Spider Records, a new club at the University of Richmond, is looking to shift campus culture when it comes to music.
Modeled after real record labels, Spider Records aims to create an open space where both music artists and people interested in music can collaborate on projects and performances.
The club was established in the fall semester of 2017 by three UR juniors: Jorelle Montes, Roshan Sen and Patrick Ndukwe.
Montes, who serves as the club's president, said he had wanted to start Spider Records to motivate aspiring artists to achieve their goals.
“There's a lot of people that want to do this music stuff, this creative stuff, like visuals and photography," Montes said. "We thought if we made it legitimate on campus, then we could get a lot of people to do it and look to us for resources. The point of this club is to get people together that have the resources that you're looking for.”
Montes, Sen and Ndukwe are music artists themselves. Along with several frequent collaborators, they make up a rap/hip-hop collective called O.N.E Life. O.N.E Life releases music through the online audio-distribution platform, SoundCloud. It released its first single on Oct. 31, 2017.
The name O.N.E Life is an acronym that stands for Opposing Negative Energy for Life, or opposing negative energy from yourself, Ndukwe, who serves as the club's treasurer, said.
This is what the group is all about, Montes said.
“I just feel like, we want to encourage people to do what they actually want to do," Montes said. "People are scared to do what they want to do because it's not the safe thing to do."
O.N.E Life is considered an artist under Spider Records, Ndukwe said.
“We’ve been putting out our own music," Ndukwe said. "And I’d say we’re an inspiration to some people to start actually doing their own thing, and that's how we get people to come.”
The members of O.N.E Life work with a professional music producer stationed on West Grace Street in Richmond. When comparing the music scenes of downtown Richmond to UR’s campus, the founders of Spider Records were quick to point out a stark contrast.
“Even just walking down that street, you can hear clubs playing punk rock music, and there's hip-hop on the other side, and it just feels a little bit more live,” Montes said. “That’s what we want here. That's why we were tabling and playing all that music.”
Ndukwe shared this sentiment.
“We’re just trying to shift the culture,” he said.
The members of Spider Records are also beginning to work with students studying music at UR.
Reuben Davis, a sophomore studying music, often collaborates with Spider Records to create his own music.
“I make a lot of beats and stuff, and I’m not much of a writer or a rapper but these guys are,” Davis said. “I’m always trying to see where to go next, so I tend to just show them some of my stuff and see if they can write something over it."
Montes, Ndukwe and Sen, who serves as the club's vice president, all work as assistants in the Music Technology Lab in Sarah Brunet Hall. The space features ten independent music workstations and a separate project studio for student and faculty use.
In the lab, Montes, Sen and Ndukwe show students how to operate music-software programs such as GarageBand and Ableton. Aspiring student-musicians can benefit from this kind of knowledge, so it is one of the resources they offer in their club, Montes said.
Looking forward, Spider Records has several events on its agenda. The group is looking to host events in Camp Concert Hall, or even the Greek Theatre, to further establish Spider Records as an organization on campus, Ndukwe said.
“We’re just trying to get everyone exposure,” he said.
O.N.E Life is currently scheduled to perform at Infuzion, a club in downtown Richmond, on Feb. 22. They will also host an Open Mic Night at The Pier in Tyler Haynes Commons on Feb. 28.
Contact contributor Gabriela Telepman at firstname.lastname@example.org.