Mento Buru and the Bakersfield College Commercial Music program collaborate on a new project titled “The Renegade Sounds.”


Courtesy of the Bakersfield College Commercial Music program

The front cover of Mento Buru’s new EP “Renegade Sounds.”

Teresa Balmori Perez, Reporter

Bakersfield College Commercial Music program collaborates with Latin Ska Reggae group Mento Buru on a three-song EP titled “The Renegade Sounds’’ that is set to release on May 3. The EP features the school’s song “Renegade Fight Song,” which consists of various musical genres such as pop-punk and ska. 

According to a press release, lead vocalist of Mento Buru, Matt Munoz approached music professor Josh Ottum with the idea of recording three new arrangements of the “Renegade Fight Song” with the help of BC’s sound engineering students in 2017. 

“They found a few boxes of old 45 RPM records, original recordings of the original fight song, and those kind of circulated around town and he had a great idea to invent—re-record the fight song in the style of their band which is kind of punk and ska,” Ottum said. 

According to Ottum, they recorded the tracks before the pandemic by using the recording software Logic. He sent the recording files to Munoz who was then able to distribute the tracks to two engineers, in Los Angeles and Nashville via email. 

Ottum explained that before his students started to work on the EP, they researched different methods on how they could record the group’s musical style. They researched certain punk bands such as The Ramones and The Offspring for musical inspiration and Bob Marley for ska and reggae influences. 

“That was a really great chance for students to learn, you know, how to record a certain style of music, and get that experience in the classroom recording with actual working bands. It was just a great learning experience for everybody,” according to Ottum. 

He then went on to state that throughout the collaboration his students didn’t have any differences regarding how the music should sound like with Mento Buru. “I try to teach my students that when you’re in the position of engineering a recording session. You really want to be at the service of the artist… so it went really smoothly.” 

Ottum said that it was an awesome experience working with local Bakersfield musicians like Mento Buru and he is open to collaborating with them again in the future. He would also like to collaborate with other bands, artists, or current students who are musicians that have different musical styles in order for his students to practice producing with different genres of music. 

“Professor Ottum is to be commended for teaching such a fantastic program,” said Munoz in a press release. “The professionalism of his student sound engineers was so impressive, and the entire band brought the perfect level of energy to the studio sessions.”

The EP will be released via Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube Music, Pandora, Tidal, and more on May 3.