Julian Patterson ’06 and Kaleb Rollins ’06 Discuss Music and Media, Podcast-Style
On November 30, in the Smith Theater, students and faculty were joined in Hall by two alumni from the Class of 2006—Julian Patterson and Kaleb Rollins—who work today at the intersections of music and culture, sports and fashion, hip hop and media.
“Popular culture—as many of us in this room can attest—evolves over time, and in many ways it marks each generation, evidenced in music and film, sports and art, fashion and commercial trends,” began Headmaster Brennan. “Increasingly the focus of academic interest, popular culture influences the ways in which each of us experiences the world, most especially, perhaps, when we’re young.” In a podcast-style interview of one another, Julian and Kaleb—classmates and friends—spoke at length about their paths to their respective careers (beginning as Sixies at RL!), what they love about their work, and why it’s important.
Julian Patterson is a content executive at Bleacher Report, the number one sports publisher across all social media platforms with more than 125 million followers. From Bleacher Report’s website: “Through creative expression, Bleacher Report delivers visceral, authentic moments at the intersection of sports and culture.” During his tenure at Bleacher Report, Julian has been recognized for leading award-winning teams, spearheading social innovation, and co-founding the largest employee resource group in the history of the company. Julian earned his bachelor’s degree from Colby College, where he was involved in various culture clubs and service organizations.
Kaleb “KQuick” Rollins is a multi-platinum Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer. Kaleb brought his passion for music to New York University’s Clive Davis Institute Of Recorded Music, where he honed his skills as a producer, mixing engineer, and songwriter. Since graduating from NYU in 2010, Kaleb has worked with artists including Chris Brown, J Cole, Alessia Cara, and Summer Walker. He has also written and produced songs for numerous film and television projects, including scoring a Sundance Film Festival short film selection. Kaleb has played a role in multiple Billboard #1 projects, two Grammy-nominated albums, and has won two JUNO Awards for his work.
During the course of their conversation, they covered wide-ranging topics, both personal and professional. They underscored the importance of their lasting Roxbury Latin and college relationships; the willingness to pursue your passions, despite obstacles; the value of creating not just when inspired, but as a daily habit; the power of music and media; and the role of their mentors and inspirations—from their parents to fashion designer Virgil Abloh to music producer Ryan Leslie.
Just prior to the student Q&A that followed their conversation, Julian concluded “I just think that not everyone is supposed to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, engineer. Someone has to be the platinum rap producer. Someone has to be the media executive that runs the programming for the television or the social media that you watch all day. So whilst those jobs are available, why not us?”