is BL$$D, and
JESUIT PERSPECTIVES • SPRING 2020 33
of like 18 kids, and now I'm playing pretty
big shows,” Henriksen said.
With all four members in place and
several original songs in the hopper – the
band members describe a very collaborative
songwriting style that often begins
in a group chat – it was time to record
they had one problem: dissatisfaction
with the band name.
“I thought it was foolish and like your
typical high school band name,” Alexander
said. “And then Riley thought of Visit
Neptune, and we all jumped on board.”
Now, after the positive reception to
“Life as a Hypnotist,” growing recognition
and acclaim, and playing its biggest gig
yet at Gasparilla Music Festival, Visit
Neptune’s musical ascent may be met
with a hiatus. With college around the
corner, the band may soon be dispersing
around the United States, seeing each
other only on holidays.
Alexander is pursuing music at Belmont
University in Nashville. Bailey and Henriksen
are going to attend the University
“We've been thinking that it would be
a good time for us to get a stash of ideas
going on,” Bailey said. “So, when we're
done, we're just sitting on a big pile of
Buchanan will attend the highly selective
USC School of Cinematic Arts at the
University of Southern California.
“It’s a tough decision,” Buchanan said.
“We’re hoping to keep the band together,
but we’re going to take these years to
It was 4:30am as Tariq Sharrieff ’12 cruised down the highway. Back in
Tampa for Spring Break, the Morehouse College sophomore was driv-
after spending the evening at a friend’s house.
“I'll never forget it,” Sharrieff said. “I remember seeing the brightest light
I've ever seen in my entire life emerge from the top left-hand corner of
He felt what he can only describe as the warmth of a candle being lit
within him. Then, Sharrieff heard a voice that told him to submit to its
guidance, drop out of college, and follow his dream of making music.
“I knew it was God speaking to me in that moment.”
Six years removed from his candle sparking moment, Sharrieff is
lighting up the music industry. Under the name BL$$D, he’s become a
multi-platinum hip hop producer and co-owner of a production company,
All Pop International.
He had been interested in music production for years. When he was
13, Sharrieff discovered a production plug-in called FL Studio and
downloaded it to his computer. But when he tried to use the software, it
seemed too complex, and he put it aside.
A few months later, Sharrieff had a dream that changed everything.
“In the dream, it was like I was in FL Studio and that God was talking to
me and showing me how everything works,” he said. “Basically, when I
woke up the next day, I went and tried out what I saw in the dream, and
phone from his uncle, he began rapping on the beats he made. Sharrieff
burned onto CDs and distributed to his freshmen classmates at Jesuit.
“While a lot of (classmates) trashed me for it, my friends stood by me
and they supported me and believed in me,” he said.
As a sophomore, both of Sharrieff’s parents were battling cancer. His
dad, Tarik, underwent chemotherapy, while his mom, Lori, had surgery
to remove a brain tumor. Today, both of his parents are healthy and
cancer free, but during this time, Sharrieff said he stayed strong with the
support of his Jesuit family and through his music.
“Music was the only escape I had to get away from the troubles I was
facing at home,” he said.
His beats improved, and soon they were dominating the Jesuit parking
lot and a website called SoundClick, a platform for buying and selling
to online customers. He wanted to live in one of hip hop’s epicenters,
Atlanta, so he applied and was accepted to Morehouse College.
Sharrieff majored in Political Science and continued to make music
while at Morehouse. His content began to circulate around campus, and
he found a manager. Then came that fateful late-night ride home while
on break his sophomore year, where everything suddenly changed.
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