His guitar is not a thing. It’s precisely who senior Allen Argyilan is.

Rhythmic humming fills the room as he looks down at the sheet music scattered across his desk, a pencil tapping to the beat of his own creation, steady and strong. He pushes his soft, tousled blond hair out of his vibrant green eyes, looking over the music notes adorning the papers in front of him carefully, before turning his warm gaze to the guitar sitting on his bed, beckoning him. He walks across the room in his black skinny jeans and over-sized white t-shirt accompanied with rich red Vans, caressing it gently like a newborn, before strumming his fingers softly along the strings. A deep, reverberating sound erupts from the speakers connected, something so strong and powerful that it shatters the calm that once settled over the room. His demeanor changes, changes to one full of a power I cannot quite understand, but slowly begin to see. Allen’s power comes when his hands are on his guitar. His power is the music he creates, produces, and shares with the world. 

Allen sits with his guitar as he prepares for practice. “I actually used to prefer playing with my band, but I grew out of that because I wanted to show everyone my own work rather than the group’s work,” Argylian said. Photo by Gabby Bostwick.

Allen Argyilan is a senior at East, a responsible student, and someone who is more in tune with the sweet side of life. His interest in music came to him when he was just 12 years old because of a close friend, sparking his curiosity for making his own melodies and performing on his own, creating the dream to be a soloist he still pursues to this day. 

“I had a friend in seventh grade who showed me his guitar,” Allen says, shuffling the sheet music on his desk shyly. “He showed me how to play it and ever since that happened, it’s been my passion.”

Allen has been part of a few bands in his music career, specifically rock and roll, but he prefers to perform solo.

“I like to show my own creativity on my own terms,” Allen says, his eyes glinting with pride. 

Allen is not opposed to the idea of performing with others, for he actually partakes in rock shows with other musicians like himself on the occasion, but his dream is to be a soloist. His solo music contrasts the genre he typically performs with his band quite drastically. 

When he performs with his band, his music is similar to that of The Rolling Stones, a combination of the blues with some rock and roll. While his solo music is more indie rock, similar to that of CAAMP and Mt. Joy, deep and effortless. 

He enjoys being able to create what he wants, how he wants, when he wants, without anyone going against him or his ideas for the songs he writes. It is also easier for him to work on music when it’s just him and his thoughts rather than people coming together collectively, for his creativity thrives most when he’s solo. 

“Going solo is on my forefront,” Allen says bashfully, strawberry blond bangs brushing on his forehead. “It is okay when I’m working with others but I feel like my best ideas come to me on my own, with no one watching.”

Allen’s album cover. Photo courtesy of Ellie Meyer, friend of Allen.

In fact, he’s currently been working on his album, JUNIOR which was released on Dec. 6th. He worked tirelessly on this new album that just came out, making sure that every little detail was pristine and perfect.

“It took way longer than I wanted it to, but it’s because I wanted it to be perfect, and I’m at a point where I’m happy with the final product,” Allen says humbly, tapping his pencil rhythmically against his desk, his pride clear but his modesty clearer.

The most viewed song, “Cut You Off”, on his album JUNIOR so far. Video derived from Allen’s YouTube, Royal Lane-Topic.

Allen’s music is smooth like velvet, soft and serene on the senses, it caresses your ears like a warm embrace from someone you can’t replace. It leaves you with an adventurous feeling, like the beginning of a summer day, the sun high in the sky and you get in your car to go to an undecided destination, excitement thrumming in your veins. His sound is unique, for his music seems to exert a lot of optimism and passion for someone so young.

Allen was originally more rock and roll when he first started making music, sounding more like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but he has turned to the genre of indie rock music. This genre is quite different but very fitting for the creativity Allen possesses. This process began when Allen started to produce music alone rather than as a group with fellow bandmates. This is where his creativity got a chance to shine. 

This makes him more than dedicated to his work, making sure everything he produces is the best it possibly could be. Allen will work on the same part of a song for hours just to make sure it compliments the rest just right.

From our first meeting, Allen is an admirably hard worker, for when we had our first interview together, he was writing lyrics and was completely immersed in the task. While we talked, he worked on both creating rhythms and notes while being more than accommodating to make sure he did everything right for the interview. It’s as if he himself is constantly performing, whether he is aware or not, his presence is like a little private concert for whoever has the pleasure of of being in the venue. 

Allen working on his music at lunch, tuning out the noise of the cafeteria as he focuses on his new songs, ignoring the relentless chatter that surrounds him. “It’s not hard to block everything out when I’m working on a new song,” Argylian said. “It takes my full attention, even in the chaos of the cafeteria.” Photo by Gabby Bostwick.

“Going solo is on my forefront,” Allen says bashfully, strawberry blond bangs brushing on his forehead. “It is okay when I’m working with others but I feel like my best ideas come to me on my own, with no one watching.”

— senior Allen Argyilan

He definitely pushes himself to the limits and puts 110% into everything he creates or does, for his passion of music and kindness as a person reflects how responsible he is.

Despite being busy with producing music, this does not interfere with the rest of his life, both social and educational. His school work is just as big of a priority as making music, for he is more than responsible and puts his full effort into everything he does. This results in his amazing music and stellar grades. Fellow band mate and friend of six years, Jack Loizzo, agrees with this.

“He never half asses anything he makes, whether it be a project for school or music. On a scale from 1-10, his effort and the quality of his work is a 10,” Jack says, reflecting on his friendship with Allen. “We inspire each other and work well together in a pair.”

Allen and friend, Jack Loizzo, practice together on their own songs, riffing on one another’s creativity. Photo taken by Gabby Bostwick.

Allen is undoubtedly crazy talented, for it is not easy to create a whole song like you’re breathing air, especially a great song at that. He loves showing his creativity through music, he personally writes and produces all of his own music. He works endlessly in his studio and is going to pursue music as a career. 

Fellow friend and bandmate, Declan Shaughnessy, also agrees that Allen is one of the most dedicated and hardworking people he’s ever met.

“He’s definitely his harshest critic to say the least,” Declan says.

“I just admire how dedicated he is because I haven’t met many musicians nearly as passionate as him,” Declan said, lips quirking fondly. “If anyone is gonna go places, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was Allen.”  

Despite the risk that comes with going after a career as a professional musician, he doesn’t care.

Allen wants to live his life doing what he’s passionate about and what makes him happy: his music.

His parents felt a bit weary on the matter of their son taking a risk in the music industry, for they know it isn’t the safest career choice. Michele Argyilan, Allen’s mother, has been putting Allen through music lessons since sixth grade and has been supportive ever since.

“At first, we were hopeful music was just a hobby for him,” Michele says, smiling warmly, pushing the same strawberry blonde hair as Allen, behind her ear. “But it was pretty obvious he saw it as more than that, I mean, he was so attached to his guitar!”

Her light, joyful expression slowly turned more serious, her familiar green eyes losing some of that warmth as she brought up her worries as a parent,

“I just want to make sure that he’ll be okay later in life, music careers are no guarantee and I might think he’s good at what he does, but will other people feel the same way?” Michele says, her eyebrows furrowed in concentration before smoothing out again as she smiled. 

“I’m his mother so I’m always going to worry about him,” she said, laughing lightly. “I just want him to be happy and successful,” she said, her smile was genuine but the worried glint in her eye said otherwise.

“If he’s happy, we’re happy,” Michele says.

Allen is aware of the risk he is taking by going after music professionally, but why would he settle for a mundane job when he can go after something he’s truly passionate about? He is a hard worker and his dream is to be able to create his music as he pleases. 

It’s a dream, but no dream is ever too big to stop shooting for. 

Allen’s music can be found through:

“Royal Lane” on Spotify

“Royal Lane” on Apple Music

Gabrielle Bostwick is a staff writer for Oswego East’s online news magazine the Howl

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