University of Arkansas launches student-run record label

State News

The collaboration will give students real-world music industry experience.

The logo for the University of Arkansas’ new student-run record label, Hill Records, created by student Kenzie Klinkhamer.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.- The University of Arkansas announced Thursday its new student-run record label, Hill Records, will launch this fall.

University officials say this will give students access to a hands-on experience of the music industry.

According to a news release from the University of Arkansas, “This entrepreneurial, collaborative project will also function as a production and entertainment company, as well as a digital music industry platform to bridge the gap between higher education and the music and entertainment industry.

The U of A will be one of only about 20 institutions with student-run record labels in American higher education.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to explore innovative ideas in collegiate music education,” said Jake Hertzog, jazz area coordinator and one of the core faculty members involved in the label project. “As a research institution, we can model that multidisciplinary collaboration that is so essential in the music business.”

Students in the University of Arkansas’ music department rehearse for a performance.

Hill Records is an interdisciplinary effort led by faculty and staff from the U of A’s Department of Music, School of Art, Technology Ventures and Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department.

The student-run record label project, originally called “The 21st Century Music Industry: Imagining a New Role for Higher Education,” was one of nine inaugural initiatives selected to receive seed funding from the Chancellor’s Fund for Humanities and Performing Arts, according to university officials.

U of A Chancellor Joe Steinmetz formed the $1 million fund to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.

“Hill Records’ services will include recording projects, artist management, booking, music placement, merchandising, media campaigns, networking and more,” Hertzog said. “It will be a fantastic way for our students to get hands-on experience and learn this industry inside out, preparing them for successful careers and future ventures in music.”

According to Hertzog, the label will launch an open call for music submissions this fall for its first compilation release, and begin sharing digital content soon.

According to officials, participating recording artists will include U of A students, faculty and alumni, as well as Arkansas artists from every genre.

Hertzog will teach one of the record label-related courses this fall and plans to incorporate music industry advisors in both his class and the label.

Students from the School of Art’s graphic design program and from the music business-focused student group, MP3, developed logo designs and discussed the name before deciding on a logo created by Kenzie Klinkhamer and the name Hill Records.

John Lee, a senior at the university and president of the MP3 student group, said being part of Hill Records has been a great experience so far.

“I’m so excited about this giant step forward,” Lee said. “We are grateful to the amazing faculty that have provided us with guidance, the music department for being supportive of our vision, and the chancellor for empowering us to achieve this vision. By creating Hill Records, University of Arkansas is joining an elite group of colleges that provide their students with real-world experience and insight into this essential sector of the music and entertainment industries.”

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