By: Kiana Maria
Serendipity means to find happiness or fortune in an unforeseen time. For four sixteen-year-old boys, it means getting the chance to create one of the greatest forms of art together: music. Luke Rodriguez, Toby Harrison, Joshua Ibarra, and Joaquim Pereira are all a part of a boy band Joaquim and Joshua formed called Serendipity. They all come from different parts of New Jersey in the Hudson County area. Between writing their songs, forming a schedule to practice, and recording their videos, these boys are sure to rock any stage they perform at!
A band is like a car, it needs certain parts to get going. In Serendipity, the role of each member goes as such; Joshua is the singer, Luke is the bassist/vocalist, Joaquim is the guitarist/vocalist, and Toby is the drummer. They each have a love for music and a lot of brotherly love for one another. Toby told us that his favorite part of being in the band is, “Coming together and making music. Figuring out problems that we [may have] sometimes, which just helps us become friends and create a bond of a lifetime.” They have worked together for a while now, and yet they have so much more to offer! Joshua also mentioned, “I love how each member of the band loves making similar music, but what makes it so interesting is that we all have slightly different musical inspirations and they all complement each other.” The way these boys work together to create their art is something that a lot of more people need to see!
Every living thing starts at the roots, similar to a band. Every band has to start with the greeting of a member to a member. Luke Rodriguez told us of their first encounter stating, “Joaquim and Joshua have known each other for a very long time. Joaquim and Joshua first formed Serendipity in middle school with some of their friends. After they broke up they kept the name.” He continues by stating, “I first met Joaquim at lunch, [in high school], he was playing guitar and I thought he was super cool. I was originally trying to start my own band, so I asked him if he wanted to join mine. He flipped the script and asked me to join his band. I said yes. A couple of weeks later, Joaquim recruited Toby Harrison, and the rest is history.”
After that, it was as if fate knew exactly what to do. Since they met, they have performed in school events, festivals in nearby cities, and fundraisers. Further talking about their initial steps, Joaquim Pereira, the guitarist/vocalist of the group, told us their roots in how the name, Serendipity, was chosen. He said, “...the name Serendipity came from a discussion I had with my aunt. We were painting a room in my new house and I was talking to her about trying to find a name for my band. She had recently gotten back from a trip to Ghana and took a picture with an Anaconda snake named Serendipity. The word stuck with me and soon after I told Joshua I wanted that to be the name of our band.” Who knew snakes could be such inspiration!
In March of 2020, the Coronavirus hit the United States. New Jersey schools were closed by the second week of March. Even though it was hard to be around each other to continue creating their art, the band did not hesitate to do it virtually in the meantime. Joshua Ibarra told us how quarantine affected the process by saying, “Sometimes you just have to make the best out of a really bad situation. So we took advantage of quarantine to practice and improve the instruments we play, and we were able to write a lot of material.” Since cases have gone down in New Jersey and places are opening up again, the boys are slowly getting back to their normal music ways. They are however taking precautions and taking care of each other.
In terms of inspirations, the boys each have their style and look up to many artists. Toby’s inspirations include Inner Wave and Queens of the Stone Age. Luke’s inspirations consist of Childish Gambino and Jimi Hendrix. He said, “He is versatile, creative, original, and unique in every aspect. He is a pioneer and is never afraid to step out of his comfort zone and try something new,” about Childish Gambino. Joaquim told us the impact of his favorite band stating, “I’m inspired by Nirvana. As corny as it seems, I wouldn’t be playing the guitar if it wasn’t for the Nevermind album. The Smiths, another great band. The guitar riffs and the vibes make them a great listen.” Lastly, Joshua told us that his biggest inspirations were 5 Seconds of Summer and Wallows. We also asked a few questions just to learn more about the idea behind their style. Toby told us that he would describe their music to be similar to indie pop-rock. When asked if Serendipity were to be categorized into a decade of music what would it be, he stated, “If I were to generalize the band into a decade it would probably be the early 2000s which was the rise of pop-punk music and set a course for a new indie wave of music.”
For their far out future, the boys hope to, “drop great music and play out as much as possible. We want to gain fans and be known as well. But most of all we want to have fun,” according to Luke Rodriguez. In the meantime, Joshua told us, “...We really wanna put ourselves out there and we want as many people as possible to know about us. We’re going to be uploading a lot of content on our social media to get people to know us and what we’re about. We have lots of new stuff coming out in the fall that we can’t wait to share with the world.” Go follow them on Instagram @sserendipitybandd and check their recent cover of Remember When by Wallows out on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Cc6kVA7AfJM
Luke, Toby, Joshua, and Joaquim, we wish you luck, and we hope you continue to create your art!