Cal State Fullerton alumna Angela Mukul, 23, who was once pushing to get through college to pursue her music career, got her big break when she auditioned in January to be a contestant on the reality show, The Next.
Mukul initially auditioned for the pilot season of The Next. When the show was finally picked up by The CW, she was re-contacted to do several more auditions until she was chosen to be a contestant on the show.
She will compete with other local contestants to get to the final round, where she has a chance of winning a music contract with Atlantic records.
Coincidentally, while Mukul was attending CSUF she had her first internship with Atlantic Records as a sophomore.
“I just think that’s so crazy, I was laughing when I heard that. I was just thinking, ‘I’m not going to be this intern, you just wait, and I’m going to be an artist on the roster. But I’ll just keep my mouth closed and get my degree, and then get a kick out of it later,’” said Mukul.
While in college she auditioned for American Idol, which Mukul said was just an open call.
This was a completely different experience than The Next, because this show was looking for contestants that already have a fan base.
They filmed her segment (she won’t find out if she won the Los Angeles round until her episode airs) at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, where she was able to invite her family and friends to watch her compete.
Each contestant on The Next is mentored by a music mogul. Mukul spent 72 hours being mentored by Latin artist Gloria Estefan, who paid her a visit at her home.
“It’s awesome to be in the presence (of her) and hear her advice,” Mukul said. “She really just helped me to feel comfortable with who I am as an artist, (she) just reaffirmed me to stay natural and it just felt good to hear that from someone like Gloria Estefan.”
Mukul graduated with a business degree with an emphasis in entertainment management and a music minor.
Even though she wanted to pursue a music career she knew she had to finish and get a degree.
She is a first generation college graduate, but she said it was her mother who pushed her to get her degree, and it was the music that kept her going.
Mukul pushed her way through, because she didn’t want to be in school any longer than she had to be. She wanted her degree and she wanted to sing.
She said that anyone who is trying to pursue a music career while still in school should push through it, even though it’s hard work pursuing both.
Mukul said in the long run it will pay off because later on in life if music doesn’t work out, she will have more options with a degree.
“Unless you get a crazy record deal that is so good you can’t pass up, definitely do not drop out,” she said.
While taking music classes for her minor she took a voice class with Patricia Prunty, associate professor of music.
Mukul said that Prunty had the biggest impact on her and really helped give her the foundation to sing correctly, even now as she has voice teachers.
“They say, ‘Wow, you sing correctly.’ It’s really important because you don’t want to hurt your voice, and I want to do this for the rest of my life,” Mukul said.
Prunty teaches her voice students how to use their breathing and how not to get tight in the voice.
Singers store a lot of their anxiety and tension around their throat, she said.
“Angela already had a lot of talent, and she’s very musical, and has got already has a very pretty voice,” said Prunty.
Some say her voice is what makes Mukul stand apart from others trying to get into the music industry.
Friend Troy Stump, also a CSUF alumnus, has known Mukul since she was 18 years old.
“She has this bluesy type of belt that she does with her voice that nobody really does at all, or probably can do. Her voice is very unique,” said Stump.
Mukul will appear on The Next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.