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The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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The Voice Heard ‘Round MCLA: Lane’s Presence Felt Around Campus

The official cover of MCLA Student Bobby Lanes 24 first solo album, Backtalk.
Bobby Lane
The official cover of MCLA Student Bobby Lane’s ’24 first solo album, Backtalk.

If you’re an MCLA student, the name Bobby Lane ‘24 may sound very familiar. If not, you may very well have heard his voice, whether it’s because of his role as a catcher for the Trailblazers baseball team, his work toward an up-and-coming career as a rapper under the name “Callmebob”, or serving as the main public address announcer for MCLA Athletic events. 

The do-it-all senior has been able to make the most of his time as a student here.

“It’s weird being here for four years,” said Lane. “I think that everyone here is really nice people like I love walking to class and being able to say hi to everyone on my walk. I just love how everyone knows everyone.”

While many expect Lane to go on and do big things with his life as he is just months away from graduating as a member of MCLA’s class of 2024, the journey of how he got to this point is the tail of how things do not always go according to plan, and making the most of new opportunities.

Born in Colorado, Lane and his family moved to Kittery, Maine when he was just five years old, and consider it to be his forever hometown. Early on in his life, baseball became his passion, as watching the game, specifically the Philadelphia Phillies games, along with the love and support from his dad, would have a profound impact on growing his love of the game from within.

“I remember when I first played coach-pitch baseball I was on the Phillies, so all I did was watch the Phillies [MLB team], and it was lucky that it was in 2008 when they won the championship, so right after that I was like ‘I gotta be a Phillies fan, and that’s what got me into baseball and made me love baseball,” he said. “My dad pushes me to be the best that I can, and he’s the real reason that I play baseball, and coming to college I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

In addition to the athletic side, Lane also began a passion for music, with some of his earliest memories consisting of listening to a variety of different songs and genres. His interest would lead him to try out instruments but eventually realized that singing and doing vocals would be the avenue he would want to pursue.

“I’ve always liked music and just listening to any type of music,” he said. “Once I was able to really learn music, I first started learning the trumpet and that was really fun for awhile, and I got in a couple bands through middle school and high school, and that’s what really made me fall in love with playing music, and once I got a microphone and this audio interface my freshman or sophomore year of high school, I just started making songs.”

“I thought it was just super fun and they were just jokes at first, but then it turned into something that I really wanted to do and it’s just been my passion ever since,” he continued.

With all of these experiences, Lane would attend Robert William Traip Academy in Kittery, where he also continued pursuing music and played in numerous bands including one called “Break 343,” and would perform at numerous festivals and block parties all around Maine.

Lane cited his teacher, Jen Thayer, as his biggest influence when it came to “falling in love” with music, giving him and other students opportunities to organize and perform music helped him realize that he had the talent to pursue the industry as a career path.

“She put together all these bands and she put together everyone and helped us learn music and fall in love with music,” he said. “I would have never done anything with music if it wasn’t without her.”

At the same time, Lane would shine as a quarterback and linebacker on the school’s football team and as a utility player for the school’s baseball team. He would take home the award for his league’s player of the year award during his senior year of football, and also served as a top-of-the-lineup, everyday player for his school’s varsity team.

Ultimately though, Lane’s high school career would be cut short due to COVID, as he would miss out on his senior year of baseball due to the pandemic. It would also be around this time when he would pursue the opportunity of playing college baseball, and would ultimately land at MCLA to continue pursuing his academic and athletic careers.

“I didn’t have a lot of [schools] that I could choose between, and I didn’t even know [MCLA] existed until this one random day, [Coach Gladu] reached out to me saying he was looking for people to catch,” he said. “I didn’t catch that much in high school, but I went in as a catcher because I knew I would get some playing time, so I gave it a shot, and I was lucky to visit right before COVID left, and I didn’t have any other options, so I decided it was here. I just loved the culture here and [Gladu] was a great person to talked to and he really sold me”

Lane would begin his tenure as an MCLA student in the fall of 2020, studying Performing Arts with a focus on Music, along with playing on the baseball team. However, he, along with the rest of the students, would have to deal with the ongoing pandemic and ultimately, miss out on his freshman season of baseball due to the pandemic.

However, as one door closed, another one would open, as he started to seriously pursue a music career, going under the name Callmebob, and working with fellow MCLA student and baseball player, Nate Morse ‘24, along with his friends from back home, on a collaboration album titled “B4 the Berkshires.”

“Once I got here, I really wanted to take music more seriously and move away from what I had done in high school,” he said. “I switched up the name and then just started making songs out of that, and I feel like ever since then it’s been a lot better quality because I’ve been able to take it more serious.”

“Nate has been someone who I’ve rapped with since freshmen year, and he has fun doing it, and it’s more fun when you’re in there doing it with someone else. It was a great way to pass the time, especially through COVID and not being able to leave the house, and we would just be in there all day.”

Lane would continue releasing more singles of his work, with his most notable ones being “Get it Back,” and “Problematic.” At the same time, after playing just one game in the shortened 2021 season, he would also be able to get his playing career on track as a member of the baseball team. In 19 games, he would collect seven hits, including a double, with seven walks and 12 runs scored.

Right as things started to look up for Lane, it would all come crashing down, as he would end up tearing his meniscus, MCL in his right knee, and broke the scaffold bone in his wrist, causing him to miss out on the 2023 season and his second season in three years. Despite things not going according to his plan, he prided himself on staying positive and remaining the best teammate he could.

“Not being able to play was tough, but I was able to take a role and help the team in other ways where I could just be a good teammate and help the team that way,” he said. “I haven’t proved anything as a player, but this team only a couple of veterans on the team right now, so I think that my biggest role is being a veteran and just being a good teammate.”

For his efforts in helping the team in as many areas as he could off the field, Lane was awarded one of 35 spots on the 2023 MASCAC Sportsmanship team. In addition to helping during practices and using leadership during games, he would also take on a new role of serving as the public address announcer for the team during home games. 

From there, it would lead him to take on the full-time role during his senior year, as some even regard him as “the voice of MCLA.”

“I was kinda lucky that they needed someone last year to announce the baseball games, and I wasn’t doing anything, so I stepped into that role,” he said. “My dad back home announces games all the time for our high school basketball games and stuff like that, and I was able to do that. It will be weird not announcing the team this year, I had so much fun with it last year and it was something that I felt like with announcing with you being right there and watching everything on the field and just bringing a lot of energy.”

Lane would also further his music career by releasing his first solo album titled Backtalk in August 2023 featuring ten songs. His main goal while creating it was to have the album represent his friends and how they have been there for him and continue bringing unwavering support.

“I took a lot of inspiration from my friends,” he said. “They’re the ones who have my back and that makes me just want to put out something good. Without the people around me, I wouldn’t have been able to do something like that because I would have just been like ‘oh no, this isn’t for me, I don’t belong doing this, I will just give up.’ Having a lot of people and a lot of friends that have my back and it just meant the world being able to put out something that was actually solid and held some weight, and I wanted to show it as like a ‘thank you,’ because it all means a lot.”

Since the release of the album, Lane has plans to release new upcoming singles and has been experimenting with different sounds to put together the best product he can both for himself and his fans. He also has plans to create another album at some point in the future as well.

Additionally, Lane also has used his expertise in sounds and editing to help out with other student’s projects at MCLA, including serving as the producer for Brewin’ With The Sox podcast and social media pages, along with the editing of videos and running social media pages for Matty Ice Eatz.

With graduating coming up in a few short months, Lane has plans to return to MCLA in the spring to use an extra year of eligibility for baseball. In addition, he hopes for some of his music to “take off” and wants to start performing his songs at venues in the future as well.

“I would love to come back and use another year of eligibility to play baseball, as I want to play baseball for as long as I can, so coming back and doing another year would be good,” he said. “Music-wise, I’d love for some of my music to take off and start doing something, and I’d love to start performing places as performing is definitely a part of my wish.”

Overall, Lane’s experiences are a testimony to teach others that when things do not go according to plan, there is a tunnel at the end of the light, and to take advantage of the opportunities presented, as one may never know where it might lead them. Through these lessons, he has been able to make his name and presence known all by the use of his voice, and it is only a matter of time until his voice is known to the world.

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Owen Brown, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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