Residents on the third floor of The Summit Apartments, Queens College’s on-campus housing, may remember seeing music production equipment being brought out of the elevator early this semester.
Freshmen roommates Oleg Nevidomskyi, with the stage name “NoFaith,” and Ethan Eis, stylized as “eis” on streaming platforms, have set up a small recording studio in their bedroom.
Since September, they’ve worked to release their first collaborative album together, “ROOM 338,” the hip-hop project being named after the room it was written, recorded, and produced in.
“When I came from Poland, I put my microphone into my luggage and sent my PC here. That’s all I had,” said Nevidomskyi. “Now I sleep next to these studio monitors.”
Nevidomskyi met Eis through “Please Don’t Snore” — The Summit’s online roommate finder system.
“I was looking at people I thought I would connect with,” Nevidomskyi said, “I thought he would be pretty much the same as I am, somebody who likes to have fun or be crazy or pretty easygoing.”
He was right. The two hit it off, making music shortly after moving in. A month into the semester, they were put in contact with the previous resident of room 338, Aiden Nelson, who now has his own recording studio in Brooklyn.
Nelson took the coincidence as an opportunity, bringing some of his studio back into his old bedroom at The Summit for Nevidomskyi and Eis to use. “Now Aiden’s in our friend group. He’s in our room every night, either making music or just hanging out,” Eis said, “and we live in the studio, which is my favorite part.”
The Summit isn’t designed to be a recording studio, however, that didn’t stop the trio.
“The air conditioning is loud as hell,” Eis said, “when we were first recording, I’d always be like, ‘Yo, hit the A.C.’”
They now use the acronym “H.T.A.C.” to signal for the group to start recording. Even with Nelson’s professional setup, mixing tracks takes more effort due to the acoustics of the room. “The vocals tend to be a little bit more muddy, there could be some reverb from the room,” Nevidomskyi said.
The extra work proves to be worth it because of how the duo complement each other. Nevidomskyi has been producing for six years, spending his early days learning from YouTube tutorials.
Though Eis didn’t begin making music until moving into The Summit, he’s been freestyle rapping with friends since middle school and is constantly listening to music, much of which he’s shared with his co-writer.
“I was listening to a lot of music in a different language,” Nevidomskyi said of his life before Queens College, “[Eis] showed me a lot of great music I hadn’t even heard of. Now that he put me on these artists, [our] music started kind of evolving into something much better, something more artistic.”
As a QC art student, Eis creates the artwork for their projects, which both of them agree is crucial to making a cohesive project. “The actual visuals [are] coming from me. I’m not hiring somebody to do it, so it’s very personal,” said Eis. Nevidomskyi adds to that cohesion, saying, “We paint a picture in our heads of what the vibe of the song is [and] I try to fit the voice with the beat, instead of just rapping on the beat.”
Though “ROOM 338” has been released on streaming platforms and the semester is ending, they still plan to make music, both separately and together. “We have pretty big plans for January, but right now the path we’re going to take is to define our [individual] sounds,” Nevidomskyi said.
Regardless of what name they release under, they’re certain there’s more to come with how accessible the dorm-studio combo is. “There’s always free time that exists, and since the studio’s right in the room and we live here, it’s literally a matter of minutes to work on a song,” Nevidomskyi said. “I can open the app and make a beat if I feel like it, just spend an hour on it. When I have a skeleton, I can expand on that.”
The Summit is just the beginning for them. “What we’re doing, we want it to be more than music, we want it to be like a culture,” Eis said. “I feel like it’s going to be that. It’s just a matter of time. When people listen to our music, I want them to actually feel something.”