From a Spotify playlist to a backyard set, student musicians at Georgetown University continue to perfect their craft across campus. Prospect Records, a new musician-focused management club on campus, aims to help these aspiring artists broaden their reach across Georgetown and into Washington, D.C.
Prospect Records was founded as a club earlier this year by Kevin Pollack (SFS ’21), Matt O’Brien (MSB ’21) and Jack Colavita (COL ’21) with the aim of advancing the profile of student artists on campus. They each wanted to merge their love of music with their passion for finding and discovering new artists.
(Full Disclosure: Colavita previously served as a Guide staff writer)
Although the label is not yet university-recognized, it has begun the process to become an official club and receive university funds. The label also works closely with groups on social media platforms like the Georgetown University Collective of Creative Individuals on Facebook to promote student musicians.
These groups aim to foster easier collaboration and raise musical awareness on campus, while also providing an environment for the cultivation of their craft. However, these resources are not as prominent as they should be, according to Pollack, president of Prospect Records.
“Our initial idea was that we felt like there are tons of kids on campus that want to be more involved in the arts, but there wasn’t just any one centralized way for them to get out into the world,” Pollack said in an interview with The Hoya.
Aspiring musicians often struggle to effectively promote their own music independently as posts on social media groups like GUCCI and word-of-mouth often do not suffice, according to Andrew Berg (MSB ’21), a Prospect Records team member.
“People post their SoundCloud links in there and it just gets lost and no one will ever listen to it,” Berg said in an interview with The Hoya.
However, Prospect Records does not operate like a record label. Instead, it seeks to function more as a support system aiming to propel students who seek careers in music, according to Berg.
“We understand it’s hard enough to sit in your dorm room, put off your homework and try writing lyrics for something that no one might ever hear,” Berg said. “So why not just stick to that and have someone else worry about the marketing, know that there are other kids on campus who want you to do well and would like your music to be out there.”
The team at Prospect Records reaches out to musicians who it finds through the GUCCI Facebook page or at live performances like open mics, Battle of The Bands and the Guild of Bands, which are events across the neighborhood that put forth new Georgetown student artists.
Prospect Records’ reach remains limited because it is a new club on campus, but they are heavily working with one student musician, according to Berg.
“We’re working primarily with this one artist right now, Andrew Beck, and we’re hoping to get five or six songs recorded, but it will all be shot and recorded live somewhere,” Berg said.
Beck (MSB ’21) was recently introduced to the club when Pollack approached him after class and offered promotional help with his music career. Musical talents are best showcased when collaborating with people who know more about the business side of the industry, according to Beck.
“I can’t be a legitimate musician without cool promotion, but it’s really not my area of expertise,” Beck wrote in an email to The Hoya. “I’m super excited that people who really know what they’re doing are helping me out in this area. It’s definitely going to let me focus a lot more on the music.”
Although Prospect Records has high hopes for its collaboration with Beck, it has been struggling to find people with access to equipment and tangible ways to support artists at this early stage, according to Pollack.
“Because of the club’s lack of university funding, there are only a couple of projects that we’re working on,” Pollack said. “It’s been difficult recruiting people who are interested in helping out, finding spaces, and finding artists who want the help and need it.”
As students become more aware of the importance of marketing within music, Prospect Records seeks to continue to grow and represent more artists in the future, even in the face of these challenges, according to Berg.
“Much like everything else in the entertainment world, you don’t need to have any background in music production for you to find some use in this club,” Berg said.