Last updateWed, 21 Apr 2021 3pm

Club & Greek

Blue Hawk Records to Release First Ever Remotely-Produced Compilation Album

default article imageOver the past few weeks, student life at Monmouth University has changed dramatically due to COVID-19. The move to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester has 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 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.

However, despite the tumultuous situation, Blue Hawk Records carried on with its plans to release its 16th compilation album, titled Sweet 16, this semester. They innovated and found a way to remotely produce, promote and release the album, which was 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 to release a new compilation album each semester under the direction of Joe Rapolla, Specialist Professor, Chair of the Music and Theatre Department, and Music Industry Program Director. This requires that students hold auditions, select artists, prepare them for recording, develop marketing strategies, choose the 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, 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. After just one recording session conducted before the shutdown at Lakehouse Recording Studio in Asbury Park, student managers and producers worked remotely with artists to record tracks in home or local studios. The tracks were then sent in to be mixed and mastered while artwork was being designed and online promotions were executed. As in past semesters, the class partnered with Specialist Professor Linh Dao’s art class to design the album art.

“The resilience of these students astounds me,” said 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’s 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 students Shadiyah featuring Gabe Garcia, Nicole Totland, Bruce Davis featuring Janae, Mikey Sanchez, Drew Fournier, and alumna Anya Schildge-Angeloni ‘12. The album will be available for streaming on all digital platforms on Friday, May 8.

Ben Davis, a sophomore music industry student and Press Coordinator for Blue Hawk Records, said, “A lot of effort is being put in to make this album happen, and we know it will be worth it in the end.”

A major change concerning the album is the cancellation of the on-campus release show, originally scheduled to take place at the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. However, this semester’s team will be hosting the first ever Blue Hawk Records virtual release show on their official Instagram page (@bluehawkrecordsofficial) on Wednesday, May 6 at 8 pm.

“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,” said Davis.

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151