Black T-shirts with the name Javier Melodico along with the logo have been circulating around the Mansfield University campus for quite some time now.
The man behind the T-shirts is Carlos Rodriguez. He is a computer information systems major with a minor in music technology. He considers himself a student, pianist and entrepreneur.
Rodriguez was born in New Jersey, but his family moved to Puerto Rico when he was just a baby. At about 14, he moved back to the United States in the Bristol area. At this point, he didn't know much English.
Shown, above left, is Carlos Rodriguez is at the piano. At right, showing off Javier Melodico T-shirts, from left, are Christina Hale, “Shaq,” Kelsey Grace, Shelby Gehman, Nicky DeAngelis and Brittany Blair, Devon Smith and Jeremy “Tony” Garnett, Teasharn Techiera, Cody Shenk, Robin Jimenez, Matthew Guagliardo, Zachary Hogan, Ashley Alicea, Brian Blackson, Mickey Gonzalez, Carlos Rodriguez and Jason.
While he was trying to learn English he also was trying to learn how to play the piano. Rodriguez found this to be harder than he thought it would be.
"I was frustrated because none of the videos I could find online on how to play the piano were in Spanish," he said. "I wanted to make it easier for those who wanted to learn how to play, but couldn't speak English. I had to get on a keyboard and basically teach myself."
For years since then, Rodriguez has been working on his brand, Javier Melodico. Javier is his middle name and Melodico is a musical term in Spanish meaning melodic. His business focuses on "developing piano courses by ear, instrumentals for all needs and platforms to foster music exchange theory."
Since last semester, Rodriguez has been gaining much momentum in music and business. He has been promoting himself as a pianist on YouTube (Just Search "Javier Melodico" to find him). Months later, he has gained more than 220,000 views and 1,800 followers.
Carlos Rodriguez has been gaining the attention of those prominent in the music industry. Reggaeton artist, Daddy Yankee, the artist behind "Gasolina" and "Rompe" even tweeted him saying, "He goes hard ... Lot of love for him!"
One producer, Rko, that works closely with Maybach Music Group (MMG) founded by rapper Rick Ross has contacted Rodriguez. Rko's brother, Eric Luna, also is big in the Spanish music industry. Luna is producer to the popular duo, Wisin and Yandel. The duo has had a song and video with singer, Chris Brown, titled "Something about you." Rodriguez has been able to interact with Rko and Luna through Facebook messaging, YouTube and Skype. He also exchanges music and beats with them.
Telemundo associates also have contacted Rodriguez. Telemundo is an American Spanish-language broadcast television network that is available on most U.S. television providers. Rodriguez will be working with them to develop music for an upcoming artist named Fervy. Fervy is a Latin artist whose music has already been spread around Latin America.
Rodriguez is working with prominent Telemundo associate and business owner to get one of Fervy's music video shoots possibly held in Straughn Auditorium at Mansfield University.
"They want a lot of people in the video. It would also bring a lot of publicity to [Mansfield University]. It could work in favor of everyone," Rodriguez said.
Though, much of this would not be possible without the supporters from the beginning. Friends and peers that take pictures of themselves with the Javier Melodico T-shirts are a few people that keep the business running.
Graphic designer from Italy, Sebastian graphic (as it says on Facebook), is the one to create the Javier Melodico logo. It includes the "J" and "M" together creating keys on a piano or keyboard. Sebastian liked Rodriguez's work and volunteered to create a logo for him at no charge. He then signed all the rights over to him. Sebastian now works on Rodriguez's Twitter and YouTube pages to keep them up to date and visually appealing.
Robin Jimenez, a former radio host from Guatemala also was a big fan of Rodriguez. He has volunteered to be the voice of the company. His voice is featured in promotional videos for the company.
One connection that Rodriguez was able to make was through Mansfield University. While involved in the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) on campus (he is now the president), he was able to meet Jeff Hoffman at a conference.
Hoffman is the creator of Priceline. His company helps its users to get discount rates for travel-related purchases such as plane tickets and hotel visits. Rodriguez and Hoffman still continue to Skype a few times a month.
"He really got me motivated to go out and make things happen for myself like he did," he said.
Rodriguez is thinking big. He wants to continue to use his videos to help people learn how to play the piano, but he wants to eventually branch out and create his own brand of keyboards.
"So far I've been networking and trying to gain credibility with the online lessons so that when I do get bigger people will buy my keyboards," he said.
For now he is keeping it simple and focusing on selling the T-shirts, which are providing piano lessons for anyone interested.
Hoodies will be coming soon. He can be contacted through email at rodriguezcj22@moun ties.mansfield.com or on twitter @JavierMelodico.
"Don't be afraid to stop me on the street if you see me," Rodriguez said.