Author: Hannah Clyne ‘19
Blue Hawk Records’ Applied Music Industry II Class is proud to announce that Monmouth University President Grey Dimenna will be featured on its upcoming album, After Midnight, which is scheduled for release on April 18. Dimenna, a budding guitar player, said he was thrilled to be included in the project. “Blue Hawk Records is one of the coolest student activities. I have several of the CDs they have released and am always amazed at the quality of the music and the professionalism of the production.,” Dimenna said.
The groundbreaking album, which marks the 12th release for Blue Hawk Records, includes the first cover song in the history of the student-run record label, J.J. Cale’s “After Midnight.” The song, which became a breakthrough hit for Eric Clapton in 1970, is also the name of the spring album. Dimenna said that he was extremely honored that students asked him to play on the titled track. Recorded with Dimenna on guitar at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park, N.J., the cover song is a collaboration between Monmouth University faculty, and members of the Music Industry program.
Photo by: Anthony Deprimo
Joe Rapolla, chair of Monmouth’s Music and Arts Department, said that Dimenna’s involvement with the project exemplified the core values of a Monmouth University education. “Our students always hear about our commitment to a personalized education experience. Having President Dimenna contribute to the record is a terrific example of our commitment in action,” Rapolla said. “Our chief executive was learning right alongside our students in one of the most legendary centers of music in America,” Rapolla added.
In the weeks prior to the recording session, two members of the Applied Music Industry class, Antonio Gonzalez and Zack Sandler, prepped President Dimenna for the session. “President Dimenna has a great passion for music and learning how to play the guitar. What other University President do you know that does a photoshoot on his motorcycle wearing a leather jacket?" Sandler said. “After we finished each guitar lesson, President Dimenna would go home and practice his parts. He even took his guitar on the road when traveling with the school’s basketball team so that he could perfect his part.” Sandler participated in the recording session and was thrilled to work with President Dimenna and all members involved.
The class is in the final stages of preparing for the release of the album, which includes five original songs; “Hold on Close” by Brianna Scangarello, “P. T. L” by FRANCESCA, “Live it Up” by Brad Kraft, “Give Up” by Wynward, “All on U” by Shadiyah Jai and Carlos Forde, along with the cover of “After Midnight.” The formal release show is scheduled for April 18, starting at 2:45pm, on Monmouth’s Residential Quad.
Author: Jenna Hawryluk '20
Leading up to Blue Hawk Records twelfth compilation album "After Midnight", the Blue Hawk team will be holding an exclusive listening party to commemorate the album this Wednesday, April 11th at 7pm. The listening party will be graciously hosted at The Outpost in Asbury Park, a brand new space designed as a contemporary "rest-stop" for international touring musicians. The album itself will feature all the original songs from the artists, and an special cover of Eric Clapton’s “After Midnight,” recorded with help from Monmouth University’s own President Dimenna. The listening party will take place at The Outpost in Asbury Park, NJ an entire week before the album is officially out on the 18th. People attending will be able to experience our twelfth album in an intimate and exciting way. You will be able to experience how the artists auditioned acoustically, and how the songs were developed into what you hear on the album.
“I’m looking forward to it. It seems like a great opportunity to casually connect with everybody behind BHR outside of the academic and professional interactions. I’m especially excited to hear the artists’ music so that I can see how well their hard work and talent has paid off for them” -Brad Kraft (After Midnight Artist).
The album features FRANCESCA and her song “P. T. L”, Brad Kraft with “Live it Up”, Bri Scangarello with “Hold on Close”, Wynward and their song “Give It Up”, and a special collaborative effort by Shadiyah Jai, Carlos Forde, and Drew Fournier with their song “All On U”. Every artist had the opportunity to record their originals in the prestigious Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park, and all produced an amazing addition to the album. All artists will be in attendance at the listening session, and are excited to have their work be finally put into the world.
“We’re excited to be apart of the After Midnight compilation and we’re looking forward to hearing music from the other acts.” -Wynward (After Midnight Artists)
“I'm excited for the listening party! I think it's going to be really cool to have everyone together hearing what came out of all the hard work and long nights everyone put in to make this album. This was such a cool journey to be a part of; I can't wait to hear how it turned out!” -Bri Scangarello (After Midnight Artist)
The Listening Party will be held from 7pm-9pm and will have refreshments for all our guests. Join us at #OutpostCity in Asbury Park at 200 Cookman Avenue, and make sure to RSVP to the event on our Facebook page (Blue Hawk Records). You can click the button below to get to the event page easily. For all other updates, make sure to follow us on twitter, snapchat instagram, and more to be apart of our journey leading up to April 18th!
Author: Katie Coffman '20
Last semester, Blue Hawk Records released their 11th compilation album entitled Volume 11. The album featured 5 artists and included everything from singer songwriters to full bands. Each of these artists had an amazing opportunity to grow as a musician and an individual by being on the album. Now that it has been almost an entire semester since the release, I decided to meet up with each artist and ask some questions about how the experience of being on the album has impacted them.
Volume 11 cover art by Nicole Govel
I had the pleasure of speaking first to Kristin Wilczewski, who performed the song “I Break Free” on the album. Kristin says that “By being on Volume 11, I have grown more confident in my music, and more excited to release my own original material. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many other talented people who all supported each other. Getting to record my very own song at Lakehouse was unreal and gave me a glimpse at how amazing it feels to being in an environment where everyone is there for you and encourages you as an artist and a person overall. Without a doubt, it has been one of the best experiences I've had in my musical career thus far”.
Kristin definitely has not wasted the opportunity of being on the album, and says she has learned how serious the industry really is. She noticed how much work went into recording, producing, and promoting the album, and has used that to propel her career forward. Since the release, she had played with some of her talented friends (Ciano Cioffi, Joe Vena, Ava Panza, John Zajac, Sam Novotny, Emily MacMahon, and her sister Elizabeth Wilczewski) from School of Rock East Brunswick at the Volume 11 showcase which took place at Asbury Park's House of Independents in December. Recently, she has been performing in an adult cover-band called Twitch, who will be performing at Our House Restaurant (420 Adelphia Road Farmingdale, NJ) on Saturday April 7th around 7:30pm with a Classic-Rock set and some acoustic songs. Make sure you follow her on social media on her Instagram music account (@kristenwilczewskimusic), Facebook music page at "Kristen Wilczewski" (or @kristenwilczewskimusic), her SoundCloud "Kristen Wilczewski", as well as her YouTube page "Kristen Wilczewski".
The 5 artists featured on Volume 11
Next, I had the honor of interviewing Jacke Tripp. He says that “Getting the opportunity to work with everything that Blue Hawk records offers, like recording in Lakehouse studios and performing at the House of Independence was a really fun experience and only inspired me to continue working on music”. He noted that seeing the “intricate parts” of the industry really opened his eyes and only made him want to be more of a part of the it. Since the release of his song “Bliss” on Volume 11, he has released two more singles; “Onto the Next One” and “Nights Never Change” featuring Indy. Jacke mentioned that he plans on releasing another single before the end of the semester, and this Sunday April 8th, Jacke will be performing at the Battle of the Charities from 12-4 at Monmouth University Shadow Lawn. Tickets are $5, and all proceeds will be given to 10 different non-profit organizations. Jacke is on Facebook as “Jacke Tripp”, Instagram (@Jacketrippmusic), and Soundcloud!
Next, I had the amazing opportunity to interview Ray Laux from the band Malibu. Malibu performed their debut single “Brighter Blue” on the album. He said that Lakehouse Studios was such a professional environment that they loved recording their first single there. Since the release, they have put out two more singles independently. Ray says that they have done alright, but “Brighter Blue” has been their most successful song so far. He credits his bandmates with a lot of that positive feedback from their first single, saying they really hit the ground running with a lot of great promotion. Their new single “Broken Line” is being released today, April 6th, on all digital music platforms! You can see Malibu perform live at the Semi-Final round of Stone Pony's Rock To The Top Competition on April 29th! For more information, check out the band on social media. The band is on Facebook (@MalibuNJ), Twitter (@MalibuBandNJ), and Instagram (@MalibuNJ)!
The final two artists will be talked about in part 2 of this blog post, which will be posted next week! Check back next week to catch up on The Nooks and Tim DiDomenico.
Author: Jenna Hawryluk ‘20
When the Applied Music Industry II class at Monmouth University held auditions for the twelfth Blue Hawk Records compilation album, they were excited to select five different talented students to be a part of the record. It was then that they met Francesca. She is one of the lucky artists to be featured on the twelfth album entitled After Midnight. Francesca is currently an English and Creative Writing major, graduating from Monmouth University in 2020. With a passion for music, she auditioned for the student-run record label and blew everyone away.
Her original song, “Post Traumatic Love,” will be featured on After Midnight, and she is very excited for people to hear her work. This is not her first musical endeavor, as she has been working on an independent EP which is on track to release in the Spring of 2018. Last Wednesday night on Monmouth University’s radio station, WMCX, Francesca gave listeners an acoustic first listen to her song, “Post Traumatic Love”. It is a strong addition to Blue Hawk Records' compilation album, and Francesca’s beautiful and unique voice will certainly speak for itself on the record.
Photo By Shannon Lawrence ‘19
Francesca draws most of her inspiration from empowered female artists who have made names for themselves by being original. Amongst her plentiful inspirations are Amy Winehouse, Selena, and Donna Summer. She also gives credit to her mother for shaping her into the artist that she is now.
The Blue Hawk Records team has been working hard to develop Francesca alongside the other compilation artists including: Brianna Scangarello, Wynward, Brad Kraft, and the collaboration between Shadiyah Belton, Drew Fournier and Carlos Flores. The recording process is beginning this week, and the Blue Hawk team will be heading into the first studio session THIS Wednesday, February 28th at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park. After Midnight will be available digitally on April 18th, with a record release show starting at 2:45pm on Monmouth University's Residential Quad on release day. To follow our journey as we make this record, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook. For free SMS updates, you can text BHR to 882-02 to receive updates instantly!
Author: Hannah Clyne ’19
West Long Branch, New Jersey. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, The Blue Hawk Records Applied Music Industry II class hosted auditions for their Twelfth Compilation album. The turnout at Woods Theatre was large, ultimately making the final decision extremely difficult, but by the end of the night, the class was able to choose five artists to feature on their newest album. The artists, all of various majors and years, include Brianna Scangarello, Wynward, Brad Kraft, Francesca Longiro, and collaborative act Shadiyah Belton, Drew Fournier and Carlos Flores!
Photo By: Shannon Lawrence’19
The chosen artists will be recording each of their songs at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park, New Jersey and for some, this will be their first experience in the studio. Brianna Scangarello, pictured above, will be recording her song “Hold on Close.” “I was honestly really nervous to audition, but my friends in the band Malibu, who were on the Blue Hawk Records’ Volume 11 Compilation Album, were also playing with me, so that definitely helped calm the nerves” said Bri. “It was such a fun experience, and when I got the call that I made it onto the album, I started jumping and screaming from excitement. Everyone in Blue Hawk Records is really cool and great to work with and I’m so excited and grateful that I get the opportunity to learn more about the industry, while doing something I love, alongside some really great people.”
In the upcoming weeks, Blue Hawk Records’ A&R and management teams will be working with each artist in order to prepare them for their recording sessions and upcoming performances. The class will also be working all semester long with Joe Rapolla, the Chair of the Music and Arts Department at Monmouth University, to prepare for the album release.
The 12th album is on track to be released on Wednesday, April 18th and a celebratory release show will be held on the same day on the Residential Quad starting at 2:45pm! To stay up to date with Blue Hawk Records’ Album 12, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For even more updates, text BHR to 882-02 to receive updates straight to your phone!
Author: Rachel Disipio '20
Monmouth University’s student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, will hold it's first public showcase at House of Independents in Asbury Park, NJ on December 8th to celebrate the release of their 11th compilation album, Volume 11.
“This is the kind of initiative we want our students to take,” says director of Monmouth’s music industry program, Joe Rapolla. “House of Independents is an important new venue in the vibrant Asbury Park music scene. Producing and marketing shows in a professional capacity, applying the skills and training they get at the university, and showcasing their talent adds to our students’ real-world experiences that equip them for life after Monmouth.”
Artists performing in the showcase include the five acts featured on Volume 11: Indie-Rock bands The Nooks and Malibu, soulful soloists Tim DiDomenico and Kristen Wilczewski, and pop/R&B lyricist Jack "Jacke Tripp" Haber. Pop-punk band The Carousers, and solo artist Antonio Gonzales, both acts that were featured on past compilation albums, will also make an appearance in the Blue Hawk showcase.
Album Cover Art by Nicole Govel '18
Each single on Volume 11 was recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park, as per their partnership with Monmouth University and Blue Hawk Records. “Recording at Lakehouse is such a privilege,” says senior Olivia Rohlfs of The Nooks. “My band was granted access to one of the best recording studios in the state all because the Blue Hawk team sees potential in our original music.”
Volume 11, whose title is inspired by the cult-classic movie, Spinal Tap, will be available for streaming and digital download on December 6th. Monmouth students are invited to attend a release show held in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center at 2:45 PM that day. Tickets for the House of Independents showcase are available for $8 on House of Independents’ website and can be purchased the day of show for $10. A portion of the proceeds will support student programming.
Author: Ryan Anderson '19
Working both as a General Manager and A&R consultant for Blue Hawk Records this semester has been a rewarding experience to say the least! It all happens in the classroom. The energy from the students has been radiant, and much more prevalent than last year. We cover it all, from graphic design, to organizing a street team, and coordinating a digital marketing strategy. We also have a phenomenal teacher who pushes us in the right direction while giving us space to do what we do best.
The Applied Industry III class chooses and prepares artists for Lakehouse Recording Studios by self-producing their demos with Blue Hawk Studio on campus. This extra preparation sets them up for success when it's their time to record in the state-of-the-art studio. This studio is extremely well-known in the area, has an incredible collection of equipment accessible for our use, and is even where Lorde has recorded in the past.
Once we have completed the recording process with all the chosen Monmouth University artists, we have the final cd's pressed for physical sale, and also organize their digital distribution. At the end of the semester, we run on and off-campus shows where the semester's artists are showcased and we can promote our merchandise and discography.
Being a part of Blue Hawk has been great. I love working one-on-one with artists, as well as working on marketing and overseeing all the different aspects that make "Volume 11" such an anticipated release.
Author: Mark Rodriguez '20
Over the past few weeks, I have had the wonderful experience of bringing our Volume 11 artists to Monmouth's on-campus radio station, WMCX (88.9 FM). Every Wednesday night from 10-12pm, Blue Hawk Records takes over the campus radio station for our own segment, "Blue Hawk Talk". Our great collective of singers and bands for this upcoming compilation are constantly preparing for recording and performing. In fact, many of the artists have already gone to the studio to record their tracks this semester. However, these radio shows allow our audience to see a different side of these artists. Not only musicians, these charismatic people also like to talk and have fun.
I’ve started incorporating more talk-show elements into the show since the beginning of this season. For example, my new “rapid-fire“ question segment has been a hit so far with the guests. These range from opinion questions about music and arts, to silly questions such as “what’s your favorite type of cheese?” My favorite part of running this show is the opportunity I get to pick the artist’s brains on all these different topics.
Our artists and I have also been collaborating on making their own “artist picks” Spotify playlists which get played live on-air. Each artist has had a different feel to their playlist, from Malibu’s Alternative-Rock hit-focused playlist to Jacke Tripp’s modern Hip-Hop and R&B collection. This allows for our show to appeal to a wider demographic of music listeners and hopefully make more people fans of Blue Hawk Records. Each artist also plays one or two songs live on air, including each artist’s original song for the compilation in production. Listeners caught a live rendition of The Nooks’ “Bulldog’s Cage” and Tim DiDomenico’s “Random Words” on the show in October.
The talk show is a ton of fun, and we are going to have our final artist, Kristen Wilczewski, on during the month of November Keep tuning in every Wednesday night from 10-12pm, folks! Click the WMCX logo below to go to their website where you can listen to the live broadcast. Don't be afraid to call in either! Drop us a line at 732-571-3493.
Author: Rachel Disipio '20
Students from various majors made their way over to Woods Theatre last Wednesday, Sept. 11, where Monmouth University’s Music Industry III class held open auditions for aspiring artists and bands to be a part of Blue Hawk Record’s eleventh compilation album.
This semester's auditions had one of the biggest turnouts to date, with almost 20 artists in attendance. So much talent came through the doors, but in the end, only 5 artists were chosen to be featured on the compilation album, on track to release December 6th.
After extensive deliberation, the managers of this Blue Hawk Release hand-picked just five artists and bands who brought an abundance of musical talent and uniqueness to the table. A lot of young talent proved themselves during audition process. Jacke Tripp, Kristen Wilczewski, and band that call themselves Malibu, are all freshmen students at Monmouth University. The final two artists on the album are Junior Tim DiDomenico, and returning Blue Hawk veterans, The Nooks.
The Nooks will be recording their song, “Bulldog’s Cage” for Volume 11 once again at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park. The studio is a state of the art facility that has worked with large names in the industry like Lorde and NJ natives, The Front Bottoms. Lead singer of The Nooks Amanda McTigue said, “We are so gracious for the opportunity to be a part of another Blue Hawk Records compilation album.” Olivia Rohlfs, a Senior who plays ukulele, bass, and provides backup vocals for the band, continued, “We plan to make the most out of this experience just as we did last year. It’s really going to be a great record.”
Guiding the Music Industry III class along with the album release is Department Chair, Joe Rapolla, who has taught the course a number of times since he began teaching at Monmouth University in 2013. “I have so many expectations for this Music Industry III class. My goal is for the students to apply what they learned and experienced last semester when we created our tenth compilation album Hang Ten and take it to a whole other level while innovating and incorporating new ideas. The music industry is always evolving, and it’s doing so in such a dynamic way. We take the information the industry gives us and integrate it into everything we do,” Rapolla said.
The industry class is busy preparing for the upcoming weeks filled with promotion, recording, and marketing. Blue Hawk Records plans on having several promotional shows throughout the semester in addition to an official album release show on December 6th in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center from 2:45-4:30! You won't want to miss this.