AEMMP Records to showcase talent at SXSW


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AYOH, a band in the college’s student-run record label AEMMP Records, performed March 3 at Reggie’s Rock Club, 2105 S. State St., for AEMMP’s kickoff event that raised awareness for the label’s trip to this year’s South by Southwest film, music and live performance festival in Austin, Texas.

By Associate Editor

To flaunt their music industry knowledge and apply classroom skills in the real world, Columbia students will run one of the many shows at South by Southwest, the nation’s largest annual film, music and live performance festival.

The Business & Entrepreneurship Department is sending 100 students to the festival March 18–22 in Austin, Texas. This will be the department’s sixth year attending the international event.

Students who are currently enrolled in the department’s five practicum courses will attend the festival to apply skills learned in class at one of the largest industry events of the year, said Alexander Fruchter, an adjunct professor in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department who instructs the hip-hop label in the AEMMP Record practicum course. AEMMP Records, the college’s student record label, has rented Bat Bar, a lounge in Austin, to showcase its six-hour March 19 event where both the hip-hop and rock artists will perform.

“South by Southwest is a great learning experience because it offers [students] a chance to do what they are doing outside of a controlled environment, like the Columbia classroom or what they are doing in their comfort zone,” Fruchter said. “But they still get to go with somewhat of a safety net of all their instructors being there, all their peers being there, people still guiding them and helping them. So they get the best of both worlds.”

The AEMMP and club management practicum classes hosted a kickoff event March 3 at Reggie’s Rock Club, 2105 S. State St., where AEMMP Records artists performed to raise awareness about the trip and promote the label’s artists. Chad Nelson, an adjunct professor in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department who teaches the rock label of the AEMMP practicum course, said the event was a success in raising awareness about AEMMP and its artists, adding that it was a positive collaboration for the three practicum classes. 

Nelson, who will be attending SXSW for the 10th time, said he hopes students take advantage of the industry conferences and panels they will have access to at the festival. 

“Students get the opportunity to sit in these panel discussions and listen to industry professionals who have made long and successful careers in the industry speak on a number of topics,” Nelson said. “Students are granted a certain amount of access that they really wouldn’t have in any other regard.”

Nelson said he has seen former students get internships and jobs through networking at SXSW, and he hopes students come back from the festival with industry-standard skills.

“It’s really awesome that the college continues to do this,” Nelson said. “I think back to when I was in college, and it would be amazing to have this sort of opportunity. It’s invaluable for students to have this opportunity as part of their curriculum.”

Philippe Ravanas, chair of the Business & Entrepreneurship Department, said he is also going to the festival because he wants to see the magnitude of students’ accomplishments.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to meet first-rate professionals of the music industry,” Ravanas said. “Most of the students who are going with us are juniors and seniors, so they are in this crucial time where building those bridges to the industry is absolutely essential for their future.”

Ravanas said he hopes all students attending the event learn valuable industry principles and are able to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real situations at SXSW. He said the department has also been connecting with attending alumni to invite and collaborate with them at the AEMMP showcase and throughout the festival.

Kawaun Moore, a junior business & entrepreneurship major and student in the AEMMP hip-hop practicum, said he and his peers looked for original performers with good content when booking artists for the showcase in Austin. Moore, who is attending SXSW for the first time this year, said he is looking forward to attending panels at the festival and engaging with industry professionals.

“[SXSW] is great for networking because you meet people from different places across the country,” Moore said. “It’s great exposure with a lot of industry people. Columbia students can really benefit from partaking because of all the great artists that come and give great shows.”