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Part One: Shining through the Dark

Former FHS students try to make a name for themselves in the music industry.

Nathan Findlay, Jake Baker, and Isaiah McClymont practicing. Photo by Kat McDermott.


Music is created and loved by people of every culture from every place. Last year, the music industry created 15 billion dollars in revenue in the United States. With social media websites and apps that are easily accessible like SoundCloud and GarageBand, it’s easier than ever to create your own music and express yourself; making money and becoming known is another story.

Sacramento is musically known for the Sacramento Jazz Festival but what else does it have to offer to young musicians and songwriters?


Former Foothill High School students Nathan Findlay, Isaiah McClymont, and Jake Baker have been working together in a band named Follow The Sun for a year and have been steadily writing and composing original work. Findlay and McClymont are now freshmen at American River College and Baker is a freshmen at Sacramento State. After performing at school showcases and events, they’re looking to expand themselves and grow in popularity. They have high hopes, but can they make in today’s music industry?


This local, free-form, indie rock band is starting small but has big aspirations. There are many challenges they’ll have to overcome. One is Sacramento’s stagnant music scene.

“I mean it’s just not very active. Of all the bands in Sacramento, only three showed up to a mixer that we attended,” said Findlay.

“And one of them was a punk rock band and the other was like a rapper so there's a lot of different people who want to do different kinds of music… the only kind of music that can make it out here is jazz because there's a really big jazz scene,” added McClymont, “You know like the Sacramento Jazz Festival is one of the biggest festivals out here.”

Sacramento’s jazz festival is amazing, but it only comes once a year.

“...having engagement is what’s difficult because there’s so few venues,” said McClymont, “There’s only a couple venues that are all ages; like Ace of Spades and Harlow’s are some and the Boardwalk is another but other than that everything is 21+.”

Unless new family-friendly venues with open mics open up soon, the boys will have to wait a couple years until they can open up to a wider audience and have more places to perform. These musicians are already on a budget because of college, but they need equipment to use to even perform at these places.

“We’re kind of scraping by on the cheapest equipment. We’re trying to get the best equipment for the cheapest. So we’re kind of at that ‘meeting in the middle’ point. It’s not great but you manage,” said Findlay.

Finding the equipment and instruments they need is also a struggle.

“There’s only so many music stores around here. I mean, one of my favorite stores, Northridge, just got shut down. It was a great store too. And it was really close to where I live too and it got shut down. So now the next nearest one is like Skip’s, luckily it’s just right by the freeway. But then that’s really it, there’s just Skip’s. That’s the only one that’s by here. Skip’s is nice so that’s lucky for me. But other than that you know you gotta go downtown, there’s maybe a couple places there,” added McClymont, “But really what’s making it difficult isn’t getting the equipment. Because you know we have access to the internet now; we can just go online and get a lot of stuff which is what we do.”

So even though it’s not the end of the world if local music stores are closing, it still hurts younger people trying to become interested in music or learn an instrument. Many music tutors and teachers operate out of music stores.

“... finding a teacher is difficult too. People who want to get into it really have to be self-taught nowadays. Especially because it’s expensive too,” said McClymont.

Luckily, many schools offer music classes or extracurricular music programs that youth can participate in.


Despite all of this, Follow The Sun remains optimistic about their future. Meeting multiple times a week, Baker, Findlay, and McClymont continue to write, compose, produce, and upload original work in hopes of getting noticed.

Look forward for the next installment, Follow the Sun, Part 2, to read about the band’s humble beginnings, influences, and dreams about the future.

Find Follow the Sun on social media:




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