Basement Records recognizes and fosters student talent

December 2, 2016

While some people dream of becoming the next big name in the music industry, Avi Hirshbein ’19 is more interested in the behind the scenes work. Last year he created Basement Records, a music platform at Brandeis in which students work together to have their talent recognized and allow it to grow.

So far this year’s efforts have been put into producing new music. Earlier this month “Marz,” a song by Maegann Stafford ’19, produced by Bethel Adekogbe ’20, was released on Soundcloud. “Upwrite” is a song in the works that features Michael Harlow ’19 on the grand piano and Marcelo Brociner ’18, also known as Celo, as the lyricist. Usually a computer is the only instrument used to make a song. But for this track a microphone was taken to Slosberg to record the crisp rich sound that only a real piano can produce, said Hirshbein.

A new film crew has been put together to work on music videos, said Hirshbein. A sessions video, featuring Brian Rauch ’19, Acia Gankin ’19 and Harlow playing a mash up of “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and “i hate you, i love you” by gnash, can be found on Basement Record’s Facebook page, along with all of its other projects.

Early this November, Basement Records became a chartered club, which means it will receive more funding from the university. The extra funding, Hirshbein said, will be used for recording equipment, marketing and music events.

Basement Records is usually described as a record label, according to Hirshbein. However, no one is signed to nor works for Basement Records, he asserted. It is just a resource available to any student on campus who wants to collaborate or produce music. “We provide a pedestal for aspiring students,” noted Hirshbein.

More students have been getting involved with Basement Records this year, according to Hirshbein. “I love how every artist has their unique style,” he said.

This past summer Hirshbein interned with a small record label in Los Angeles. From that experience he has enhanced his knowledge on legal processes, music marketing and how to attract listeners, all of which helped him redefine the club this year. However, according to Hirshbein, running Basement Records has been the greatest learning experience. He has been learning about the music business by managing the organization. However, Brandeis does not offer a major in music business. “I would have to major in music and business,” he said.

Avi Hirshbein founded Basement Records last year due to the lack of a modern music scene and network between student musicians at Brandeis. He expressed, “I saw a vacancy and decided to fill it.” A couple of major accomplishments from last year include Basement Records’ debut song, “No Games,” and a concert at Chums with WBRS showcasing student musicians. “No Games” is a rap song by Makalani Mack ’16 featuring Celo, which can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and Facebook.

Hirshbein strives to help others with their music creatively. “What I’m trying to get out of it is not only experience, but also the satisfaction of helping others in the medium of music,” which Hirshbein described as his top priority.

His mission, he said, is to take the music students are making from their dorms to the public and to the next level. When “No Games” was released, Hirshbein exclaimed that he had friends and listeners all over the country complimenting him on his work. “We brought Brandeis to the world. People in other schools are listening to us. That’s pretty dope,” Hirshbein boasted.

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