student rocks out with prof dad’s backup
David J. Craig
Justin Voigt isn’t your typical young rock-and-roller. There are
no signs of arrogance or rebellious posturing. In fact, the BU biomedical
engineering student seems so polite and down-to-earth, so darn good, that
it’s difficult to imagine him ripping electric guitar solos over
“I don’t think I ever went through a rebellious period,”
says Justin (ENG’03), who has recorded two self-released CDs, the
most recent entitled Could It Be? “I always got along with my parents.
My family members are actually my biggest fans.”
The positive attitude that makes Voigt seem a bit peculiar by most rock
standards starts to make sense when speaking to Herbert Voigt, an ENG
professor of biomedical engineering and a MED associate research professor
of otolaryngology, who expresses such faith in his son’s talent
and in his responsible nature that it seems that Justin probably had little
to rebel against while growing up. In fact, the two see themselves as
a sort of musical team, with Justin pumping out tunes and his father acting
in a managerial capacity: he has lined up gigs, provides aesthetic input,
and assists in the recording process.
“My wife and I bought Justin a digital four-track recorder the summer
before his senior year of high school as a reward for volunteering in
my laboratory, and during the next year a slew of songs poured out of
him. It was quite remarkable,” says Herbert, who also is the biomedical
engineering department’s associate chairman of undergraduate studies.
“I actually told him if he wanted to put off attending college for
a year to stay at home to write and record music, that was something we
But Justin, who has been playing guitar since he was 13 but has always
considered music merely a hobby, opted to attend BU the following fall
to pursue a career in biomedical engineering. Birthdays and holidays still
bring new recording equipment, however, turning his attic bedroom in his
parents’ Milton home into a virtual recording studio. Whenever time
allows during the school year, which is not often, Justin escapes there
from his BU residence hall to work on music. This summer, he recorded
his latest CD in the attic studio, completely on his own, as he has also
taught himself to play drums, bass, and keyboards.
As is par for the course, he says, the recording process did not cause
any tension between him and his parents. “My dad and I like a lot
of the same music, and he’s someone I always go to for advice when
I’m writing and deciding which songs to put on my CD,” he
says. “When I recorded my first CD, in a studio in Allston, my dad
was there for every cut of every track. He was beside me for almost 50
hours, giving me his honest opinion on whether a take was good or it stunk.
It’s great because I can run things by him like he was just another
“I joke with my dad sometimes about a biomedical engineering
career being something I can fall back on if the music doesn’t work
out, but we both know the career comes first,” continues Justin,
who is aiming to enter the biotech industry. “My goals with music
are pretty simple. I’d just like people to hear my CDs so they know
the sorts of things I feel and what I think about. It’s a great
feeling when you can do that.”
A CD release party for Justin Voigt’s Could It Be? will be held
on Saturday, November 9, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the Voigts’ home,
at 56 Hinckley Rd., Milton. Please RSVP to Herbert Voigt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Justin’s music, visit www.go.to/jvoigt.