From playing functions, to near-nightly shows downtown, to marathon sets at Disney Springs, Valencia sound technology grad Palmer Reed, 26, is no stranger to the stage. So when he picked up a stray guitar for an impromptu set at a Grammys after-party this year in L.A., he was bound to turn some heads.
After the brief performance at the star-studded party hosted by Interscope Records, Reed was asked by a producer – who works regularly with Lady Gaga – to write an upbeat song about friendship. The resulting track “I’ll Be Around,” written and performed by Reed, landed a spot on the motion picture soundtrack for My Little Pony opening in theaters today.
On the well-received soundtrack, the young Valencia grad finds himself on a track list alongside a bevy of talent from music and film, including Sia, Zoe Saldana, Taye Diggs, Kristin Chenoweth and Emily Blunt.
Palmer Reed credits his current success to musical dues paid. During his time at Valencia and after graduating in 2012, Reed played avidly in public, striving to share the stage with a wide variety of new artists from different genres.
“It’s just hard work,” says Reed. “I always wanted to make a difference in the [Orlando] scene… I always tried to bring different people out.”
The hard work paid off locally as well, as Reed was asked to perform the national anthem to sold out crowd of an Orlando Magic game on New Year’s Day this year.
Now that Reed is poised to step onto an ever-larger stage, he’s got some advice for students taking classes in the brand new Film and Sound building.
“Stay humble and hungry. Keep pushing, because opportunity is around every corner,” says Reed. He adds that credentials come not just from within classrooms, but within the students themselves.
“The degree validates you,” says Reed. “But if there is no hustle behind it, it’s just a piece of paper.”
Palmer Reed’s “I’ll Be Around”