Jason and I met during Windows on Williams (WOW) our senior year of high school. I met up with him to discuss his political aspirations and Naked Brothers Band fandom.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a wee lad, I wanted to be the President of the United States. When I was three, me, my dad, my mom and my uncle were all watching CNN (I don’t know why they let me watch CNN, but I was watching CNN) and I saw President [George W.] Bush on TV. It was a year into his presidency, and I remember my mom was like, “Jason, that could be you someday!” and I was like, “Why not?” And that was kind of it. I don’t know – he had a big platform, he talked a lot and a lot of people, obviously my dad and my mom and my uncle, listened, and I was like, “Maybe that could be me too.”
Has anything changed?
Not much has changed to be honest; I still want to be a major public figure, or I think I want to have an important role in deciding policy for the future of this country. Whether that’s me going into office, or as an advisor, or running one of the operations of state like Intelligence or Housing and Urban Development, or being an analyst on the policy scene, seeing what works and what doesn’t, checking politicians and things like that. Or working with campaigning and transcribing heavy political jargon into everyday language – I think I’d like to do that in the future.
What would your slogan be?
“It’s all good! – I suppose.”
Okay, can you tell me about your high school?
I went to Regis High School. It’s an all-boys school, predominantly white. I was there four years, 128 boys in my class and two black kids, which was jarring. I made a lot of good friends – a good chunk of them go here. We were all in the same friend group. It’s actually pretty funny how we all came here, because Liz Creighton, who’s now the dean of admissions and financial aid, sent an email to my friend Monserrate DeLeon to apply to WOW, and when we all heard Monserrate got that email we were like, “Yo, bro, want to send that link?” and Monserrate was like, “No no no, I can’t send it,” … but after a while he sent us the link, and then we all applied and all got in; it was wavy. It was me, my friend Minh [Tran ’19], Patrick, Breidy [Cueto ’19], Joey [Boncardo ’19], Monserrate, all of us got in [to WOW]. And we came through, had a lit time – I honestly don’t remember a single class I sat in on. … We hung out, we met some kids, kids from like D.C., this girl named Tess [Zekeria ’19] – she’s pretty wavy, can confirm. It was a good time, and we all decided we were going to apply here. And when we applied here, most of us got in. Monserrate didn’t come, so every time I see Liz Creighton I laugh a little bit because she didn’t want us, she wanted Monserrate, but she got all of us instead, so I laugh. So, it was me, Breidy, Joey and Minh, and Jonathan Hall [’19] too. He’s wavy too, can confirm. So, I go to college with all of my best friends from high school. And we were some goons in high school – we’d just trap around McDonald’s and spend a bunch of time in places; we’d trap on Barnes and Noble until we got kicked out. But it’s okay, because now we’re all here, in Sawyer!
Cool, so what else do you do on campus?
So, I play rugby, and I do Kusika as well, but not this semester. I’m also a JA [Junior Advisor] of Sage A, so that’s pretty cool. My first year I had an infatuation with the High School Musical franchise, and there was an individual named Troy Bolton, played by Zac Efron, and he did the sports and the arts, and I was like: “I could be Williams’ Troy Bolton.” So, I went out for rugby – going out for rugby is probably the best decision I’ve made ever – because it’s a super supporting sport, for real, and so it’s just guys that don’t take themselves that seriously, so we’re always having a good time. And then I did Kusika because I love making music. I didn’t know how to make music, like I didn’t play an instrument until I came here – I knew how to make beats with my hands on trash cans and shit like that, but nothing else. That was really cool, to be doing a sport and the arts, like Troy Bolton.
What is your favorite genre of music and some of your favorite artists?
[Laughs.] I think rap’s my favorite. I’m getting into Brock Hampton – so wavy – Saturation II. My favorite song off that album is “Summer.” It has such great summery sunset vibes – that’s kind of my wave. And I think Kendrick Lamar is the greatest rapper out right now, probably top 10 right now, top five when it’s all said and done. I love telling stories, and Kendrick tells such great stories in such an artistic fashion, it’s really inspiring. And then music for the times is To Pimp a Butterfly and DNA, which is absolutely phenomenal, like musically, lyrically, all of the above. I also am partial to one boy band of the 2010s: One Direction. I think they’re absolutely phenomenal. I feel like everyone says they’re for kids, but I’m like “no.” One Direction has made phenomenal music. Their last album, Made in the A.M., is absolutely marvelous from top to bottom, from “Hey Angel” all the way to the bonus tracks. I think their album Four is probably their best album, if you start with “Steal my Girl” and you go to “Ready to Run,” then “Where do Broken Hearts Go,” to “Eighteen.” I listen to their music pretty often, actually, if not every day. So yeah, I do like Kendrick, so shout-out to Kendrick, and shout-out to ASAP Rocky. I have a poster of ASAP Rocky in my room – it’s kind of ripped, but that’s okay. It’s ASAP Rocky, it’s got the middle finger up, like he’s saying, “Fuck that ripped poster,” so it’s okay, because I fuck with you Rocky, so word.
What are your thoughts on the Naked Brothers Band?
They are an inspiration to musicians everywhere. They were Big Time Rush before Big Time Rush became Big Time Rush. Everyone and their mother loved Nat and Alex. They made a song, I think it was called “Yes We Can,” supporting [President Barack] Obama, and I was like, “Wow, these little boys have more finesse than some of these rappers,” and I was like, “Ah, you can’t touch the Naked Brothers Band.” Also, the Naked Brothers Band was so explicit for a juniors’ show – they revolutionized TV; they made saying words like “naked” on network TV so lit. On my birthday my freshman year, I was with my friend Tess, and we watched season one of Naked Brothers Band, and this summer I actually re-watched the entire show, start to finish. It’s the best $45 I’ve ever spent in my life, can confirm. If you ever need something to do and you’ve got $45 to spend, I suggest you snuggle up with someone close to you and watch Naked Brothers Band – you will not regret it. Can confirm, whoever you’re with, that individual will come running back. Can confirm, indeed.
Can you tell me about your personal style?
I always like having a plan fit for the day. What that means is I have to plan my outfits, either mentally, or I have to physically put a shirt with some shorts – like wear some white canvas shoes with high white socks. Eventually I’m going to invest in some knee-high socks. Some people don’t know, but I’m about to shock the world, or shock the campus at least. I think my style is from my friends, how they dress. Sometimes Joey’s a little more out there than most individuals, but I think where I am is where he was two years ago, so I’m coming up. And Minh, Minh taught me the pin-roll; I love the pin-roll on my pants, showing off my socks – you know I only wear white socks. I like wearing a lot of navy blue and white or navy blue and gray; I think that’s just a really dope color combination. Getting into kicks, I got these New Balance 998s, and I love going on eBay, finding some discounts. I also love to thrift shop – thrifting is like my passion. I have a blouse that I found in Brooklyn – it’s so colorful, it’s so nice, the fabric is pretty soft, I found this and I was like, “Yo, I have to acquire this immediately.” And I’m not ashamed of it. Once I put it on, I’ll be like “to-DOW” on this campus. It’ll be great.