State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Emily Foster

Penn State Alum "The U" announced as opener for Kid Ink: EXCLUSIVE Interview

State in the Real has just been exclusively informed that Ugochukwu Onyianta better known as “The U” has been asked to be an opener for Kid Ink’s December 2nd show at Eisenhower auditorium. The concert was just announced today, and tickets are on sale now at

During his time at Happy Valley, The ‘U’ was a heavyweight in Penn State’s Underground Music Circuit, and is now currently signed to Williamsport PA based record label “Dyhard Entertainment”. We talked about his excitement to open for Kid Ink, his musical inspirations and his dream collaborations.

What are you most excited about to open for Kid Ink?

I’m just excited to do what I do and share the stage with one of the hottest artists in the game hopefully we can set up a collab because my fans would go nuts if I could pull that off.

What does your love of music stem from? 

I always loved music from a young age. I wasn’t allowed to listen to Rap Music as a kid so I would watch MTV and VH1 and become obsessed with Pop, Alternative, and Rock Music. Beck, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, The Mighty Mighty Boss Stones, Meredith Brooks, Aerosmith etc were all in heavy rotations when I was a kid and when I eventually got into rap when I was older in Middle and Prep School, my world changed.

What are your musical influences?

Beck, Anthony Kiedis, Jimi Hendrix, Wale, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Lloyd Banks, Fabolous, and Jay-Z.

What would you describe your sound as?

My sound/style is often classified as Alternative/Back-Pack/Hipster Rap. I just call it words like: undeniable, honest, real, eclectic, vivid, and original. I don’t sound like anybody and nobody sounds like me at the end of the day.


What inspires you to write? 

Life, Sports, Pop Culture, Mainstream Culture, Race, Family, Love, Joy, Heartbreak, Pain, Struggle, Journey,Triumph, and basically anything I have seen or experienced in my brief time on Earth. I pray to make it to 90 like my Grandfather because there’s so much more out there for me to experience.

You have been making music for quite a while now, how do you think your sound has evolved? And how do you think State College’s music scene has helped you jump start your career?

My sound is on another level right now and its both exciting and gratifying. I have amazing world-class producers like Crisis, Jungle Noise Productions, CinaMatics, Killa Kake, Oren Spiegel, and Tyler Barnes who have taken The ‘U’ sound to places I never would’ve imagined. My time at Penn State from 2009-2011 taught me how to perform, interact with a crowd, command a stage, and manage a following. The majority of my fans are comprised of people people from Philly & Pittsburgh thanks to my Penn State Years.

What is your favorite part about performing?

The energy and fire the crowd provides is probably my favorite aspect. As well as I absolutely love rapping my words. I write all of my own music and its all original so its straight from the heart and is an out of body experience at times on stage.

If you could collaborate with any one musician who would it be? 

I have to say three people because I cant pick one, sorry! Kanye West who’s one of my biggest heroes and changed the rap game forever when he went from producer to MC. Wale who lit the fuse in me to start rapping and showed me its ok to love what you do and be yourself. And finally, Katy Perry. Besides the fact that I’m in love with her, shes got so much swag and she’s an amazing singer and artist and I know we would make a once in a generation type record if we got together!

We at State in the Real are tremendously excited to see The ‘U’ perform as an opener for Kid Ink, and thank him for this interview.

Check out The ‘U’ and his fellow artists from Dyhard Entertainement on their Facebook, Youtube and Sound Cloud!

Open Mic Hosts 3rd Annual Rap Battle

Attention all Penn State rappers: YOUR talents are needed.

Open Mic’s 3rd annual rap battle is fast approaching and they are in need of talented rappers. Anyone who is interested in participating must contact to schedule an audition. There is a $10 entry fee for Penn State students, and $15 for non- students.

The winner of the rap battle will receive a cash prize in addition to an interview with Penn State’s student radio The Lion FM. A panel of hip-hop experts will judge the battles, and the crowd will be used exclusively for tiebreakers.

All lovers of rap are welcome and encouraged to attend the event, which is on Friday October 24th. The battle will take place in 105 Forum with a $1 admission. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

After a night of great music and competition, all are welcome to attend the official after party on Friday night! Information is below.

Sounds Event Showcases Local Musicians

To support the local music scene in Happy Valley, Sounds is bringing Eric Farmer, Laura Boswell and Annalisa Barron together in a fun and alcohol-free event for all ages.

This group of talented singer-songwriters is sure to deliver a fantastic night of original music. Farmer and Boswell are well known in the State College community for their great voices, quick hands and acoustic guitars. Their smooth tunes will be accompanied by Barron’s electric guitar and intimate lyrics. Not only is Barron a talented musician, but also a popular sculptor and painter!

“Our team is excited about the artists we’ve booked for this event,” said Sounds Executive Producer Misha Cleveland. “We love watching performers step into the spotlight and show what a fun night with great local musicians can look like, even without alcohol! Sounds shows are drawing increasingly larger crowds, and that’s very encouraging.”

The event, Acoustic Sounds, kicks off at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, in the Community Room of the State College Municipal Building. Tickets are $5 at the door and help support Sounds’ cause and keep State College rocking! Free tickets are available to individuals who want to volunteer or vendors who are interested in selling art. Contact Misha for details.

More information is available on Sounds’ website and on their Facebook page at

About Sounds

Rooted in the heart of State College, Sounds is a nonprofit organization that hosts local bands and open mic nights for Happy Valley inhabitants of all ages. Currently, Sounds hosts live music events three Fridays per month in the Community Room of the State College Municipal Building.


Misha Cleveland

Sounds Executive Director

(814) 933-6731

One Direction releases lead single “Steal My Girl”: Listen

Well looks like Monday just got a little better… Our favorite Europeans lads; Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne have caused chaos online, especially in the twitter universe after the official release of their lead single off of their highly anticipated album Four. The tune, which was leaked online hours before its official release, is titled “Steal My Girl”. The song talks about how the lads can get a bit protective over that one special person with lyrics like,  “Everybody wanna steal my girl, everybody wanna take her heart away. Couple billion in the whole wide world. Find another one cause she belongs to me”. The lyrics are accompanied with a piano riff backdrop and handclaps, which is why many are calling the tune a “stadium anthem”.

Listen to the song here!

Tomlinson and Payne helped co-write the song alongside Wayne Hector, John Ryan, Julian Bunetta and Ed Drewett.

This song shows how the 1D boy’s sound is maturing even more than it did in their previous album Midnight Memories. Overall, it is safe to say that One Direction has broken the “bubble gum pop” mold.

One Direction’s album Four will be released on November 17th, accompanied by a live performance on the Today Show. You can also pre-order the album here.

Penn State Alumni Releases New Music Video

Penn State Alumni Ugochukwu Onyianta, aka The ‘U’, just released a new music video, and believe me, it’s worth watching. The video for The ‘U’s new track titled “59/50” features The ‘U’ rhyming to a beat reminiscent of early 90’s hip hop. The ‘U’ is currently signed to Williamsport PA based record label “Dyhard Entertainment”.

Watch the video directed by Randy Troy below!


During his time at Happy Valley, The ‘U’ was a heavyweight in Penn State’s Underground Music Circuit. The ‘U’ plans to regain his top spot in the underground scene with plans to return to State College in the near future.

We are excited to be interviewing The ‘U’ next Monday on our radio show “Music Mondays” so make sure to tune in to The Lion 90.7fm from 4-5 PM!