Giving Music to the Community

Freshman Tyler Johnson sings with Black and Blue band members, sophomore Aaron Summers and senior Sam Gyllenhall at midnight meals. Photo by Jack Dodson.

Limelight Records, a student-run record label, has combined forces with WSOE radio station to bring attention to local talent. The label has signed nine artists, and is now trying to make the dreams of these musical talents a reality around campus.

“Most of the school year is being dedicated to make Limelight Records something concrete,” said Neima Abdulahi, Limelight Records manager. “We are looking at how to avoid future problems — there are a lot of speed bumps.”

Some of these speed bumps include  figuring out a way to sell albums that are recorded on the campus of a private school, determining who will be liable if equipment gets broken and creating a timeline for when products should be completed and promoted throughout the year.

The students involved with Limelight Records are trying to get the label running, and that means putting a 100 percent focus on a few goals.

“This year has been wild,” said junior Mike Margiotta, head of promotions for Limelight Records. “A lot goes into starting up a record label and we have spent most of our time this year working out all the details so we can be fully functioning for next year. Next year we hope to release a Limelight Records EP.”

One Limelight Record’s main goals is focusing on a spring show that is being organized with the help of SUB on April 19.

The musical talent was selected after an audition in December. After the auditions, the staff decided how many acts to take.

“I’d say we were too ambitious,” Abdulahi said. “Other schools take a maximum of three artists, and they’ve been established for three or four years. The hardest part will be getting them all recorded. We definitely do not have resources to do all of that this year.”

Video by Rebecca Smith. Abdulahi shares why she loves music.

Another goal Limelight Records hopes to accomplish this year is to record three professional-sounding singles.

“We are going to test the waters with this round of singles,” Abdulahi said. “We are going to offer free downloads to see the student interest.”

Black and Blue just recorded its first single with Limelight Records.

“On Wednesday, we recorded ‘Smoke in the McEwen recording studio with Bryan Baker,” said Sam Gyllenhaal, a band member. “‘Smoke’ is a fan favorite and fun to play live.  The song will grab you by the ears and take you to some grungy blues bar in Tennessee. At least that’s what we’re going for.”

One of Abdulahi’s personal goals is to see a rehearsal space be created in one of the buildings that will be constructed in the near future. She says student musicians will be able to perform better if they have a space they can reserve and play instruments as loud as they like.

Abdulahi said she created Limelight Records because she loved music and because she wants to give back.

“If it wasn’t for people who gave everything to me, I might not be here,” Abdulahi said. “I might not have considered college. I feel it is important to give back to the community and to music, and to give music to the community. Limelight doesn’t need to put the limelight on me.”

Video by Jack Dodson


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