Ethan Hayes ’23
Ethan Hayes ’23 — professionally known as “Haze” — was never your typical college student. After teaching himself how to create beats in his spare time, he’s now a fast-rising star in the music industry and even received a Grammy nomination as a producer. Despite starting his own business while at Bryant, he chose to finish his education before fully immersing himself in his new career.
Why is it important for creative students to have a business background?
For kids who are passionate about going into creative fields, you have to teach the stuff they need to know and can’t figure out themselves, which is the business side. If you don’t have that education, you’re not going to be as successful. I’ve seen a lot of people in tough business situations, and it kills their love for the music and the creativity. There are some mistakes that will really kill your career. It’s important to have that business foundation.
How did you choose your major?
I came in wanting to do finance, but then I ended up switching to entrepreneurship once my music was taking off, because I figured it was a major that would apply to what I was already doing.
Do you have any favorite classes?
The class that really helped me was Entrepreneurial Finance with Professor Andres Ramirez. That class was all about the stuff I was bad at — accounting, Excel, the crunching numbers part of running your own business. That’s something I never would have been able to figure out on my own.
I also really liked Creating a New Venture with Professor Adam Rubin. He’s great. Every week we listened to a podcast about successful business ventures called “How I Built This.” This is real-world stuff. We discussed real journeys. That’s been valuable to me.
What are your future plans?
I’m moving to Los Angeles. My manager has a studio there, and I’ll have my own studio room. There’s no better feeling in the world than being in the studio. It’s a lot of fun.
I had to grow up really fast in terms of running a business and figuring out how to do this for myself. It’s been overwhelming at times, but never enough to make me take a step back. I’ve had to learn how to manage my time. I try to keep a lot of perspective and never let it get to my head. Gratitude is important to me. I’m just excited to see where it goes.
What stands out to you about Bryant?
I love the community. I love the people and the environment and the culture. The experience at Bryant is just levels above other schools. There are always events and activities, and they do a really good job with student life. I’ve had a great experience. I’m going to miss it.
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