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    Milan Flynch ’14

    Milan Flynch ’14 started writing music when she was 7 years old, filling notebooks with tunes that she would perform for her family at dinner parties. A self-described “band geek,” she played clarinet in elementary school, oboe and saxophone in middle school, and as a student at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts in Manhattan. She continued composing music, but felt intimidated to sing her songs in public, until a class for vocalists gave her the confidence to perform as a singer.

    “That was when I started to evolve into a real songwriter,” says Flynch, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, who writes and performs her music using the stage name, Milo. “Every time I write a song, I can see the whole picture; I hear all the instruments and the complete performance.”

    Since her first year at SU, the New York City native has collaborated with producer Grant Music, the professional name of Jason Rostkowski ’14, a television, radio, and film student in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. As sophomores, the duo released a demo titled Love, Milo, showcasing songs Flynch penned and performs. “Jason is phenomenal,” she says. “He really understands my music style and I am so happy to be working with someone like him. We’ve become really great friends in the process. Right now, he’s pushing performance on me and I think next semester I may shoot for doing some shows at Funk and Waffles. I hear they have a great atmosphere for aspiring artists.”

    Flynch describes her musical genre as “neo soul.” “It’s a mixture of Corrine Bailey Rae and Lauryn Hill,” she says. “Simplicity is key in my lyrics. It’s real, it’s all life experiences, and it’s raw. When people listen to my music, I want them to understand how alike we are, how it’s okay to be in touch with emotions, that it’s okay to love.”

    The English major, who is also minoring in women and gender studies, has her sights set on being a professional songwriter and eventually starting her own record label. In addition to her musical pursuits, she is a McNair Scholar in the S.U. School of Education, participating in a program named for astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who lost his life in the 1986 explosion of the U.S.S. Challenger space shuttle. Flynch is conducting research on effect social media has on college women as part of the program, which is designed to prepare students for doctoral studies through involvement in scholarly activities. After graduation, she hopes her prose style will land her a job with a magazine, while she continues to work on establishing her musical career.

    Syracuse University wasn’t Flynch’s first choice when she was applying to colleges, but the University’s financial aid package and academic support offered through Student Support Services convinced her to come to Syracuse. And she’s glad she did. “I believe everything happens for a reason and feel really blessed to be here,” she says. “I love the people I’ve met here—SU is home to many hidden gems. These people have helped to shape who I am, and helped me to evolve as a person, a student, and a woman.”