May 3, 2006
Pull out the ear buds of most students on campus and you’re going to get a smorgasbord from Kayne West to Dave Matthews to Beyonce. Take a listen to what’s streaming past the eardrums and into the soul of sophomore Brittany Osmon and you’ll understand why she’s got her own rhythm.
When it was time to count sheep, Osmon’s parents chose Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” or “Melissa” by the Allman Brothers as the soundtrack rather than “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Before she learned multiplication tables, Osmon could keep 4/4 time thanks to Bruce Springsteen. While her classmates were discovering Brittany Spears or Green Day, she was wearing out her father’s copy of “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Led Zepplin: IV” on vinyl.
“I get one of two reactions,” Osmon admits. “Depending on who it is, they’ll either think it’s cool or ask me why I listen to that kind of music. I listen to pretty much everything, but I prefer classic rock. It’s what I’ve heard every single day of my life.”
John Osmon is always a hit on Career Day at school because he brings props. After most dads have bored the class trying to make accounting seem fun, he plugs in his amplifier and steals the show. As a base player and singer for such notable bands as Assassin and Black List, he has been a fixture in the Southern California music scene.
The only girl among the three kids in the family, Osmon recounts getting her hopes up in high school when boys would want to come over. Unfortunately for her, teenage romance wasn’t on their minds. Jamming with her father was their main motivation. Even to this day, high school friends still recount the times he played at school.
“When my dad was in a band there were famous people coming over to the house,” Osmon notes. “I would watch him play and just dance around with all these famous people, but I didn’t know who they were. I was just there to see my dad. Some people are taken back by it, but to me he’s just my dad.”
Talent is abundant in the Osmon family, but in the musical realm, Brittany’s best chance for carrying a tune might be in a bucket. When she was younger, she wanted to be a bass player just like her dad, but Osmon said her hands were too small to play all the chords. Most of the musical talent in the family has been passed down to her 14-year-old brother Derek who is gifted drummer. Osmon is giving music another try, though, with a guitar her dad gave her and she is able to apply the lessons she learned while trying to perfect her swing as she goes into this new endeavor.
“You have to have a strong work ethic to get better at both of them,” she said. “At first they’re both awkward but once you get your rhythm it’s a lot easier. There’s going to be times when you struggle and it gets hard, but the more you keep working at it the better you’ll get.”
Her family background isn’t the only thing that makes Osmon unique. Part of the one half of the one percent of students at Florida State from California, Osmon said growing up in San Diego was ideal. She also notes that there is a different bond between the California players. During her freshman year, it was senior Tatiana George, a native of Fontana, Calif., that looked after her and now Osmon is there for rookie Melissa May, another San Diego resident, who went to Osmon’s rival high school and hung out at the beach just a few streets down from the one Osmon and her friends were at.
One of the things she relishes the most about the West Coast is the ability to be on the beach in the morning and the ski slopes later that afternoon. An avid skier, she took up snowboarding a few years back and has fallen in love with, despite the early bumps and bruises.
“I’d have to say that I like the mountains better just because I don’t get to go there as much,” she said. “I love snowboarding. It took me a while to get adjusted; there are videos of me falling into the trees. After the first day I got the hang of it, but there was a lot of falling involved.”
As much as she loves Southern California, it doesn’t mean she’ll be rushing right back after graduation. An independent spirit made it easy for Osmon to adjust to college life, when other freshmen were struggling with being away from home for the first time, despite being 3,000 miles from her family. With plans to be a math teacher and softball coach, Osmon will get to her next destination with the help of two traveling companions, that spirit and the radio, but only if her destination has a good classic rock station.