Rutgers student keeps music alive through social media
The future is a constant thought in the minds of college students, but they often follow the path of landing a career for someone, rather than creating one for themselves. A senior at Rutgers decided to mold his passion and educational background into a music management business that he plans to expand after he graduates.
Alex Peterson, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, noticed New Brunswick had a tightly knit music scene and decided to start his own music management company, Haymaker Management, as well as an educational page that links current rock music with historic and classic rock.
With genres such as EDM, rap and pop music on the rise in younger generations, Peterson wanted to attempt to spark interest in classic rock and inform others about the history of musical legends still relevant today.
Along with his friend Matt DeBenedetti, Peterson decided to use social media to create an educational platform that would showcase archives while also acting as an outlet for independent and underground bands to bring in more traffic.
“Through ‘Keep ROCK Rolling,’ I wanted to take what rock and roll has done positively for mankind,” Peterson said. “[I wanted to] show its huge influence and power among the people on a social platform to the younger generations and how influential and positive it can be to all of us for our future.”
As the “Keep ROCK Rolling” Facebook page has gained more than 3,000 likes and its Twitter page more than 12,000 followers, Peterson ultimately plans to expand the platform into a website.
He hopes to develop a team of field writers that will focus on reviewing local artists and shows from a musical standpoint.
Peterson’s other music-related project is a management group alongside hometown friend Madison Ouellette, a student at The College New Jersey. They knew there was a gap in the underground scene for representation of independent bands.
“I was doing a lot of research on [people] like David Geffen … who continued in the music industry on a more corporate level but started out independent,” Peterson said. “I was like, ‘What’s holding me back? There’s a huge music scene in New Jersey [where] no one’s getting represented at all. Might as well go out and just do it.’”
With a position at WRSU-FM’s “Overnight Sensations,” which runs every Friday night and is dedicated to strictly independent music, Peterson would attend local basement shows and made an effort to collect each band’s contact information.
Peterson’s instrumental music background and Ouellette’s experience working at her school’s radio station allowed them to work together to help manage well-known New Jersey-based bands, such as The Blithedale Romance and Monterey.
Although the management group is currently not a legitimate entity, they take on all of the tasks actual band representatives would. Both Peterson and Ouellette work together to market the bands, schedule shows and send out music to booking agencies.
Peterson does plan on taking the management company to an entirely new level upon graduation and hopes to eventually go corporate.
“One thing I really stress is the fact that it’s not our ‘company.’ It’s not like a business … we’re a family, it’s a community, it’s collective [and] we all work together,” Peterson said. “In this modern age, it’s all about DIY and DIY involves everybody’s input.”