Musicians at the University of Texas have a new avenue to get their music heard, produced and marketed. Four students at the university started a record label on campus this semester.
It is the first label at UT run solely for students by students.
“There's not a lot of opportunity for artists, especially from Austin, to sort of step in and have places to play,” said Julian Max, a freshman sports management student at UT.
This semester when Max saw an opportunity to sign with a record label at UT, he didn't miss a beat.
“I was immediately drawn to it and put my name down for auditions,” Max said.
UTalent Records is the brainchild of UT sophomore Maria Tangarova. “I wanted to combine my passion for music with the skills I was learning in the business school,” said Tangarova, president and founder of UTalent Records.
Maria, a singer herself, wanted the university's first record label to be something special for the artists lucky enough to be signed.
“We actually help them with their production. We give them advice, we connect them with different professionals, so it's got kind of a different aspect to it,” said Tangarova.
Maria has already signed seven of the almost 30 students who auditioned, but, with so much talent in the Live Music Capital of the World, it wasn't exactly easy to narrow it down.
“I wanted to see who can really kill it on stage,” Tangarova said.
UTalent Records is partnering with the music startup app “ShowBoat” to help connect their artists with venues in Austin and get them exposure by booking gigs.
“A major untapped scene in the music industry comes from young college kids who are just trying to get their foot in the door,” said Madison Mohns, marketing director with UTalent Records.
“I want it to be kind of like a funnel for artists to be able to get discovered. I want actual record labels to come and sign people from our record label,” Tangarova said.
In the last four months, the label has already struck a chord with everyone involved in it.
“I'm changing people's lives I'm inspiring people and that's what I'm at UT to do,” said Tangarova.
Being a part of UTalent Records helped Julian figure out how he can turn his passion for music into a career. “UTalent, I think, really has pushed me again to realize that this is probably what I want more than anything else,” Max said.
When Maria graduates, she plans to pass down the label to another student at UT.
Eventually UTalent Records hopes to start chapters at other universities as well.