UCL(A)idan Cullen

Malvern Prep Alumnus Aidan Cullen ’22, an up-and-coming producer and songwriter, “Crunch,” has further grown within the music industry and has expanded his horizons after moving to Los Angeles in 2022 and attending the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
UCL(A)idan Cullen

After graduating from Malvern as part of the class of 2022, Cullen took his talents to the University of California Los Angeles. 


Transitioning from high school to college turned out to be easier than expected, as Los Angeles offered many connections and opportunities in the music business. Cullen’s freshman year and current roommate shared similar interests which allowed them to work as a team when it came to the music industry.


“The transition was easier than expected. In high school, it was tough to push my work in the music industry to the next level, as I was limited in my connections and opportunities,” Cullen said. “Being in Los Angeles has changed everything. I am able to finish school for the day and head out to the studio or a meeting. In addition, my roommate also works in the industry as a producer. We were able to share connections and opportunities, allowing us to build each other up professionally, as well as having similar sleep and work schedules.”

Cullen’s biggest mentor while attending Malvern was his former teacher, Mr. Leroi Leviston. Mr. Lev shared an aptitude for music as well as dealing with a speech impediment, just like Cullen.

Before his recent success in Los Angeles, Cullen was very talented and worked for many years on his music. During his time at Malvern, he was even able to earn the “Advanced Credential Award for Media Production” after being nominated by Mr. Leviston 

“Leroi Leviston was, far and away, the most impactful figure for my growth as a student and musician,” Cullen said. “He taught my freshman year Global Perspectives class and we instantly connected, learning that not only were we both musicians, but we also both had a stutter. Over my years at Malvern, he continued to challenge me as a person, encouraging me to venture out of my comfort zone in and out of school. In my senior year, he nominated me to win the Advanced Credential Award for Media Production after serving as my mentor for the previous three years.”

Balancing the college workload of studying Music Industry and History and progressing music career continues to become more challenging for Cullen. Even when Cullen has a lot on his plate, his passion for both music and school continues to push him.

“It gets tough at times,” Cullen said. “As my time at UCLA continues, my classes are becoming more and more challenging. In addition, as my career progresses, I find my professional workload increasing at a similar rate. Often, I find myself having to put music work on pause during midterm and finals season. However, no matter how difficult it becomes to balance, I am incredibly passionate about both school and my music career. It is, without a doubt, worth it.”

When asked about his favorite artist to work with, Cullen chose Puerto Rican rapper and singer Benito Martínez Ocasio, or “Bad Bunny.”

“Working with Bad Bunny has been one of the craziest experiences of my life,” Cullen said. I was introduced to his producer through a mutual friend at the end of 2022, and we began to pass ideas back and forth. He found great inspiration in my work and, after a few months, began to play my stuff for Bunny, who also loved it. 

Cullen’s work truly paid off when one of the songs Cullen and Bad Bunny collaborated on, titled, VUELVE CANDY B reached the top of the Billboard 200

“I was pushed far outside my comfort zone, creating ideas far different than anything I had previously done. It eventually paid off when my song, “VUELVE CANDY B”, made it on his recent album “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana”. This release went #1 in the world on the Billboard 200 and broke the record for the biggest single-day streaming debut for a male artist in history.”

Cullen and Bad Bunny are not done yet, as they have more plans for the future. 

“I have always been a massive fan of Bunny’s music. The impact he has had on Latin music is incomprehensible. I am infinitely grateful to Bunny and his team for allowing me to help out with this project, and I am excited to continue working with them in the future!”

Cullen’s plans going forward are to continue working on his schoolwork and music career. He also plans on venturing into the business side of the music industry and the various opportunities that come with it. 

“I plan to continue my studies at UCLA, learning as much as I can about the various facets of the music industry, all while continuing to pursue my music career outside of school. After I graduate, I would like to venture into the business side of the music industry. Whether it’s talent management, A&R, music supervision, or entertainment law, I am enticed by this side of the industry.”

Cullen admires many artists and would always love to work with new people, one artist that currently stands out to Cullen is artist, Solána Imani Rowe, or “SZA.” 

“Honestly, my answer to this question is always changing. In high school, my answer probably would have been Travis Scott, as his albums “Astroworld” and “Rodeo” were major influences on the advent years of my career. If I was asked this question a year ago, I probably would have said Bad Bunny. Now, I would probably have to say SZA. I have always been a massive fan of her work, and I think that our styles would work together perfectly,” Cullen said.

All of Cullen’s success can be directly tied to his consistent hard work and dedication. The sky is truly the limit as he continues to grow exponentially, the future is bright, and the career for “Crunch” is just beginning.

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