Even after leaving four years ago for Dallas, Emmanuel Aouad ’10, still has a Wabash schedule.
The business process engineer at State Farm with the Six Sigma Green Belt applies engineering principles to people and assigned tasks, better known as econometrics. He does time studies, observations, process mapping, and times the steps to be certain that tasks are completed as smoothly as possible.
Additionally, the former indoor and outdoor track and field All-American is also a nationally certified track coach in the greater Dallas Area. For the last two seasons, Aouad has been the hurdles coach for the Irving, Texas, Elite Summer Track team.
When all is said and done, Aouad, 26, is an efficiency coach. Whether it be process engineering or track and field, the simple goal is to finish fast.
“I maximize my time,” he said. “I think proactively about filling my time and finding fulfilling things to do.”
Mix in a growing career as a nerdcore rapper with the stage name 1-Up, and most all of his time is, indeed, occupied. Nerdcore rap features topics like video gaming, Sci-Fi, bad pick-up lines and even subjects like economics and physics. He self-produces his tracks and shoots and edits his own videos. What goes out is all Aouad.
It’s a nice fusion for the Wally who minored in music and played in the Wabash jazz band. Things are going so well that Aouad has released a few CDs and routinely plays three or four live gigs per month.
Here is a sample verse from a recent song entitled, “Intellirap:”
When they ask me how I’m doing man I tell them that I’m doing “fine”
and I always use an adverb there you know… unless it has to rhyme
Some of these lines will leave your head acrobatic
I’ll calculate the time it takes to fall… Kinematics
“This is exactly me, hip-hop and jazz with a nerdy twist,” Aouad said. “I’ll do video game raps or jazz covers of songs. Whatever comes to mind.
“It’s too thoughtful or too intelligent,” he continued. “This is a very obscure genre. I have a little bit of a following, and I never expected that.”
I caught up with Aouad in Dallas on a Sunday morning in early April hours after a Saturday night performance. He took the stage in front of about 35 people the previous night, but the numbers don’t matter. He was there to have a good time and connect with the audience.
“If you get up on stage because you love it and have a good time every show, then you are successful. I try to make it enjoyable for everyone. I love it when I see people laughing or picking up my really obscure references.”
Aouad’s music provides an outlet from the simple stresses of the work day, but also a doorway for an alter ego to emerge.
“It’s my escape from stress at work, and I want it to remain fun,” said Aouad. “Music lets me come out of that corporate shell. Sometimes you have to keep it professional, but music lets the other Emmanuel out.”
Aouad is a modern day Clark Kent right down to the attire. His co-workers might mention a 1-Up video they discovered on the internet, while fellow musicians wonder why he doesn’t do music full time, and his tracksters often wonder about his “church clothes” when he shows up for practice still wearing a suit and tie.
“I now realize that high schoolers have no concept of age,” Aouad laughed loudly and shook his head. “They all think I’m 35. I have to remind them that these are my work clothes.”
This Wabash Man is comfortable no matter what uniform he happens to be wearing.
Click here for a 1-Up video