By Liz Partsch, Contributor
Although Brick City Records first started as a small Ohio University student organization, it has expanded into an official student-run record label.
Located in Schoonover Center, the local studio attracts many label submissions every fall semester. Brick City President Maya Nauriyal says that it’s a team decision when it comes to deciding which artists to sign.
“It [isn’t] just like anarchy and that’s what they decide, then everyone goes with it,” Nauriyal says. “It [is] more like, can we as a production team, do we feel like this is a good fit? Do we like what their sound is like? Can we see this grow?”
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For the 2019-20 school year, Brick City signed four artists, three of whom are based in Athens and the other in Columbus. The signees are The Borders, RJ Martin, Darwin and Tomorrow Daily.
From Columbus, The Borders are a jazz- and hip-hop-infused band similar to Brockhampton, Nauriyal says. The band has eight members: Kumaresh Easwaran, Cooper Kleinke, Andrew Brathwaite, Lucas Stickley-Miner, Tobin Shmurick, Paul Barlow, Ben Scheiber and Ben Martin. They will release a total of six new songs this spring, according to a Brick City press release.
RJ Martin also signed to Brick City in 2019. Martin, a singer-songwriter from Rittman, Ohio, describes his music as “sad-boy folk,” according to a Brick City press release. Martin will come out with four new songs this spring.
One of Nauriyal’s favorite artists is local psychedelic-rap artist Darwin, also known as Michael Boston. Darwin recently started working with the online streaming service Quadio, a new music service that aims to promote college artists and expand their audience. This spring, Darwin will release a full-length album, according to a Brick City press release.
The fourth group is Tomorrow Daily, a local garage-rock band from Athens. Tomorrow Daily consists of five students: lead guitarist Mason Barnett from Columbus, drummer Lorenzo Fava from Italy, bassist Seth McBee from Shelby, Ohio, vocalist Avery Waffen from Lakewood, Ohio, and lead guitarist and vocalist Jacob Waffen, who is also from Lakewood. Tomorrow Daily will release two new songs this spring, according to a Brick City press release.
As for the future of the label itself, Nauriyal says that Brick City hopes to continue to promote a diverse sound in the Athens community.
“It’s not like we’re only a rock label,” Nauriyal says. “We want a mix of everything.”