Cav Soldier cuts music tracks in Korea
CAMP STANLEY, South Korea - With his headphones on and music playing, the Soldier's focus is not on the world around him, but on the melodies flowing into his ears. He is busy comparing the harmony now playing to the original idea he developed in his head, debating if what he's hearing matches what he had envisioned.
Pvt. Pali Pali Sikisi, a Charlotte, North Carolina native and medic with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, spends his free time on an interest he has enjoyed ever since he was young - making music.
"In seventh grade, on the first day of chorus class, my teacher called me up and asked me to sing in front of everyone," Sikiski said. "So I sang and she told me that I need to sing louder. She had me lay on the floor and placed a book on my chest and told me to sing."
The weight from the book applied pressure to Sikisi's diaphragm, causing him to project his voice. That was the day he first realized he had a good voice.
From that moment, Sikisi wanted to make something out of his newfound confidence in singing. He also soon discovered a desire to do more than just sing; he also wanted to create every part of a music track.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sikisi immigrated with his mother to the United States at the age of two.
"I think family is important," Sikisi said. "My mother instilled in me to be a good person. She told me to live every day so it gets me closer to where I want to be."
Volunteering as much as possible when he was growing up, Sikisi worked as a youth group leader at his church and joined several organizations that focused on community service. This desire to help others is something he still enjoys today, was one of the main reasons he chose to join the Army as a medic.
"I wanted to do something in the medical field. I knew it would transfer outside of the Army," he said. "Not only do I get an education, but I can save lives."
When it comes to producing music, Sikisi creates his own beats, writes his own songs and even sings vocals on the music records. While he has produced more than 150 songs to date, Sikisi has released only 25 of them online.
"Music can be subjective sometimes and makes it harder to create a final product, he explained, adding that he's looking to do more than just produce songs through his hobby. "My goal is to create a team that works not only on producing music but to help others."
Because he did not start with top-of-the-line equipment, Sikisi thought of creative ways to get his music venture going. With only $100, he walked into a music store and purchased a basic keyboard that came with some basic music software.
"I spent a lot of hours watching tutorials on the Internet," Sikisi said. "It took a lot of time to learn how to do different things. The more I practiced the better I got and the easier it was to make tracks."
Currently supporting 3rd Bn. 8th Cav. Regt.'s rotational deployment to South Korea, Sikisi made sure to pack his keyboard, speakers, headphones, and laptop before leaving Fort Hood.
"This is what I do to pass the time. I don't know what I would do without my equipment," he said.
Whether saving lives as an Army medic, or laying down music tracks during his off-duty time, one thing is for sure - his hands are always moving and his mind is fully engaged.