Belinda Ligotino ’20, a music industry major, was the first junior to get elected CEO and president of the Rose Record Label. It’s a demanding job, but Ligotino is up for the challenge. As president, she runs board meetings, manages the artists, and ensures the label is on top of its game.
Ligotino’s goal as this year’s president is to elevate the presence of the Rose Record Label and expose their artists to new professional opportunities.
The Rose Record Label is a music industry class that is open to all students regardless of their major, but continues its work outside of the classroom like other clubs on campus. The label works around the clock to produce and write songs, publish, and promote music. As Ligotino pointed out, it’s a full-time job.
The team has access to the College’s commercial studios and expert faculty to help guide and support their experience. The label and other music students recently gained access to record-cutting and analog recording equipment and are psyched about learning this old-school technique.
The goal of the Rose Record Label is to build careers for artists while they are still in college. When they graduate, the artists will have the credibility needed to sign with a larger label. Currently, the label is managing two artists: Julia Gargano and Pink Nois.
Gargano is a singer-songwriter with an electronic vibe. She started playing the drums at a young age, influenced by her father’s musical background. After Taylor Swift hit the scene, she took up piano lessons and began writing songs.
“If you listen to her early songwriting you can hear the similarity. It also amazing for a 10-year-old,” Ligotino said.
Gargano attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts School and chose Saint Rose for music industry.
Pink Nois – or Jorim Motley – was in third grade when he began crafting his musical talents. His mother passed away when he was young. To help him cope and keep him from “acting up,” his dad signed him up for piano lessons. Nois didn’t relate to the classical music he was learning, and began teaching himself jazz and gospel. Growing up, he also learned the saxophone, guitar, and the music-engineering tool Logic. His musical path led him to Saint Rose.
“Pink Nois has more of a rapper and hip-hop vibe, but this year we’re seeing more jazz singer-songwriter. A lot of genres put together to make unique music,” Logitino said.
We recently sat down with Ligotino to see what else is in store for the Label this year. Here’s what she has to say:
What is the goal for these artists?
Our mission is to launch their career here. We put their music on streaming services, we set up photo shoots for them, create music videos, build their bios, make websites, and build their YouTube accounts. We give them everything they need to start their careers. They have all the collateral they need to sign [with a label].
This year we want to push that. We want to get them royalty money for the music that they make.
Where can we find their music?
YouTube, Apple Music, iTunes — you can buy it on iTunes to support the artists — Google Play, Spotify. All the streaming services.
What is the most difficult part of being an artist in this day and age?
The hardest part is standing out. Nowadays, it is really hard to get signed and recognized by a label because you have to have that “something” that sets you apart from everyone else. So, what stands out about us is that we are student-run. I run the board meetings, our producers and engineers are all students, all the music that is released — that sounds amazing — is made by students.
Professor Sean McClowry is not your typical teacher. We don’t call him doctor. He is so incredibly smart, especially with ear training. He gives us anything we need. He gives us advice about what students have done in the past and teaches us what record labels have done in the past and what he’s learned. But, he will never push anything on us that we don’t feel.
He says, “at the end of the day this is your label. This is what you guys want. This is your vision.” He is there to give us guidance. We are still students.
How do your classes apply to your experience with the Rose Record Label?
At all of our classes, we learn everything with the industry. We have management. We have record label, which is mainly just us. We have engineering. Each year, you learn different levels. We take what we learn in our classes and put it into our label. The cool thing about record label is that we learn all this stuff during the week, and then we put it into what we’re practicing. When people don’t join the label, I am like, ‘Why wouldn’t you?’ You get to practice what you learn.
What major goals do you have for the Rose Record Label?
One goal was to get us more out into the community and College. We work so hard. I want to get them [the artists] recognition for all the work they do.
Who can join the Rose Record Label?
Anyone can join Rose Record Label. It is open to everyone. We encourage art students and communication students. The head of public relations is a communication student. We want art people to join us to do graphic design and practice their craft.
Thursday is when we do our big group meetings. We sit down and get updates on what everyone did this week. It’s literally like having a job. It’s kind of like a 4-year-long internship.
Speaking of internships … do you have any internships lined up this year?
In the summer, I’m thinking about going to Nashville or New York City. I’d like to intern for someone named Scooter Braun who manages Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Kanye. He is someone I look up to a lot.
He’s my idol. He started super young and was already big in the industry at age 19 or 20. He was a club promoter. He was promoting parties and then famous people started going to his parties. That’s where all the college kids were going. Someone from So So Def recruited him. He got a job with them and went up from there.
Any last thoughts?
Listen to our music. http://www.roserecordlabel.com/