Breaking News
  • A driver failed to yield, hitting another vehicle which collided with a parked car in Chico Sunday evening.
Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Music to our gears

Riley Mundia Butte College student Jaquan Sayres makes up his own songs on the spot in addition to performing covers and originals. He rides around campus three times each week and serenades passersby with his acoustic guitar and smooth voice.
Riley Mundia
Butte College student Jaquan Sayres makes up his own songs on the spot in addition to performing covers and originals. He rides around campus three times each week and serenades passersby with his acoustic guitar and smooth voice.

Most people do a double take when they see Jaquan Sayres on campus.

And it isn’t just because he is clad in buttons with a black-braided updo and a Fender guitar slung over his shoulder.

This guy rides his bike, plays guitar and sings — all at the same time.

Jaquan Sayres, 21, a Butte College student majoring in music composition and sociology, usually spends three days of his week riding around Chico State’s campus, playing his self-described “folksy acoustic soul” music for people.

“I might as well play a song while I’m riding,” he said. “I love riding through Chico State. It’s a beautiful campus.”

The tradition of biking while singing for people started in the summer of 2011. Sayres’ friend Andre Williams, an undeclared Butte College student, suggested that they ride unicycles while Williams played guitar and Sayres played saxophone.

“We would just bounce off of each other’s energy,” Williams said. “I was inspired by him. He taught me how to play the guitar.”

One of the first people to tell Sayres he needed to make his music public was his close friend Hannah Kuiper, a sophomore music industry major at Butte College.

Kuiper and Sayres became friends in high school. During her senior year, she heard and admired Sayres’ music for the first time.

“I love his lyrics — they’re very poetic and he really connects to his music,” Kuiper said. “He has feeling for every word he says.”

Sayres was active since he can remember, always a member of sports teams, choirs, musical theater productions and many clubs. In high school, he would sing the national anthem and then play in football games.

By 2011, Sayres had played guitar for six years. He released his demo at the 1078 Gallery.

Next thing he knew, he was performing at Thursday Night Market and was rated number one on the acoustic scene by Reverb Nation, a company that helps artists promote their work online.

In 2012, he performed at the Music for Music Festival, the first battle of the bands in Chico and also at the Women of Excellence Fashion Show and open mic night at Chico State.

“Never do I get a negative reaction,” Sayres said. “They like it and it’s humbling.”

About three weeks ago, he played the last show at the Chico Pride Festival and also performed at Sultan’s Bistro.

For larger performances, he plays with his band, “Urban Acoustic,” which features more upbeat dancing music.

Sayres is currently working on creating his first music video, in which he will do what he does best — riding around on his bike and playing music.

“You never know who might be listening to you,” he said. “I could get a record deal someday.”

His next performance is open to the public on Sept. 18 at Dex’s Records. Sayres will perform a new acoustic set either alone or with a drummer.

“It’s a mix between Ben Harper, Iron and Wine and Bob Marley,” Sayres said. “It’s very beachy, very vibe-y, very Chico.”

He can usually be found near Meriam Library on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He sings pretty much anything, including requests and original songs, to anyone.

“It’s school, it’s stressful,” Sayres said. “I want to be one of those ‘people that made my day’ kind of people.”

 

Risa Johnson can be reached at [email protected] or @risapisa on Twitter.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Orion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *