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University of Arkansas launches student-run record label, Hill Records

The collaboration will function as a production and entertainment company, giving students a real-world music industry experience.
Credit: University of Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas (UofA) will launch its new student-run record label, Hill Records, this fall, giving students access to a hands-on experience of the music industry.

This entrepreneurial project will 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.

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.”

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

UofA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz formed the $1 million seed fund to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and spark creative activity in the humanities and performing arts.

“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.”

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

Participating recording artists will include UofA students, faculty and alumni, as well as talented Arkansas artists from every genre.

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

Credit: University of Arkansas

John Lee, senior and president of the MP3 student group, said being part of Hill Records has been a great experience so far. He’s been able to help the label evolve from a dream into reality.

“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.”

For more information, visit the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music online.