An impulsive cursory search for Broad Street Records on Facebook tells me that they have posted two status updates in the past month, four links since last week and have about 280 fans to date. Another glance at the Personal Interests section informs me that they’re big fans of music, talent, creativity and Colgate University. It may not be much of a Facebook fan page, but these all seem to be important things that a fledging college record label truly needs.
“Broad Street Records is the first ever student-run record label at Colgate University,” senior Jake Epstein, one of the four founding members of Broad Street Records, said. “Our job is to connect various musicians on campus with each other and give them exposure. Promoting legitimate talent, specifically the talent of Colgate-based bands and artists, is our mission.”
Founded during the fall 2009 semester, Broad Street Records is the brand new brainchild of seniors Epstein, Collin McLoughlin (lead singer of musical group Fourté), Jake Musiker and Eli Raffeld (band members of musical group Jango Radley). After joking around about starting their own record label after graduation, the four finally made the decision to start on the dream a little earlier than expected.
“We all have a strong passion for music and making that our career seemed like an amazing concept,” Epstein said. “When we came back to school after being abroad in the spring, Collin approached Eli about starting a student-run record label. We jumped on it and three weeks later, we were an approved SGA organization.”
Named after the street in downtown Hamilton, Broad Street Records has access to the Case Library recording studio. Senior Garrington Spence, the producer mastermind of Fourté, is acting as the label’s resident producer, while SA Sound and WRCU guru senior Will Plaehn is acting as their technical advisor. The label plans to produce 1,000 copies of a collaboration CD this spring to distribute on campus, in which all participating Colgate bands will have one or two songs on the album. Their currently signed artists include the founding members’ own bands Fourté and Jango Radley, as well as Earthman Embassy, Velle Phyre, CRRABS, Caitlin Grossjung and Swagged Up Squad, in addition to several others. But Epstein is quick to note that any student musician is more than welcome to come to Broad Street Record meetings. All they have to do is e-mail them. The foursome is also working on getting an iTunesU account where their artists’ music can be downloaded for free on iTunes.
When the four are not in the studio recording music, they’re writing about it.
“Many of us write for the Broad Street Records Blog (broadstreetrecords.blogspot.com) where we update people on Colgate University concerts, artists and general pop culture information,” Epstein said. “We do features on up and coming artists, highlight especially good tracks and write reviews on new albums of all kinds.”
Next up for Broad Street Records is an opportunity to host GATESTOCK, an all-day celebration of Colgate culture, arts and music on April 17, thought up by sophomore Andy Peng, in which student musicians, bands, a capella and dance groups will all have the opportunity to perform on two different stages.
“After seeing the results of the CCLS [Campus Climate Survey], we feel Colgate is in dire need of such an event in order to provide some sense of unity among the Colgate student body,” Epstein said. “We feel that this will provide an opportunity for students to learn about their classmates and to see how talented many of them are in a care-free environment.”
The Broad Street Record label, though, isn’t all hard work and no play. According to Epstein, it’s the people that really make it worthwhile.
“My favorite part of working with Broad Street Records is the people involved who have all been really enthusiastic in the project. Colgate has so many talented musicians, but due to the general musically uninterested social scene here, they have very little exposure. We hope to change that and give them the exposure and fan-base that they all deserve.”
So far, they’re off to a great start.