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.