On the court, at the track and in the classroom, senior Michael Ervin is seen by many as a great athlete and a top student, but in the hallways at Ferris High School, he’s music producer “Mikey Beatz.”
“It’s cool being known for something other than sports,” he said.
Ervin, a two-sport athlete with a 3.94 GPA in four AP classes, found an interest in music at age 11. Shortly after entering high school, he assembled an at-home music studio and started to produce.
“Making music to me is my escape from the stress that life can carry,” he said. “It’s a place I can go to when I need a break or I need to get something off my chest. Personally, it is also quite a healing experience. It’s my way of telling the world what I’m going through.”
Ervin said being able to showcase his music was one of his favorite moments at Ferris.
“After spring break, we start having lunch outside again at this place called Victory Plaza,” he said. “We got the speakers out there and the mics and performed. It was awesome seeing people’s reactions. It’s my passion.”
Ervin joined the school’s choir to become a better singer and quickly found a new niche at school. He’s now involved in three choir groups.
“I’m loving it,” he said. “It’s a different group of people but I kind of found myself a little bit.”
Shannon Miller, college and career coordinator at Ferris, has been working on scholarship applications for Ervin for about a year and called the senior Saxon “eclectic.”
“He really crosses the lines,” she said.
When describing Ervin, Miller cites a speech he gave at the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. assembly.
“He spoke so well and so clear, and it really represented who I think he is as a person,” she said. “He talked about using words carefully and speaking with integrity and that’s who Michael is. He’s a pretty excellent kid.”
Ervin will head to California in the fall to Concordia University Irvine on a track scholarship, but said he plans to spend a lot of time involved in higher education.
“I want to get my doctorate in sociology,” he said. “Helping others has always been a thing for me, and understanding humans and the problems we’re going through.”
He said he wants to teach at the collegiate level, but isn’t ready to give up a life in music.
“Part of me, too, wants to chase this music thing and perform for people,” he said. “I feel like my life could split into two paths. If I can do what I love and help people too, that’s a double.”
Ervin said it wasn’t easy coming to grips with being far away from his mother and younger brother.
“As college came around I was, like, ‘Man, am I really going to go that far away from my family?’ But I’m excited to travel,” he said.
“I’ll miss Spokane, I’ll miss my family, and I’ll probably miss the snow.”
Seattle Pacific University and Western Washington University were other potential landing spots for the senior, but one factor disqualified them both.
“I went to Seattle … for choir and the rain got to me, and I realized I needed to be in the sunshine,” Ervin said.
Joseph Thompson is a student at Gonzaga University.