‘Boombox Guy’ puts bounce in students’ steps

Sam Ergina, Staff Reporter

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The age of the boombox, when huge speakers would blast music at incredible levels for all those around to hear, has faded in popularity over the last several decades. One student, however, refuses to let the old technology die, with a boombox he built himself.

Many students have noticed a long-haired, smart-looking student walking around campus bucking the normal trend by playing vintage funky tunes from a sketchy-looking suitcase. He has been jokingly, and sensibly, referred to as “Boombox Guy.”

Sophomore Nick Ferreirae wanted to listen to music on his way to class, and he wanted it to be loud. The music major first thought of the concept at his high school in San Diego. After a semester devoid of music accompaniment, Ferreirae decided to carry a boombox from class to class once again. He doesn’t carry around just any boombox.

The boombox is made of remarkably few components, a typical suitcase from a thrift shop, car speakers, an external, rechargeable battery, an audio amplifier and a Bluetooth receiver. Mixing components from several do-it-yourself internet guides, Ferreirae completed the boombox with high sound quality, a cool, retro look and a volume capacity that overpowers any sonic campus competitor.

Ferreirae plays music ranging from funk to jazz, but always makes sure his choices energize the crowds of students in his wake.

“Usually I’ll try to play things that are a little more funky for the boombox,” Ferreirae said. “I try and pick songs and music that anyone can like. Usually some music that’s got some rhythm and drive to it.”

Despite his efforts to select crowd-pleasing music, Ferreirae said his motivation for the speakers is no different than someone’s listening to music with earbuds.

“I love that people enjoy it, and sometimes that’s a reason for me to keep doing it,” Ferreirae said. “Initially, though, it started as a thing for me just to do for fun.”

From social media posts to personal shout-outs at parties, Ferreirae has become an entertainment attraction on Tulane’s campus.

“He brightens my day every time I see him,” senior Emily Mayer said. “There’s nothing better than hearing a great song as I’m walking to class and noticing it’s a student sharing his tunes with us.”

Senior Bridger Trap agrees wholeheartedly.

“He’s like the soundtrack to my day,” Trap said.

Ferreirae’s signature long-locked hair and clothing style make him easy enough to recognize, but when the boombox comes out everybody knows who he is, without a doubt. What started out as a personal project has grown into an integral part of the Tulane community and a prime example of New Orleans’ distinct musical culture.