Guitar Master: Advertising Student Shreds National Competition, Plays Guitar to the Tune of $10K
Kent State University advertising student Michael Weber balances a 4.0 GPA with a thriving passion for music – a passion that recently propelled him to win first place on MTV’s talent show Amazingness.
The episode featuring Mr. Weber, ’19, aired nationally on Jan. 5. It featured six acts competing for a $10,000 prize, which Weber ultimately won for his talent of playing guitar. Music has been Mr. Weber’s passion since childhood. When he is not studying advertising in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, he is working on music and promotion for his band The Michael Weber Show, an explosive rock group that has performances booked throughout the nation in 2018.
“I feel that advertising and music both share similarities,” Mr. Weber says. “In a way, writing a song and creating an advertising headline have a lot in common because you’re looking for a key phrase that is hard-hitting, with a hook. I’d love to use my advertising knowledge in my music career so that I can take everything I’ve learned in college to accomplish my goal of playing music.”
MTV producers discovered Mr. Weber through YouTube and contacted him about appearing on Amazingness. Mr. Weber’s YouTube channel is one of many pieces of the brand he has built for himself, from his website to CDs to merchandise and promotional posters.
“I’ve built the brand over my entire life of hard work and dedication,” he says. “With so much technology around us, there is a strong DIY aspect to everything, and I embrace it. In the process of building the brand, I’ve also become well-rounded because I understand multiple aspects of business.”
In doing so, he often draws from lessons from his advertising classes.
“I always think about using fewer words to mean more,” he says. “This includes the content of my website, posters and social media information. It even relates to writing songs. If three words can do the job of five words, pick three words to convey your message. That’s a key in advertising, but it can also be a key in running your own business because there are many advertising elements interspersed in it.”
Being part of Amazingness was an honor, Mr. Weber says, as was winning $10,000.
“The other contestants on the show are all very talented and are some of the best people at their craft, and it was a thrill to be included amongst them,” he says. “It was fun to do ‘my thing’ and share it with an international audience on MTV.”
Mr. Weber, whose early influences include Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, says he hopes to one day become a professional musician. His latest release The Hollywood EP was recorded at United Recording Studio in Hollywood, California, with Grammy-winning artists and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, including Mike Mills of R.E.M. on keyboards.
To learn more about Mr. Weber and The Michael Weber Show, visit www.themichaelwebershow.com.
For more information about Kent State's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, visit www.kent.edu/jmc.