Hard-Working Man Fights Hard to Join Music Industry

CSI Student Targets Big Goals in Music Career Pursuit

By: Tamar Belfont

Nieto infuses jazz into his new music. Credit: Tamar Belfont

Walter Nieto grew up in the era where hip-hop and R&B music was considered good music. Today, the music industry is very different, and as an aspiring artist, it’s difficult to make adjustments just to get noticed.  

Nieto developed a passion for music when he was a little kid. He always wanted to be a part of the music industry as his second career, after graduating college with his bachelor’s degree.

“I was born around Jagged Edge, 112, DMX, Biggie Smalls, but when we talk about modern music, I listen to PartyNextDoor and The Weekend. Wu-Tang was probably the best since they are from Staten Island,” Nieto said.

“I wrote over thirty songs in my lifetime and I even performed for DJ Drewski at a HOT 97 showcase.”

Walter Nieto wasn’t a shy kid when it came to performing live in front of hundreds of people. Therefore, he knew he could fit in well in the music industry.

He had his first big performance on the Hot 97 radio station, which gave young artists, like Nieto, a chance at fame and a new life.

Hot 97 had a showcase in New Jersey called Blue Room, where they listened to new artists, or anyone whose voices wanted to be heard.

Nieto decided to go with his friends to take a shot at showcasing his writing and music skills to everyone.

Although Nieto didn’t win the competition, he remained grateful that he had the chance to perform.

Nieto performed three of his favorite songs, including “Lonely Stoner.”

While taking a year off from school to focus on building an income, he set aside time for his music.

When he had free time, he put all of his energy into crafting his music and lyrics.

He absorbed ideas from every genre, as he wasn’t a picky listener. Nieto listened to rock, jazz, afrobeats, metal, etc.

After taking a jazz class at the College of Staten Island, Nieto decided to give jazz a chance.

For one of his assignments, Nieto had to attend a jazz spot in Manhattan, where he surprisingly enjoyed the experience.

After graduating college with his bachelors in communication, Nieto plans on taking his degree into the radio and television industry to help him build a brand for himself and his music.

Besides attending the jazz spot for his class assignment, Walter Nieto has never been to a concert in his life.

For someone obsessed with music and writing his own lyrics, Nieto has never actually been to a concert featuring his favorite artists.

He said if he could, he would attend a PartyNextDoor or The Weekend concert, since he “vibes out” with their type of music.

Writing music and recording was his escape from life. If he did not take the year off from school to focus and improve himself, performing at Hot 97 would never have happened.

If DJ Drewski chose him during the showcase, Nieto made it clear he would’ve put school aside for a few more years if his career took off.

Nieto wanted people outside his friends and family to hear his voice, and and as a result, he made his own Soundcloud called, “IamWaltPhrazer”.

Nieto does a lot of promoting to get his voice and music heard. He hopes that one day, someone like Jay Z or even an artist from the 90’s, will happen to hear his music and give him feedback.

“Music is my escape from reality, out of all the things I love in my life, music is the greatest love after God,” Nieto said.


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