During a high school dance, a student at the Pingry School in New Jersey approached the DJ and requested the song “Phoenix.”
As the crowd sang along to the lyrics, which croon, “It’s like I am a phoenix / I know I can do this / And I’m burning my path every day / You can’t hold me down,” Melissa Tungare stood, shocked to hear the words of their song being embraced by others.
“I was actually so excited because hearing someone else sing back your own song to you is maybe like the best feeling of writing a song,” said Tungare, a rising senior majoring in linguistics and East Asian languages and cultures. “Because it’s not only like this person enjoyed it, but this person enjoyed it enough to learn it.”
“Phoenix’s” vast popularity marked a milestone in achievement for Tungare, whose love of music began at a young age. And while “Phoenix,” which was voted as the senior class’ favorite song, might have signaled Tungare as a promising musician, it wasn’t their first foray into songwriting.