[Matt Moloney/unsplash]

Student’s DIY Record Label

00:00 May 04, 2012
By: Kristal Blue
[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Loyola Seniors Start Local Chinquapin Rrecords

In the current economic climate, opportunities for entrepreneurship would seem to be dwindling. in this current day and age when intellectual property law has yet to be reconciled with how intellectual property is used online, one would expect for there to be little hope for young musicians hoping to make it today. Yet in spite of a dwindling music market this recession there are those who make their own opportunity.

At Loyola University, a group of Music industry Major seniors are currently running Chinquapin records, a collection of local music artists based around the music scene that has been fostered at Loyola University, featuring the acts Caddywhompus, Chris rehm, DtH, Glish, Munchausens, native america, and sun Hotel.

Chinquapin records is a gathering of friends and musicians made possible only by the unique environment at Loyola's Music industry curriculum, run by John snyder, a veteran Jazz producer who has championed the program since 2004. Many independent musical acts have come out of the Loyola's Music industry program, such as MynameisJohnMichael, Big rock Candy Mountain, and G-eazy. sun Hotel, which is separated by a few years from the aforementioned bands, was the starting point of Chinquapin records, giving the band an outlet to release music and organize tours. acting as a support system for sun Hotel and Caddywhompus, Chinquapin has added several acts associated with the songwriting of specific members of these two bands.

the common impression many have of the music industry is based around artists and bands singing on major record labels. Musicians tend to be kept on a very short leash, expected to turn out hit after hit and when they stop performing well in sales, they are dropped from the label. With a tendency for short-lived acts to burn out when the label support stops, many think that a lasting career in music writing and performance is impossible.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

However, the Music industry program at Loyola equips students to break away from this outdated model of music business.

The Music industry program instills its students with a DiY work ethic, a program centered around building up a business around a band or artist through branding. the program is balanced between more technical recording work and music-oriented business classes, the culmination of which is the senior seminar, the final class offered prior to graduation. this class gives each student an entire semester to present a unique business model. this project often becomes the business plan used by many of the graduating seniors as they embark upon their music careers.

The business plan is focused not on the idea that artists will write their one big "hit," but that they will build on constant and consistent successes on the road and through merchandising. in a world where much of the music is shared online for free through online communities, the effort in monetization is shifted away from the album itself and towards more unique products such as vinyl records (or cassette tapes in the case of the Chinquapin band, Glish). these unique physical products now have value because they can't be copied from computer to computer for free. these antique recordings, which many would think have died but remain with us for their novelty and unique properties during playback, are then sold not only online but at shows... and Chinquapin records always has a show.

Every other weekend, Chinquapin records has artists playing a show—locally or on the road. Chinquapin even scored a gig doing a showcase at this year's sXsW in texas, hosting performances during the week of the music conference.

One of the staple events of Chinquapin records is the "Chindig," which is exactly what it sounds like—a party. During a "Chindig," which can last from just one night to an entire weekend, Chinquapin puts together a lineup of the best bands they can find for an unforgettable experience.

Second to touring, the next most impressive aspect of Chinquapin records is the well organized and very polished online presence that they hold. Chinquapin records has a presence on each major social networking and media site, in addition to a central website. each artist on this website not only selected music tracks to stream, but also has their music available to purchase. each part of the website allows visitors to easily push their content to their own profiles on Facebook and twitter. the sheer amount of connectivity is overwhelming, and is responsible for the modest success that Chinquapin enjoys.

In the end, everything about these bands revolves around getting fans to the shows. the cash made from shows and merchandising allows for the bands to then pour money back into equipment and recordings, which become the advertising for the next show. everything is DiY. it's a cycle which has allowed for the steady and gradual success of these bands, built from their own work as they begin to reach for a long and lasting success during times when most try hard just to stay afloat.

Visit http://chinquapinrecords.com for show updates, downloadable music, videos and more.

Read reviews of sun Hotel's latest album, Gifts, and Glish's Blast Off! in our Music reviews column on page 34.

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