saturday — he didn’t have to report to Celtic Collections the next day, an Irish record label he interned with during his study abroad program in summer 2014. Good thing, too — Oraschewsky, a senior marketing and supply chain major, had had too many Red Bulls. He couldn’t sleep.

So he plugged his headphones in and indulged in his newest musical obsession — traditional Irish music. As Oraschewsky rocked out to metal flutes and manly dudes crooning about their hardships, he thought: Why not share it? After shipping some songs overseas to his buddies at home, he figured it’d be easier to make a Facebook page, invite them to like it and post his favorite tracks there. Oraschewsky called it “A Beat A Day.”

“I was playing music and I was like, ‘I’m loving [it], I’m just in the moment, like, jamming to the music,’” Oraschewsky said. “And I’m like in this little tiny-a** jail cell, like Tower C kind of room, just jamming to the music. I’m sure my roommate hated me.”

When Oraschewsky woke up later that morning, his page had 100 likes. Encouraged, he kept it going, posting Irish jams until he returned to the United States. He then began sharing tracks from his other favorite genres — hip-hop, electronic, acoustic — for the next year. After running the A Beat A Day Facebook page for the duration of his trip, he had another idea: Why not turn A Beat A Day into a music blog?

Oraschewsky approached his friends about writing for the website. They agreed, and A Beat A Day made its first entry on June 29, 2015 — a quick write-up of rising New York pop star and rapper Jon Bellion.

Since then, Oraschewsky and his rotating staff of six writers have posted their favorite tracks and playlists, usually adding some commentary to each.

Oraschewsky said the site, which he hopes will eventually be “the college website people go to in the East Coast,” receives anywhere from 50 to 200 page visits per day.

For senior accounting major T.J. Curtis, who is Oraschewsky’s roommate and a regular contributor to A Beat A Day’s house music section, the freedom of writing whatever he wants is one of the best parts of the unpaid gig.

If he finds the right song for his readers to party to, he’ll let them know. 

“Honestly, I write how I would speak to my friends,” Curtis said. “So I kind of, like, do a conversational thing — I know my good friends who read it, they say they can kind of, like, hear me saying it, which is kind of what I’m going for.”

That’s how it is for most of the posts, where writers will toss in anything from a Taylor Swift GIF to photos of red solo cups. With the blog only a few months old, Curtis said they’re “just feeling it out and seeing how it goes so far.”

Most of A Beat A Day’s writers’ ideas are spontaneous — like the one time Curtis watched “Remember the Titans” with his mom, remembered it had an awesome soundtrack — Marvin Gaye and all — and posted it along with a list of his favorite characters from the movie.

“I don’t think about it like, ‘Oh, I, like, I have to write a blog today,’” Curtis said. “It’s something I look forward to doing at the end of the day. And I try to do work for a few hours [before writing for A Beat A Day] — it takes my mind off of everything.”

Although Oraschewsky doesn’t have plans to monetize A Beat A Day with advertisements, he hopes to start promoting it to a larger audience, partnering with The Pitt News to give away free tickets to the Thrival Innovation and Music Festival last September.

Oraschewsky and company even started throwing parties, where they hand out A Beat A Day stickers and feature DJ sets from their writers, to endorse the blog.

Dani Monaco, a senior finance and business information systems major, regularly checks A Beat A Day and said the blog’s social events “feel like a real party, not a college party.”

She’s been friends with Oraschewsky since her sophomore year, and A Beat A Day’s playlists have served as her go-to study and workout soundtracks.

“I think they’re doing a great job. They’re really getting the word out,” Monaco said. “I see A Beat A Day stickers everywhere, so they just need to keep sharing it and get it everywhere else.”

Regardless of the website’s popularity, Oraschewsky, who hopes to become a band manager, wants A Beat A Day to continue to be an outlet for young writers and a place where music lovers can find new jams.

“The coolest thing for me is hearing people say, ‘I love that song that you just posted on that playlist, like, where did you find that?’ And get them interested in that band and that song,” Oraschewsky said. “I listen to a lot of music, and I just love finding that one song that that person’s going to love.”

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Daily rhythms: Pitt student creates online playlist following