Guest post by Karina Barroso (UG ’17). We encourage feedback and commentary on all Student Outlook contributions. Leave a comment below or tweet us at @NYUMusicBiz.
Village Records had an extremely exciting semester this fall. With a solid list of previous artists the class has worked with in the past, we knew we wanted to work with another phenomenal act.
Village Records is a semester-long class that focuses on teaching students the ins-and-outs of what it means to run a record company. Village records does not release music, but the class focus our energies on other tasks like helping the artist create new content they can utilize to promote their music. Since the course only last a semester, we have to pick up where the last semester’s class left off. From the beginning, our class split into departments, which included Marketing, Press and PR, A&R / Label Management, and Product/ Content Management.
Early in the semester, Matt McDonald came to speak to give the class insight on effective A&R scouting at a festival. We then spent the week of CMJ attending showcases and scouting potential talent to work with for the semester. After spending CMJ hearing some of the coolest up-and-coming artists, our class chose Kevin Burke as the new Village Records artist. Kevin is a multi-instrumentalist from Long Island who has a really pure sound to pair with his honest writing. While getting to know Kevin, our class planned to shoot a video of a live performance, book time in Steinhardt’s Dolan recording studio to help him record a new track, and plan out the premiere of the video. We spend a good chunk of our time writing bios, designing EPKs, communicating with Kevin’s manager, pitching to press for coverage, and planning the shoot for the video. Though we ran into some trouble along the way, we managed to film an intimate performance of Kevin playing in NYU’s Kimmel Center, with a gorgeous view of Washington Square in the background. We also ended the semester with well-edited video clips for his social media, new coverage from blogs, and a professionally recorded song.
One thing our class learned from this experience is how much works goes into managing a label. Some of us never realize how tricky it is to find cinematographers and editors for films, know the best press to pitch to, and maintain good communication with a large group of people. It’s never easy stepping into a project where you have to limited time to work with an artist, but it definitely provided hands on experience of the industry for the entire class. Working with an artist like Kevin was a pleasure, and I can’t wait to see the work this next semester class does!