Watch out Ray Campbell

Kelsey Misbrener

Another man on campus is quickly gaining popularity at Kent State.

Kent State’s own Van Wilder. Promotional mastermind. Bound to have mutual Facebook friends with you.

All are synonymous with the name of Kent State’s celebrity Ray Campbell. But is Campbell’s reign over?

There’s another man on campus that is quickly climbing the Kent State ladder of fame.

His name is Joey Priore, better known as Joey P. He’s a 21-year-old, senior managerial marketing major from Willoughby Hills.

With an infectious laugh, welcoming smile, go-getter attitude and tendency to treat everyone he meets like an old friend, it is easy to see how Joey P. is quickly becoming a Kent State icon.

Most people know Priore through the many shows he has played at venues for the past four years around Kent, like The Robin Hood, 157 Lounge and Flashfest.

He started off as a solo act, but then found some friends who wanted to be a part of the action and now he plays electric guitar with impromptu bands, one being Joey P. and the Two-Timers.

Priore spreads the word about his musical endeavors through “WOMP — Word of mouth promotion,” he said, coining the phrase on the spot.

The man knows how to network, but he doesn’t do it alone. He does it with the help of Kent State’s promotional prince himself, Ray Campbell.

The two met through mutual friends two years ago, and Joey has seen Campbell as a quasi-role model ever since.

“When I first found out about Ray, I was like ‘Oh my god, Ray Campbell is taking over,’” Priore said. “Ray is an economic catalyst who likes to party and make sure his friends are living the life. That’s the area of work we share.”

One would think there might be some tension between them, but instead of competing against each other, they actually work together.

“Me and Ray are like the industry standard, although I’m new to the market. He’s like Rockefeller and I’m like Google trying to come in,” Priore said. “We sell ourselves separately or together as a bundle. We put our rings together; like the power rangers.”

While it seems Priore is slowly taking over, he does not think there can be a “new Ray Campbell.”

“Ray does something no other man can do — his legacy is not linear,” Priore said. “No one else is going to come in and do the exact same thing. They just can’t, because he’s him.”

But other students think otherwise.

Senior architecture major Tommy Chesnes believes it is time for a new leader.

Chesnes said he doesn’t just think Priore will fill Campbell’s shoes, but rather that Priore will ultimately supersede Campbell.

Likewise, senior finance major Jon Bryan thinks Priore is “an excellent candidate to be the next Ray.”

“Walking around campus, Joey P. knows at least one out of every three people, which is definitely a description of Ray as well,” Bryan said.

He believes Priore is closing in on Campbell.

Priore said he is not in it for the competition, though. He just wants to make music and have fun with his friends.

Priore believes that his and Campbell’s stories motivate others to get out there and make names for themselves by finding their own special talent and being the best at it.

“If you have a niche, something you enjoy and are good at, you have to just work so hard doing it,” Priore said. “People who are not in first place will be motivated by you to work harder, so you have to then work twice as hard. You have to stay in first place and make your success sustainable.”

Contact Kelsey Misbrener at [email protected].