Brandon Johnson '19
Brandon Johnson '19 graduated from the University of Hartford's Barney School of Business in 2019 with a degree in business management, but long before he arrived, he had a clear vision of the path he wanted to take as an artist—and as a business owner. A love of writing and poetry led him to rap and music, and now you can find his work (under his alias Adversity) on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Tidal, Google Play Music, and more. He made the most of his UHart experience and is grateful for all the people who have supported him along the way.
What led you to the path you are on today?
I always had a love and appreciation for music as a whole (marching band in high school and always listening to different music), as well as writing poetry, which at first I only used as an outlet for any feelings/emotions I had. In high school, I started to realize that I was a talented writer, which developed into writing songs and then rapping. That was followed by countless hours of research on trying to formulate a legitimate plan to properly turn my passion into a career, which led me to an interest in business management. Understanding how business operates is something that a lot of people in my position don’t know how to do. This was my way of giving myself a competitive advantage—that is pretty much what led me on the path that I am on today in terms of my business.
I encountered so many amazing people in my experience at the University of Hartford—too many to name. I made a lot of friends, worked with incredible people both musically and professionally, had amazing professors/mentors, and thankfully had a lot of my fellow students as fans and supporters of my music for which I am extremely grateful to this day.
What are your three favorite things about UHart?
1. The traditions (Hawktober, Spring Fling, Midnight Breakfast, etc.) because they are campus-run activities that are built to bring people together to encourage communication and functionality between students, with the hopes of providing a positive impact on all who attend.
2. Red Caps because the transition into college is such a delicate and unsettling time. This program allows current students (who are already comfortable and familiar with the University) to positively impact new students and help make them feel more comfortable with the environment where they will be furthering their education. Also, I was a Red Cap, so that's like my family right there!
3. The wide range of people that make up the campus. Communication is one of the most important skills you can take into the workforce, in my opinion, and being in an environment with a diverse student body helps you hone and develop those skills to seamlessly head into life after college.
Were there any people in particular who helped shape your UHart experience?
So many amazing people—the professors and instructors in the Barney School of Business, The Hartt School, and the College of Arts and Sciences including Celia Lofink, Deborah Kidder, Annette Rogers, Lillian Kamal, Ken Goldstein, Mitchell Weiss, Gabriel Herman, and Karen Walsh; everyone working in the Barney School's Academic Services Office; the entire Red Caps organization; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia; all of my closest friends—James W., Steven C., Nick C., James S., Liam W., Michael B, Andre M., Malcolm V., William S., Caroline Z., Jennie L., Magic S., and Julia S....this is to name just a few! I encountered so many amazing people in my experience at the University of Hartford—too many to name. I made a lot of friends, worked with incredible people both musically and professionally, had amazing professors/mentors, and thankfully had a lot of my fellow students as fans and supporters of my music for which I am extremely grateful to this day.
Why is it important to stay engaged as an alum, especially as a recent grad?
Being engaged with the University after graduating allows you to remain up to date with the institution that you will represent as you navigate through your professional career. Doing so gives you the opportunity to spread a positive message about your alma mater, and to build and further develop connections as you move forward professionally. It is important to give back because doing so will positively impact the future students of the University of Hartford and it could help them receive opportunities that may not have been accessible to them without help from alumni.
I had scholarship support as a student for which I was, and am still, extremely grateful. To me, having that support meant that I had a set number one priority. Basically, it made me understand that I had to really give my education 110 percent because that scholarship support was a big part of why I was able to attend the University of Hartford in the first place.
What advice do you have for current students?
Educate yourself on the resources that you have available as a University of Hartford student and utilize them while you are there. Make connections. Get involved. Build meaningful relationships and do your best to make the most of your time in school.
What lies ahead for you?
I hope to continuously grow and develop my work and my fanbase to reach a wider audience across the world, to make impactful music, and to perform as much as I can to make a physical connection with those fans. I also hope to help and encourage as many people as possible along the way. I am currently in the process of creating my own record label; I will sign myself as an artist, and will also be looking to sign others later in my career to provide opportunities for more artists.
To hear Adversity's music, visit adversitymusic.com, or follow @adversity627 on social media.
Watch Brandon and Bo on the street last year for the 2019 Founders Day Challenge!
The 2020 Founders Day Challenge kicks off on Feb. 19 at Chase Arena! Join fellow alums for food, drinks, and to celebrate UHart. Sign up with promo code FoundersDayChallenge.