Daniel Pratt and Ben Bushell (University of West London, UK)


University record labels (URL) are a popular vehicle for capturing student interest by releasing their music through a culturally appealing imprint. Examples of successful University-based labels include Mad Dragon (Drexel, USA), Vermilion Records (QUT, Australia), and CAM Records (University if Colorado USA). Developing and maintaining a record label within a large institution such as a university comes with a variety of questions concerning mechanical ownership and issues surrounding intellectual property that do not map conveniently to standard university policies. As a result of such challenges, there are a wide range of approaches taken by URL’s. Integration of a record label can vary according to how close a university wants to partner with such an enterprise. In this paper, we introduce London Noise (UWL, UK) and explain our pedagogical approach to recording and releasing student work, by using class groups to engage with and promote their fellow student artists. Our approach is to integrate the record label into the framework of the Music Management course design. With a deeply embedded, pedagogically driven structure developed through a URL, we can develop simulated learning experiences using up to date information to solve real-world issues. Such an entrepreneurial learning approach means that our students are taking an active role in their education and are using constructed challenges to deliver, promote, and administer student-based music. Instead of using quickly out of date case studies featuring already successful artists. We aim to provide a safe environment where students can use real-time record label data to assess industry trends and generate strategies that place our students at the forefront of music industry innovation.