OU’s Brick City Records Prepares For Spring Showcase

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Brick City Records, Ohio University’s student-run record label, will reveal music from their four signed artists on April 18 during their annual showcase at The Union.

The label hosts the showcase every April, giving their artists a chance to perform new work that was produced during the students’ year-long effort to run the label as part of a senior capstone course.

“It’s really the big thing for the whole year, and I think it’s going to be a really big effort from everyone this year,” said Michael Salopek, director of publicity for Brick City Records (BCR). “We have a lot of really good taste-makers in the label.”

The staff is focused on finishing music videos and press interviews for now, but plans for the showcase have started to form. They’ve decided they want a theme to tie the acts together, rather than a series of artists on stage, said De’Vaughn Williams, A&R Director for BCR.

Mungbean, an electronic musical duo signed to Brick City Records. (Submitted)

“Listening to the artists we’ve signed, it all makes sense together,” said Salopek. “I think we’re going to craft a good vibe around the whole thing. I feel like there’s a good, legitimate reason for why we booked each artist.”

All four artists signed with BCR this year have a different style and sound, providing variety for the label as well as for the end-of-year showcase. For example, The Emperor Chaz, a group based in Columbus, defines itself as a “neo-soul hip-hop band.”

“Emperor Chaz is, on the surface, a bunch of college kids making hip-hop music, but they are so artistically talented, and I have no idea what to expect from their EP,” Salopek said. “It’s going to be mind-blowing.”

Another artist on the lineup is September, a rapper and hip-hop artist from Cincinnati.

“September makes his own beats,” Salopek said. “He raps on them, he writes his own lyrics, and he really has a stye in hip hop that is big right now, but also still original to himself. It doesn’t sound like he’s just trying to do what everyone else is doing.”

The other artists working with BCR this year include Mungbean, an electronic duo from Columbus, and Ohio University student JRenee who Salopek said has an incredible, airy voice.

The Emperor Chaz, a self-described “neo-soul hip-hop band” that hails from Columbus that is signed to Brick City Records. (Submitted)

Williams said the process of signing an artist can be difficult, and Salopek agrees that running a real record label can be a challenge, especially when students get minimal help from professors. Though Brick City Records serves as the capstone class for the music industry recording major, Williams say their professor takes a hands-off approach.

“For the most part [the professor] lets us do our own thing,” said Williams. “Like, he specifically says it’s your label; I’m just here to help.”

Williams said BCR is excited to share their artists with the public in April. He said that after working with the artists for so long they have developed a bond with all of them.

“It’s hard to say which artist you’re the most excited about,” he said. “I just can’t wait for other people to hear them.”