Breaking Band: How an NYU Class are Trying to Make Australia’s Tigertown Rock Stars


(from Billboard Magazine, October 14, 2013) The music business students of Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development located in New York have a very chaotic semester ahead of them as they work with an Australian band called Tigertown and help them break into the music industry. This is the first time that Village Records ( an NYU record label) has structured a class for upper-class music business majors. With this new development, the students will record and promote international artists and help them break into the US market.

This is not a typical class about record labels and label operations; this class gives the students first-hand experience and the freedom to make decisions. Students also gain direct experience working with partners in the music industry such as artists, managers, media, brands, etc. The label is broken into five student lead teams: Press, Publicity, Partnerships, Artists Relations, and A&R Administration. The students are put into teams based on their past experiences, and each team has a team leader.

As the semester began, the students decided to completely rebuild the label, hoping to focus on making Village Records use more external contacts rather than internal like it has in the past, starting with making a new logo. The team also created a new mission statement determining Village Records’ major goals. In addition to the revamped label and new mission statement, Village Records established a new, first-time collaboration with CMJ Music Marathon.

The collaboration began in early September when Matt McDonald (SVP President of Artists and Events) met with the Village record students, chose a short list of international bands, and worked with the students to help choose the best artist. After narrowing the artists down, their decisions were based on US marketability, social network presence, and previous touring history. The Australian band Tigertown was chosen and will be self-producing a new recording over a two-day session in October. Although this may be a major juggling act for the students, it will help them prepare for handling the pressure in the music business.