San Diego State possesses a considerable number of talented musicians in its student body, many of whom do not have the resources to expose their music to the public or the music industry at large.
Three students and one faculty member are attempting to assist these students in pursuing their music careers by starting a record label called Apollo Grand.
Global composition senior and president of Apollo Grand, Brendan Prednis said the mission of the label is to act as a stepping stone between an unsigned artist and a larger music label.
“There’s this weird gap between unsigned artists and people who aren’t getting very far with their music because they don’t have a team behind them or they just don’t have the resources to get signed to a label,” Prednis said. “I wanted to eliminate that weird gap and place a little stepping stool to get people who are really talented onto larger labels.”
Bridging this gap is what fueled the idea for creating Apollo Grand.
After six months of preparation, the team is ready to release music made by students.
Music by currently signed student musicians is available to stream on the Apollo Grand website. Select albums can be purchased and downloaded via Bandcamp.
Electronic music composition professor and label facilitator Chris Warren said he hopes all musicians signed to Apollo Grand will only be there temporarily.
“Our goal as a record label is a little different than every other record label’s goal,” Warren said. “Our goal is to get everyone who’s on our label off of our label and onto greener pastures.”
Apollo Grand has one extended play release under its belt and is currently working with a number of musicians who plan to release music in the near future.
“I’m hoping that a few months from now we’ll already have a deep catalog of releases,” Warren said.
Management sophomore and label manager Lexi Cook said the Apollo Grand team is open to hearing music submissions from anyone and encourages anyone interested to submit recordings via email or inquiries via their website.
“Don’t hesitate to send us your music because we can give you feedback regardless of if it’s ready to go or not,” she said.
While Apollo Grand is not affiliated with SDSU, it is mostly aimed at signing student musicians.
“We have so many great composers who are in the SDSU community that we could be releasing music for a decade without having to go outside of it,” Warren said.
Apollo Grand accepts musicians of all genres and the team encourages diversity within the label.
“We want to have a really wide range,” Cook said. “We want to represent anyone that’s putting out good, quality music and we want to give them the tools necessary to get their music out.”
A major aspect of Apollo Grand is exposure and finding an audience for their signed artists.
“We do a lot of PR,” Prednis said. “We publicize (our artists’) albums. We get them shows. We have their music on our site making sure we are getting them out there.”
Apollo Grand is designed specifically to help musicians, as the label does not profit from any of its releases.
“We don’t even see the money,” Prednis said. “We don’t see what people are paying for albums. It all goes straight to the artist.”
Marketing senior and head of marketing Elaina Johnson said a main priority during these early stages is getting the word out about the label.
“We’re trying to find platforms for us to get our name out,” she said. “Obviously there’s social media, but the nice thing about music is the community is usually pretty receptive so we’ve been talking a lot to other kids in our classes (about Apollo Grand).”
Johnson said Apollo Grand is starting to launch social media pages and will be tabling on campus to spread the word about their label and their signed student talent.
Musicians and other interested students can find a list of Apollo Grand’s current signed musicians on their website.
Student musicians interested in signing with Apollo Grand can send their music submissions and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them on their website.