MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY’S BLUE HAWK RECORDS TO RELEASE FIRST EVER REMOTELY PRODUCED COMPILATION EP, “SWEET 16”.
Students to host Live Release Show on Instagram on May 6th, at 8p
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Over the past few weeks, student life at Monmouth University, and everywhere, has changed dramatically, due to COVID - 19. Like all other schools and universities across the country, Monmouth has moved to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. This led to the postponement and cancellation of many on-campus events and activities. It also required faculty and students to change the way the they conduct, and take classes. Essentially overnight, all classes moved to a virtual environment. That’s hard enough for lecture courses, but is especially challenging for studio and performance-based courses, with group projects.
However, despite the chaotic and tumultuous situation students found themselves, Blue Hawk Records carried on with its plans to release its 16th studio album, this semester. They innovated and found a way to remotely produce, promote and release the spring 2020 compilation EP, “Sweet 16”. A first for the student-run record label, as well as most major record labels.
The Record Label Strategies course at Monmouth is where students work together, under the direction of Professor Joe Rapolla, to release the Blue Hawk Records compilation EP each semester. This requires that students hold auditions, select artists, prepare them to record, develop marketing strategies, decide on artwork, and plan and produce a live event. It’s a significant amount of work under ordinary circumstances. But, with a shutdown requiring that everyone shelter-in-place, it presented unprecedented challenges.
Impressively, Monmouth students, rose to the challenge. Professor Rapolla continued to conduct live class meetings online, where the team devised a plan to accomplish all the required tasks remotely. With just one recording session able to be conducted, at Lakehouse Recording Studio in Asbury Park, before the shutdown, student managers and producers remotely worked with artists to record tracks in home or local studios. The tracks were then sent in to be mixed and mastered. All the while artwork was being designed, and online promotions were being executed to get people excited about the album. As in past semesters, the class partnered with Monmouth’s Professor Linh Dao’s art class to design the album art.
“The resilience of these students astounds me”, said Music and Theatre department chair, and Music Industry Program Director, Joe Rapolla. “Their spirit and commitment to the project, and each other is heartening. They will be able to apply this experience, in many different professional, and personal, situations their entire lives. That’s what most gratifying in all of this. Getting together with the students is the highlight of my workweek, and especially during this virus shutdown.”
Artists on “Sweet 16” include Monmouth students, Shadiyah, featuring Gabe Garcia, Nicole Totland, Bruce Davis, featuring Janae, Mikey Sanchez, Drew Fournier, and Monmouth alumni, Anya Schildge Angeloni ‘12M, along with an ensemble of accompanying student musicians and producers.
As music industry sophomore and Blue Hawk Records press coordinator, Ben Davis, puts it, “a lot of effort is being put in to make this album happen, and we know it will be worth it in the end.”
The only major change concerning the album is the cancellation of the planned on-campus release show at the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. However, this does not mean that there won’t be an event celebrating the release. This semester’s team will be hosting the first-ever Blue Hawk Records virtual release show, on the Blue Hawk Records Instagram page, on May 6th, at 8pm. “This way, music lovers from all over the world will be able to tune in to hear our artists, and what we’ve been working so hard on”, says Davis.
“Sweet 16” will be available for streaming on all digital platforms on May 8th.
You can find and follow Blue Hawk Records at @bluehawkrecordsofficial
For press inquiries, contact:
About Blue Hawk Records
Blue Hawk Records is Monmouth University’s student-run record label and music organization designed to provide music and hands-on experience for the students. Its mission is to equip music industry majors, as well as others in the University, with relevant, real-world experience and familiarize them with the typical workings of different occupations in the current music industry.
Blue Hawk Record label carries out the functions of a commercial recording company, with students holding all requisite roles and positions inherent in the corporate model. Students are able to capitalize on this specialized experience as they function in performing and recording, talent scouting, artist management, promotion, branding and development, and live music production.
Blue Hawk Records has released 15 compilation albums since its inception in 2013. It has active affiliations with major music industry organizations, such as Warner Music Group, the Music Business Association, and the GRAMMY Museum, and with notable Jersey Shore music scene organizations, including Lakehouse Music Academy and The Stone Pony, in Asbury Park.
Days Until Live Show
May 6th on Instagram Live @bluehawkrecordsofficial