The Student News Site of Ithaca College

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

New Student-Run Music Company Helps Artists Shine


Key Points

    • CollegeTown Records is a brand new student-run music company
    • The company started as just and idea and has grown into something huge
    • The goal is to expose artists to bigger record labels and help promote themselves

For CollegeTown Records founder Shanel Gray, music has been in her blood all her life. Between playing music and being around rhythms since her childhood, she felt it was only right to create a music company during her time at Ithaca College.
“There are so many great excurriculars in the Park School, I just wanted to add another opportunity for people interested in music,” she said.
CollegeTown Records is a student-run music production company that handles artists, their original music, and music videos. Their current roster consists of 5 artists.

Creating a Company

After taking inspiration from ICTV and WICB, Gray began the company in the spring of 2017 while working at Park Productions.

Photo of Kyra Skye
CollegeTown Records artist Kyra Skye during her artist photoshoot. Photo c/o CollegeTown Records

From there, she reached out and gathered about 12 other Park students interested in music and formed the company. Ranging from photographers to videographers to business majors, the tight-knit group has been promoting 5 artists under their company including Kyra Skye, Rilya, Suzannah Belle, and more.

Violinist, guitarist and multi-talented sophomore Skye said CTR is helping her grow creatively as an artist like never before. “I love working with other Park School students and seeing how they are able to see the musical art I’ve created and translate it into a visual medium.”

“It’s enriching to have conversations about our different creative processes.”

Not only that, but she said being a part of the company has opened her up to new creative outlets including making videos and producing.

Photo of Suzannah Belle
CollegeTown Records artist Suzannah Belle during her artist photoshoot. Photo c/o CollegeTown Records

“I’ve learned a lot about filming and how to create things from a visual perspective instead of an auditory one. I’ve also been able to produce beats for each of the artistry trailers so far and collaborate with other artists on the label. Everyone is so talented and great to work with.”

Gray said when she initially picked the artists to sign to the label in the beginning, it was a stroke of luck.

She said she simply stumbled upon some of the artists at their concerts on campus and were instantly hooked.

After attending the International Fashion show on campus she discovered Rilya and instantly realized the company needed her.

“She performed at the show and it was very very beautiful,” she said. “Her performance made me realize how much I truly do love music, I knew she had to be a part of this project at that time.”

Exposure, Exposure, Exposure

Gray said that one goal for the company is for exposure of the artists. “I have many ultimate goals for the company but one of my main is to send these artists within the company to existing record labels that are more well-known.”
Co-producer Vincent Streech who handles the business aspect of the company echoed the same message, explaining the goal of CTR is to act as a bridge to more prestigious music companies. “I create the budgets, help manage the artists work with contracts and essentially make sales pitches for each artist so were able to connect them to larger record labels,” he said.
“We take people with talent, refine it and connect them to people who can help them take off.”
Photo of Kyra Skye
Behind the scenes shot of Kyra Skye during her artist photoshoot. Photo by Elena Chang of CollegeTown Records

Gray said that her goal with creating her company was not only for the artist to thrive, but also the producers, photographers, and videographers.

“Another main goal of mine is to allow everyone to grow and learn,” she said. “It’s a learning experience for everyone and it’s definitely a goal of mine to get everyone ‘real world’ experience before entering the industry.”

Streech agreed, “After college I plan on running my own studio specializing in music video production so learning the buisness aspect right now is very helpful.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Ithaca Week

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ithaca College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Ithaca Week

Comments (0)

All Ithaca Week Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *