E-Town Talent

Adrian Cyrus and Tate Lucas

Adji Teoudoussia

In a day and age where audiences turn to streaming services for content, a forgotten aspect of the industry that remains intact are music videos. Visualizing themes for the viewer has been a technique artists have utilized from its birth in 1981. 

Across ETHS, students have taken to creating music videos for their original work. One filmmaker behind a number of Evanston’s artists is junior Adji Teoudoussia and his brand Prodadjifilmz. Starting out as a YouTuber who focused on vlogs and challenges, Teoudoussia quickly realized how oversaturated YouTube was with similar videos. In April of 2017, when thinking of new, original ideas, Teoudoussia and his friends Alaun Stewart known as Mondo Capone) and junior Shawn Clarke also known as Young B$ decided to shoot a music video for one of their tracks.

“What I learned from shooting the first video was that this could be a way to make money doing something I love,” Teoudoussia says. 

 After the first video, Teoudoussia decided this was a passion of his, and a talent he wanted to pursue. Shortly after his self discovery, Teoudoussia took the next step forward and invested in new equipment for his videos like lights, monitors and new cameras, building his own ‘office’ to work from.

Since then, Teoudoussia’s YouTube channel and brand Prodadjifilmz has grown into a community of 1,100 subscribers and over 45,000 views across the page. 

With the successful platform Teoudoussia created, he has also been able to give a stage for other artists to display their talent. One of Evanston’s prospect rappers, junior Arturo Muñoz known as Cupid T, was assisted by Teodussia. 

Muñoz explains how he had written a song, but left it on paper for over a year before getting pushed to enter the studio by Teoudoussia himself.

 “At the end of the [studio] session I was telling Adji I didn’t want to record it anymore, but then he makes me record it, and afterwards he shot a music video for me, and we ended up getting 10k views on YouTube, which I’m just thankful for because he really jump started my career,” Muñoz explains.

As Teoudoussia holds the aspirations of one day creating something similar to fellow Chicagoan Cole Bennett and his brand Lyrical Lemonade, he has words for anyone who might be in his position two years ago.

“If anyone has a goal or wants to do something they are passionate in, you just gotta do it. Don’t pay attention to the money or anything like that. Just focus on what you love doing, and eventually everything else will fall in place,” Teoudoussia explains. 

Teoudoussia has been working on his craft and has new music videos in the mix to be released in the near future. 

Maya Hlava 

Star singer, sophomore Maya Hlava opens up to share her singing career that she started at the age of three. Hlava has performed in several professional musical productions in addition to sharing her extraordinary talent as a part of Yamo.

Musical theatre has been a part of Hlava’s life since the beginning. Maya’s mother is a  director, so she is surrounded by the art of music all of the time.

“When I performed my first show, I hated the experience. My mom kept pushing me, and I soon realized the love I had for theatre,” Hlava says. As a young child, Hlava was often performing and practicing with an entire adult cast in productions of , White Christmas, Nether and the Killing Game, and Violet

 An accomplished young actor, Hlava has been in professional shows such as Trevor the Musical, The Secret Garden, White Christmas, Bye Bye Birdie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Nether and the Killing Game, Violet and productions at school like Yamo and Writers Showcase. Hlava had her TV debut on the show Chicago Med, last February. 

Through all of her experience in musical theatre, Hlava has developed a sharp sense of her capabilities as a singer. “I know a lot about my own voice, like if I’m sick I know how to sing through it unlike a lot of other people,” Hlava says. 

A long time theatre friend, junior Santi Callam explains how Hlava’s professionalism has shown through her quick ability to learn her lines as well as song lyrics. “You can tell she’s really professional, because she respects the director and wants to create a good relationship with the cast members,” Callam says.

Even after the many years he has known her, Callam saw another side of Maya after she joined Yamo. Yamo allowed her to look at theatre from a different perspective and take her acting to a different level. When she had the chance to perform in Yamo and Writers’ Theatre, she was introduced to an entirely new atmosphere. Joining the theatre department at ETHS has taught Hlava different lessons that are brought to the stage; Hlava was taught to harmonize with others and got to see a director’s point of view, which also let her succeed and perform better with a cast. 

“I love the ETHS theatre department, because everyone is friendly. I like to work with my friends because we can goof off. I have met some of my best friends in the theatre department,” Hlava says. Hlava’s involvement in Yamo, Writers’ Showcase and professional experience has shown her different sides of theatre. Hlava has now been apart of musical theatre, straight acting, and comedy. 

Despite her years of experience, Hlava continues to grow and learn as an artist. Hlava wants to take those lessons throughout her career, hoping to make it in a business with dreams of performing on Broadway.