Aspiring artists unite with Aztec Music Group

by Denise Chang, Staff Writer

In a saturated music industry, aspiring artists usually have one major challenge besides working on their own art: promoting it and making money for it. This was why music senior Joe O’Quinn joined the new Aztec Music Group.

“The realm of promotion and PR, or even negotiating a contract, is something unknown to me,” O’Quinn said. “The context of business (in the music industry) is something I am unaware of, but it’s something I think I can find here.”

Business junior and Aztec Music Group President Cooper Abrams founded the organization late last semester. Although he does not play an instrument himself, Abrams said he grew up loving music and saw himself working in the entertainment industry.

“I’ve always loved art in every single form, and I’ve developed a passion for business in my major,” Abrams said. “I wanted to incorporate the two and provide the same thing for students on campus who really want to get the same experience.”

Other group founders are College of Business Assistant Dean Tita Gray, alumni Alex Zelster and Evonte Jina, and former Southwestern Community College student Xavier Martinez.

“I saw so much potential with students, and I also saw that we were lacking a base where students who love music can come together with other students that love music,” Abrams said. “I was blessed to be able to get in touch with Tita Gray and other students who felt the same way.”

The organization’s main goal is to put aspiring artists in touch with industry professionals with the help of business students.

“Students who are artists don’t necessarily have the skills to promote themselves, book a show or get connected — the business students in this organization will do that for them,” Abrams said.

He also said that besides putting people in touch with potential careers or internships, the group aims to create a collective on campus.

“Joining a student organization in college is a huge aspect of getting the full experience, so we want to provide a base group of friends that people can connect with each other and hopefully develop long-lasting relationships with,” Abrams said.

Music freshman Garrett McCauley said he joined the group for networking and getting connected with companies.

“Other than exposure for my own music as an artist, I could collaborate with other people to make my music better,” McCauley said.

Abrams said the group welcomes anyone who loves music.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist or if you want to work in the entertainment industry,” Abrams said. “We want to provide an organization for students who are passionate about music to come together.”

The group meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Visionary Suite of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.