Student Spotlight with Kayvon Asemani

MUSIC BUSINESS: Kayvon Asemani has been interested in music, particularly hip hop, since he was 5 years old. It was at his elementary school near Baltimore when he first rapped in front of his class for show-and-tell. Now a junior economics major at Wharton, he is learning the business skills necessary to run his music and clothing company, Kayvon Enterprises, which was formally established in 2015. “I knew that the Juilliard School would be the place I would pursue if I wanted to do music all the time, but because I wanted to do business too, I thought, what’s the Juilliard for business? That’s what made me interested in Wharton,” Asemani says.
ENTERTAINING PRESENCE: Asemani is triple concentrating in management, marketing, and finance. It’s suitable because they all are “integral in the things that I do as far as my music,” he says. Doing music while also being in school is complementary for Asemani. “People treat it like it’s dichotomous, like you can only do one,” he says. “In reality, my music is helping me become a much better student.” He credits his music to helping him become an effective presenter, a harder worker, and a creative thinker, while also being willing and able to always use constructive criticism to his advantage.
IT TAKES GRIT: At 9 years old, Asemani lost his parents to a domestic violence issue. Friends helped Asemani and his two siblings get into the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, where he graduated as valedictorian. Asemani thrived, as it is showcased in Angela Duckworth’s book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” Asemani views Duckworth, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Penn, as well as Adam Grant, Class of 1965 Wharton Professor of Management, and numerous others at the University as imperative mentors. “Integrating the countless mentors’ experiences together is the only reason I’ve been able to do what I’ve done so far,” he says. “It’ll be the only reason I’ll be able to continue doing the things I will do.” 
BUSY DAYS: It’s no surprise that most of Asemani’s days are jam-packed. Aside from his studies, he also serves on the Financial Literacy Community Project, Wharton Council, Civic Scholars Program, Turner Social Impact Society, Black Wharton board, and his cohort leadership board. He performs his music often, and notably, on Penn’s campus. For instance, he’s been a headliner at Spring Fling the past two years. “If I was just doing school, I think it would be a lot easier,” Asemani says. “But I wouldn’t be getting as much out of the experience.” 
NEW JAMS: Asemani recently spent his weekend with a film crew from Drexel University, making the music video for his latest single “Rayz,” a song about doing your best, seeing where you end up, and staying happy. “The beat to the song is really groovy,” he says. “It’s fun to listen to.” The music video is slated to debut at the end of October.