Blue Hawk Records – Who They Are

Ever wanted your music to be featured on an album? Blue Hawk Records is the way to go! Monmouth is home to Blue Hawk Records, which is the student-run record label that hosts students bands or their own independent music. This electric club amplifies students’ voices so that they are heard across the world. This year’s featured artists are Amani Lillian, Michael Anthony Rocks, The Blackouts, Abby Garcia, Angela An, and Ruaa Khalifa, all bring a different flare to “Chapter XXIII,” the album’s title.

As the album is recorded throughout the semester, there are many different ways students can get involved in the club besides being a part of the album. Marley Bell, a sophomore music industry student, is one of the General Managers of the student-run record label. She explained, “This position allowed me to grow and become far more confident in the inner workings of the music industry and led to the creation of an incredible collection of music by Monmouth students.”

The album is recorded at Lakehouse Studio in Asbury Park, NJ. According to Bell, the album is recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered through this studio, creating a more personal and educational environment for those involved.

One artist featured on “Chapter XXIII” is Amani Lillian, a junior music industry student whose style falls under the Pop/R&B music categories. Her song, “Take Up Everything (oblivious),” is on the album. Within her music, she enjoys adding in tidbits of jazz, indie/alternative, rock, and singer-songwriter.
She commented, “I chose to audition for this semester’s Blue Hawk album because I truly felt like (and still feel like) I’m in a place of just saying yes to things I could have never imagined doing and really taking a chance on myself. I have always been pretty reserved when it comes to sharing my original music, but something in me just decided one day that that needed to change.”

Blue Hawk Records gives students a chance to try something new, especially with formally producing their own original music. Abby Garcia, a senior music industry student and president of Blue Hawk Records, is also featured on the album. Her song “213” is featured on “Chapter XXIII.”

She said, “My favorite music to listen to is indie and indie pop, such as Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams, Olivia Rodrigo, Holly Humberstone, etc., and my songs are a reflection of that. I love writing about anything I am going through in my life, and making songs that mean something. I work with amazing producers that I’ve met at Monmouth, Mike Viani and Max Wolf, and they always know how to make the emotion behind my songs come to life with production inspired by my favorite artists.”

A band featured on the album are The Blackouts. Alek Duriske, junior heath studies student and drummer for the band, commented, “We chose to be a part of Bluehawk records because it seemed like a great way to get involved and expand our experience within the music industry. It was a very positive experience for us and was great to be a part of a collaborative album with other artists.”

He continued, “The music we produce is heavily inspired by The Strokes, but we all put our ideas together and come up with our original tone. All the songs that we have written so far are unique as well as so much fun to play and can’t wait for everyone to hear more of what we have to put out!”

Blue Hawk Records also hosts other music events for anyone to participate. Last semester, they hosted a classroom concert for students to sing covers and their own music, but also build each other’s experience by performing to a crowd. This group of students builds connections with each other as they all share a passion for making music.

Joe Rapolla, the advisor to Blue Hawk Records, said, “It’s such a rewarding experience [as an advisor]. I love watching the album come together, from idea to a finished product, and seeing students find their strengths along the way. Students walk in not knowing what to expect, or how much work is involved in producing, promoting and releasing and album at a professional level. Artists get treated like artists. Songs take on life.”

He continued, “After being involved in Blue Hawk Records-related projects, students leave Monmouth prepared to have conversations with prospective employers or partners about how they can add value right out of the gate. That confidence is a real boost getting them started in the career of their passion.”

“Chapter XXIII” is available on all streaming platforms for anybody to listen, along with previous albums of Blue Hawk Records. For more information regarding Blue Hawk Records, their events, and when they meet, follow @bluehawkrecordsofficial on Instagram!