By ANNE FLOMENHAFT
The music scene at Manhattanville is thriving, but you already knew that. If you don’t believe me, listen to Welcome to The Ville, a mixtape featuring over a dozen Manhattanville students doing what they do best: creating, recording, and producing original music.
Welcome to the Ville was created by a group of friends who love music and want to bring awareness of the talent that exists on campus to everyone at Manhattanville and, soon, the world.
Grant Pilson, a sophomore and music technology major, came up with the idea in the summer of 2015. By the fall of 2015, the project was in full swing. “Grant is the follow-up king,” says Gianni Mogrovejo who, along with fellow Hip-Hop Hermit, Matt “Blak” Bailey, played the role of promotions team member by interviewing artists and pitching outreach ideas.
“Grant knows what we are capable of and asked us to help create this project and turn it into a campus-wide success,” says Victoria Oluwole, who was also on the promotions team. She, with the assistance of former Manhattanville student, Julian Patrick, helped to film and to edit interviews. Fellow promotions team member, Arori Buckner, took lead of the social media accounts, assistant-directed, and filmed countless behind-the-scenes and B-roll tapes throughout the project.
Pilson sites his inspiration coming from his dream of one day owning a record label. “I wanted to show the world the talent at Manhattanville, and this tape is the first step in that process,” Pilson says.
The tape, which was released on March 7, has reached over 3500 listens on SoundCloud, the music streaming service where the tape is available for free. The artists, bands, and producers featured on the tape are: First Floor, Tsol, Alfredo Atencio, John Aybar, Zack Free, Mikael Jaworski, Out of Mana, Yuqui, Andre Blue, Diamond, Matt Relevo, GrizyLace, and JinzoBeats. Many of these artists are regular features at on-campus events, such as open mic nights, Battle of the Bands, and Urban Live.
“[The project] is cool because it opened people to new artists they didn’t know about that live with them on campus,” says Mogrovejo, who got positive feedback from many friends who were shocked by the campus talent. When reflecting on the tape’s release, the team wished they promoted a bit more before it went live, but they are satisfied with the reception it has gotten from the greater Manhattanville community. Buckner is also trying to bring awareness to the talents of Manhattanville students with his independent project, We Own the Ville, which features students displaying their skills in creative ways.
The team that created Welcome to The Ville has scheduled an album release party for April 20, which will be their biggest role out yet. The goal of the release party is to bring a face to the tape, and prompt Manhattanville students to recognize the talent that exists on their campus.
Pilson provided Touchstone with an exclusive update on the Welcome to the Ville project. He says, “Look out for new music this summer.” Follow the movement on SoundCloud, Facebook, and YouTube.