The Times West Virginian

April 17, 2013

Wiley hopes WVU song will take off

By Bob Hertzel
For the Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — As Grant Wiley remembers it, he was working at a catering event, and wasn’t really in a very good mood, if you could imagine this guy who spent his college days tearing apart tight ends and running backs as one of the great linebackers in West Virginia history being in a bad mood.

Things, however, had not gone quite the way he wanted them since getting out of WVU, a shoulder injury ending his NFL career before it could get started and then bouncing around from this to that, trying his hand at acting and the like in New York.

Anyway, he was working at earning a living this day, thinking of getting in and getting out.

“I’d been going through these periods of being frustrated with not being where I wanted to be in my career. I kind of had a chip on my shoulder this day. I just felt like I was going to come in and get out when I met Daniel Ochoa,” he said.

The way he remembers it, it came about like this.

“At a lot of jobs I do a lot of humming under my breath. I was humming some melody … as I walked by Ochoa starting beatboxing to what I was humming,” he said.

Beatboxing is sort of vocal percussion, producing drum beats or rhythm or musical sounds with one’s mouth, lips, tongue and voice, a now thing that has become part of hip-hop music.

Wiley, you see, had secretly been into music for some time.

“I’d been writing songs and working on getting them produced since I moved to New York,” Wiley said. “My junior year in college I started writing poetry, and it just evolved into music.

“I always knew that I wanted that to be my way into the entertainment industry. I was just being patient over the years teaching myself how to construct songs, knowing one day I would meet the perfect partner for music.”

So now he and Ochoa, who professionally has dropped the final “a” and become Ocho, which is 8 in Spanish or infinity.

“I asked him if he was into music and he said he was a producer and engineer. I told him I had tons of material written and that I’d been working on my voice the last seven years, just opening it up and learning how to use it,” Wiley said.

That was the start and this Saturday, at the spring game, comes the fruition of that meeting with the introduction of “Mountaineer Nation”, a song Wiley wrote and the two are putting out under the name they have adopted G.n’8.

“I’d written ‘Mountaineer Nation’ after we were beating the crap out of Clemson,” Wiley recalled. “I was thinking, we’re going to the Big 12 and I was thinking we need some kind of introduction song, some kind of hype/energy song that could be played in the stadium so the Big 12 knows who we are.”

The game had ended around 12:30 p.m. and Wiley worked on the song until about 4 a.m.

“Just tapping away, letting these words come out in different waves.”

This is what he came up with:



(Chorus)

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Feel your fire

Burn inside

Take yo hands

And reach for the sky

Mountain Steams

Gold and blue

Runs in our veins

Through and through

 (Chorus)

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

All you mountain mamas

All you minin’ men

Scream out loud

Almost heaven

Take yo muskets

Aim for the stars

Wear your hearts on your sleeves

They’ll learn who we are

(Chorus)

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Mountaineer Nation

Throw yo hands up

Drink yo shine

Just go dance

Squirrel on proud

Clap yo hands

We don’t need

No outside cheers

We live with passion

For our Mountaineers

Gold and blue

Gold and blue

Gold and blue

Gold and blue

Gold and blue

Ggggold and blue

Gold and blue

Gold and blue

Gold and blue

Gold and blue

Let’s go Mountaineers x8



OK, it is not “Country Roads”. Wiley says it isn’t intended to be.

“‘Country Roads’ is a victory song. I think what ‘Country Roads’ is a historical, lullabyish song. It’s a party, drinking song, good to sing with your friends. What we did is kind of in-your-face aggressive, this is who we are and we’re not going anywhere. It’s different vibes,” he said.

“In fact, I sent it to Pat White a while ago and he said, ‘Wow! It embodies everything a Mountaineer represents.’ Our goal is to embody everything it is to be a Mountaineer and to rally around it, and embrace it and use it.

It’s the difference between John Denver and Grant Wiley.

It is, Wiley is hoping, his rocket ship to success, for there are other songs in the works and a marketing campaign you can’t believe, one that already offers ringtones with the song that can be found on the website www.gn8music.com.

He joined up with another former Mountaineer, safety David Allaway, who played safety on the unbeaten 1988 team and who is involved in fashion advertising and has started a company called Agent Of that is an integrated marketing agency specializing in technology focused digital solutions combining social media campaigns strategy, web site development and mobile application development. They work with Joseph Abboud, Calvin Klein and Microsoft among others and are developing the marketing plan for the song and video of “Mountaineer Nation.”

“They have an amazing technology called ‘See it, buy it’ where if I’m wearing say an West Virginia hoodie in the video you can click on it and it will drop it into a cart and purchase it at the end of the video. It’s going to change the way music video and video is done,” Wiley said.

“I look at Jay-Z and 50 Cent for how they conduct themselves in the business world. I respect the modern-day Renaissance man which is what Daniel Ochoa and myself are doing, creating a platform for ourselves to continue to do this with companies like Agent Of.”

“Hopefully West Virginia will become the first university to come on board. It’s one thing to talk about it and another thing to see it. It’s extraordinary.”

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.