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FAU's Hoot/Wisdom Recordings: "The Future of the Music Industry"

Last night at FAU's on-campus bar, the Burrow, Hoot/Wisdom Recordings hosted the Red Album party. It showcased the acoustic talents of student musicians Anthony Vincent, Chris Aiello, Grace Kimmel, Erica Morgan, and X Factor contestants Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton.

We could make this a standard review, commenting on songs played, point out the nervous chatter or idiosyncratic quirks each performer displayed in their attempts to dispel an awkward silence. But then again, we're not a standard blog. So instead, we're going to explore what Hoot/Wisdom Recordings is.

The student-run record label provides artists a 24-hour studio, guidance on improving the craft of aspiring stars, and a chance for exposure. Matt Smith, president of Hoot/Wisdom and 21-year-old commercial music major, says that revenue from album sales go toward scholarships to boosts artists' careers. Not to mention, it's a resume builder and a free program, which is fantastic for those on a student's budget.

Those on the executive board get a good amount of experience under their belt through the label, as well. "I used to sleep in class in the back," says Lee Ackred, 21, who is also a producer, songwriter, and for Hoot, an engineer and handles marketing. "Now, I work my way up to different positions. It helps for experiences in the real world, and helped me find internships."

Vice president of the label, Ilana Simone, 21, adds, "It's just like a real job. It's an organization, a business. We're all students, but nothing is different." Hoot alumni have found themselves working with big name businesses such as Harry Fox Agency and Universal Music. Former hoot artists, like Boca songstress Mandy Moon, also come back and help out. She's assisting Grace Kimmel in the engineering and recording of her upcoming album.

Reid Santiago, 25, executive producer notes, "The program is strong. It's a backbone for our school, and the talent South Florida has." Right now they're producing double compilations -- Red Album being for guitar driven music and the Blue Album for beat driven music -- but he said that individual EPs for artists may be a better route to take in the future. Either way, he sees nothing but positivity ahead for the label. "We look at ourselves as the future of the music industry," Smith said. "And that's how we want the current industry to look at us."

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Natalya Jones