The former music major links his career success to his time at Drew
July 2023 – Charlie Zeleny C’02 has taken a music degree from Drew University and turned it into an international music career.
Zeleny, who now performs as DRMAGDN: Cyborg/Drummer DJ, has appeared on more than 250 music records and has played the 2014 Winter Olympics, The Today Show, The View, MTV’s TRL, and Lollapalooza, and at venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Royal Albert Hall.
Zeleny found Drew to be a place that encouraged him to explore and pursue his interests, creating hands-on learning experience that helped launch his career.
“At Drew, I had the freedom and support to do whatever large-scale musical projects I wanted,” said Zeleny.
“I came in as a first-year student and started my own jazz program with eight different ensembles and put on concerts for large crowds each semester. When I found out Drew wasn’t doing musicals very often, I mounted my own production of Godspell as the producer, director, and music director. We raised $5,000 for charity and did five sold-out performance at the NJ Shakespeare Theater.”
After graduating from Drew a year early as a music major and psychology minor, Zeleny was accepted to NYU’s graduate program for jazz drum set performance, but opted to go professional. He started by playing gigs in New York City and earned opportunities as a session musician and touring drummer.
Zeleny eventually began music directing artists and producing their albums before transitioning to writing and recording his own music as DRMAGDN. During the pandemic, he honed his solo artist career and has been able to start touring and releasing music.
DRMAGDN is currently in the midst of a four-month, 21-city tour taking him from the UK to Canada to South America to the U.S. Throughout the various stops in his career, Zeleny points to his formative time at Drew.
“I credit the freedom and support of my Drew education, including learning classical and jazz music theory, for my success.”
You can follow Zeleny’s music on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Spotify. His Official Beatles Remix of “Something” has received more than 2.5 million plays and is available on Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube.