By Atiba Rogers
Coming across a struggling 20-year-old musician like Amjed Kuri is common, but what’s surprising is the battle going on inside his head about the path he chooses to follow — or not follow.
Kuri, the drummer from pop-punk band, Nice Shot, Kid!, is just as confused as many students who are conflicted with the burden of having “Plan A” sit in the backseat while pursuing “Plan B.”
His backwards hat and comfortable attire complements the laid back and poised demeanor he exudes — it’s as if he doesn’t get angry at all. Kuri speaks with a sense of ease, making sure to get complete thoughts across.
“I hate it when people decide that the middle of the hallway is the best way to catch up,” Kuri said. “My family’s always taught me to be aware of my surroundings. That gets on my nerves, it’s a fire hazard, safety first.”
To Kuri, family is very important and plays a huge factor in why he’s majoring in biology with double minors in digital media art and music and technology at Stony Brook University.
“My first year I didn’t want to be a doctor, the first half of my second year I didn’t want to be a doctor and I still don’t want to be a doctor really,” Kuri said. “I guess I’m in too deep to change my mind, I just gotta tough it out and we’ll see where it takes me.”
Kuri’s dedication for something he doesn’t see himself doing in the future shows how on the outside, it looks like he has everything planned out. He’s currently studying for the MCAT in August 2014 to hopefully get into medical school. As he was preparing to enter college and applying to schools, his dad told him; “are you sure this is what you want to do with your life, do you wanna struggle as an artist or do you wanna have a financial security?” Kuri’s response was, “I guess you’re right.”
So, this precocious “karate kid” from Yonkers becomes the drummer of a band, juggling many responsibilities at once. For 13 years he practiced karate — it wasn’t until the fifth grade that he had his first encounter with drums.
“He would yell at me when I touched his drums. You would hear him running down the stairs yelling ‘get off my drums!'” Kuri’s sister, Alexis, a health science major who also attends Stony Brook University, said.
Playing the snare drum for his middle school band as a fifth grader is much safer than shattering his elbow skateboarding, which he did in April. Through adversities, Kuri has yet to put the drum sticks down.
“I wasn’t really into music then. I think I was too young to understand it,” Kuri said. “I got to high school and I met a lot of people who do music and they got me into music and I just started getting more and more into it. Eventually we wanted to start a band and I had a drum set, so I just started teaching myself how to play.”
Kuri’s sister noticed his interest in music as a child.
“He asked for a drum set when he was really, really young,” she said. She even observed how fascinated he became as he grew older: “he started going to concerts and all that fun stuff. I could tell he really loves it. His passion is really strong for it.”
Eventually, Kuri became best friends with Saeed Ehuiyan, a biology major from Queens and guitarist for Nice Shot, Kid!
“We’ve shared a lot of experiences, majror, same classes, hardships in music and biology. That’s where we derive our strong bond from,” Ehuiyan said.
Ehuiyan wasn’t afraid to speak candidly about his best friend.
“He’s way too generous, he’s amazingly generous which is awesome,” he said.
Kuri may be overly generous to others, he but isn’t as generous with himself. He applied to several schools to be a graphic arts major and got accept to Parsons’ New School for Design, with a full ride. Instead, he ended up at Stony Brook with an undeclared major, knowing that his parents want him to become a doctor.
“There’s definitely a lot of second-guessing that went into that and that’s why I picked up two minors I guess, so I could still pursue that if I wanted to,” Kuri said.
He has a plan, yet he doesn’t have a plan. If he doesn’t get accepted into medical school or doesn’t have the money to pay for it if he does get accepted, there’s a possibility that he’ll pursue something in the biology field that interests him. Or, he could pass on the opportunity to go to medical school if he does gets accepted.
Kuri weighs in on his artistic options of interning at a studio and eventually making his way up the ladder, or delving into sound production. He also considers taking a desk job designing commercials, but he’s red-green colorblind, so that will be a challenge.
Kuri is still riding on an uneven journey trying to find his ultimate destination in life.
“It’s to far to see ahead and just predict what I’m gonna be doing because I just, I don’t know, I really don’t know,” Kuri said. “I’m still trying figure that part out.”