WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Carlos Sosa is always practicing something.
“If you watch Carlos at home, I’m sure he’s playing his drums a lot,” said Lisa Brown, the director of bands at Wichita South High School. “Playing music does not come quickly or easily. It takes a lot of hard work. You may have some natural talent, but that will only take you so far. You have to practice a lot.”
Music isn’t the only thing the high school junior practices. Sosa is a ‘Renaissance man,’ a person with many talents or areas of knowledge.
“He’s one of our most interesting players because he’s so multifaceted. He has so many diverse interests. He’s a great football player, a great student, great in the classroom and just immensely talented as an artist, too, with his music,” said South High football head coach. “He really stands out. There aren’t many like him. He’s very unique.”
Music is his first love. Sosa would learn this when he was two years old after receiving his first drum set.
“It was a little plastic kit,” said Sosa. “A little red kit.”
It came as no surprise to his father, Carlos, who is also a musician.
“Since a young age we always knew he was a drummer,” said Jose. “He would go around and bang on stuff, bang here, bang there. Then, I bought him his first drum set – a toy one. That’s how he started.”
Growing up, music was all around Sosa.
“It has been heavily influenced in my family,” said Sosa. “Music revolves around everyone. Sound is everywhere. You can get inspiration from anything.”
“You could tell he had grown up listening to music, and music was just a part of who he was, because he could hear things, and understood things that people who haven’t listened to music their whole lives don’t understand,” said Brown.
When Brown met Sosa for the first time in her sixth grade class at Truesdell Middle School, she knew he was special.
“As sixth graders, they don’t know how to play their instruments – they don’t even know what instruments they want to play,” said Brown. “Carlos already knew he wanted to play percussion and drums because he’d been playing it for years.”
Since then, Brown has seen Sosa develop as musician.
“Carlos is one of the kids you just love to teach,” said Brown. “I’ve actually seen him become more motivated as he gets older. He comes in wanting to learn, he works hard and I ask him to do something, he’ll do it – even if it’s something he doesn’t want to do.”
When Sosa started playing football, health was his goal. Eventually, it would become another passion.
“I fell in love with it because you could go out there and just release this built up emotion you may have,” said Sosa. “It’s a great outlet.”
The lineman feels similar with music.
“Anything that’s in your head, you can just right it down or play it out and it helps get rid of those excess thoughts or ideas going through your head,” said Sosa.
Driven by challenges that come with music and football, Sosa feels grateful to possess such gifts.
“Music helps me to express myself in a different way, and it’s definitely another side that I don’t get to share with many people,” said Sosa. “It’s not the easiest thing to understand, which is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to it. Music has its own complexity.”
As he approaches his senior year, Sosa is looking forward to capitalizing on both of his talents.
“He has talent to go on and play in college, but music is something that he can go on and do as well,” said Wells. “I want all of our guys to have as many opportunities as possible.”
“It’s the center of who I am, and it’s made me who I am today,” said Sosa.
In college, Sosa hopes to study radio engineering and join a jazz ensemble as he works towards perfecting his craft and becoming the best musician he can be.