It was another Gamecock football Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium for a highly anticipated SEC match up with the nationally-ranked Texas A&M Aggies. After being down 16-0 to the Aggies, the Gamecocks rallied to tie the game 16-16 in the third quarter.
With another playing of Sandstorm due at Williams-Brice after the Bryan Edwards catch for a 2-point conversion, the media team at South Carolina had something different up its sleeve.
The usual beats of Sandstorm shook the stadium until a sudden drop caught the ears of thousands of Gamecock fans. This Sandstorm remix instantly became a fan-favorite among fans, students and alumni.
The man behind this remix was none other than fourth-year Coastal Carolina communications student Marco Washington; also known by his artist name “Reaper.”
“I wanted to add some new age flavor to it,” Washington said. “I’ve been going to Gamecock games since I was six, seven ... and I just hear the song every time you’re at a game and you see how people react to it and I was sitting one day and I heard it go off ... and I was like you know, no one’s really made a remix of it ... I just wanted to give it a shot and see where it would go.”
On the night of Sept. 17, Washington posted his rendition of Sandstorm on his Twitter account.
“So overnight, it blew up,” Washington said. “People started tagging USC players in it, people started tagging Justin King into it and even Justin King retweeted it after it really started taking off. I woke up to like 50k likes with 10k retweets and I still get notifications to this day."
Washington went on to say that he was just hoping that his remix would be played at Williams-Brice so that he could impact the Gamecocks in some way and make his mark on South Carolina.
Soon after he posted his remix on Twitter, Washington got the opportunity he had been waiting fo when Justin King, the associate athletics director for new and creative media at South Carolina, contacted him.
“It all happened through Twitter DM’s,” Washington said. “I sent them the video ... and then [King] was like ‘Yeah man, this is sick’ and I posted the song to Soundcloud and I sent him the link to it and everything and he downloaded it and he was like ‘Yeah’ and he said he was going to use it in his promo videos.”
Not long after his conversation with King, Washington's remix was used in a promotional video for the football game against Vanderbilt. The reaction was a positive one.
Then after the Vanderbilt game, King came back to Washington with great news.
“He said ‘Yeah, we might run this at Williams-Brice, if people keep loving it’” Washington said. “Whenever we scored the two-point conversion to tie the game up, there it is, they played it.”
The South Carolina media team still uses Washington’s remix at football games, as they used it two weeks later against Tennessee after a Jake Bentley run for a two-point conversion to tie the game at 24-24.
Now that Washington is done with his Sandstorm remix, he hopes for more opportunities to work with South Carolina.
“I would’ve done it to just work up with USC,” Washington said. “I would love to make music for them somehow. That is a big goal for me.”