Eduardo D. Cuellar: a Hidden Rockstar


Photo by Meilin Tsao

With his calm demeanor and quiet personality, senior Eduardo D. Cuellar is one of the last people one expects to fit the stereotype of a rock enthusiast. But for the past eight years, Eduardo has self-built all the musical skills and expertise needed to produce one-of-a-kind instrumental covers, such as a hardcore rock version of the “Frozen” song “Let It Go,” that continue to showcase his inner rockstar.

“The key moment where I realized that I really wanted to go into music was back when I was in seventh grade,” Eduardo said. “I finished playing the flute, and my music instructor offered to teach me the clarinet and the bass clarinet, since they needed those woodwinds. Once I got a feel for those instruments, I really fell in love with music during that time because that’s also when I started to learn how to improvise, and that’s when I also learned more about music structure.”

He currently owns a guitar, bass, drum set, clarinet and flute, but he can also play the alto and tenor saxophones and bass clarinet. Through his Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts, Eduardo shares his covers of famous songs, including “American Idiot” by Green Day and “Seize the Day” by Avenged Sevenfold.

“When I was in middle school, I tried to experiment with different instruments and get certain different sounds that I liked,” Eduardo said. “I think it was when I listened to ‘Young, Wild & Free’ by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. I remember noticing it had a weird kind of feel to it where the piano felt really light, but it felt [heavier] with a rap at the same time, so that’s where I started mixing different genres with different instruments.”

Around the same time, Eduardo began picking up the bass and guitar and found that he loved rock. Today, he functions as a one-man-band, producing his own tracks and recording and arranging everything at home on programs like GarageBand.

“Music has been a big part of my life since I learned it,” Eduardo said. “It’s been a really big time filler, and it’s really taught me to learn things on my own instead of relying on other people to teach me. It’s also kind of made me stubborn in a way too. I’ve been so used to learning things off the Internet and other people so sometimes I get kind of irritated when people are trying to teach me how to do things, which I know is a bad habit but in a way it’s kind of a good thing because I’m more independent.”

Although he’s already produced dozens of tracks and even performed at the recent Diversity Assembly, Eduardo feels like his future lies in a completely different field: teaching. He plans to major in math and education at San Jose State University and pursue music as a hobby.

“I definitely love music,” Eduardo said. “If I’m feeling a certain way or a certain type of emotion, it’s going to find its way into my music. I’ll add different styles or techniques into it that make it sound angrier, sadder or happier. But it’s just a hobby for now. Maybe if I start getting into a band or find people to play with, I might make it a bigger part of my life, but as of right now it’s something I like to do on the side.”

Although he hopes to pursue music solely as a hobby in the future, Eduardo believes his experiences have taught him a major life lesson.

“Try new things that you don’t think would actually fit you,” Eduardo said. “Even if it doesn’t seem like something you would do, go out and pursue it. If you don’t like it after doing it for a while, move on and look for something you do like because eventually, you will find something that you want to pursue.”