By ANTOINE RICHARDS
The growth of Kennesaw State University’s Owl Radio has sparked a collegiate initiative partnership with Def Jam Recordings.
Def Jam Recordings first expressed interest in Owl Radio last summer, leading to an official partnership beginning Fall 2014.
Def Jam Recordings is an American record label founded in 1983 by music moguls, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. It focuses predominantly on hip-hop and urban music, with notable artists including 2Chainz, Afrojack, Kanye West and Iggy Azalea.
A subsidiary of Universal Music Group, Def Jam representative Danny Rojas contacted Owl Radio after noticing the growth of the station and the university. The primary focus of the partnership is the distribution of music, artist branding, and artist outreach in Atlanta among college students.
Kennesaw State University has become known for booking well-known talent for events including: Future, Big Boi, Juicy J, and recently Wiz Khalifa. Owl Radio has been a key figure in marketing and promoting those concerts. Owl Radio has also held music festivals, music events, charity events and artist meet-and-greets.
Owl Radio, founded in 2007, has grown with the strength of Kennesaw State’s growing university. Recipient of the Golden O’s “Organization of the Year” award last year, Owl Radio’s continued growth has caught the eye of not only university officials, but media outlets with its campus presence, music reviews, artist development and support of local music. Additionally, Owl Radio has held media passes to music events such as One Music Fest, Walker Stalker Con, A3C, Music Midtown, and BET Awards showcases, which all impacted Def Jam’s partnership request.
Since its introduction in 2007, Owl Radio and its Owl Radio TV segment has increased community outreach steadily. Owl Radio has doubled listenership, and viewership in the last year alone while supporting campus organizations and events, thus increasing its effectiveness.
Student media adviser, and assistant director of Student Life Ed Bonza said, “Owl Radio has experienced awesome growth like any organization, however this has seen the most growth in one year.”
Streaming online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Owl Radio reaches an international audience providing more than just campus news. It produces a broad variety of show content, pushing Owl Radio to be a premiere focus for artists and labels.
“Quality programming, professionalism, and presentation has positively enhanced Owl Radio’s impact on the community and make Owl Radio the cement of the campus,” says Bonza.
With an emphasis on promoting new music and up and coming artists, Def Jam’s partnership with Owl Radio entails Def Jam representation for Owl Radio events. Additionally, it also includes artist spotlights, conference calls with Def Jam artists and officials, radio promotions, and an array of new music that can be heard throughout Owl Radio’s show segments.
This partnership also provides an inlet for students to be involved with a major record label, and to act as artists and repertoire liaisons for Owl Radio’s own supported local talent. It also opens doors to a new learning experience for students involved with radio who are interested in learning the music industry.
Student Media advisers attributed the partnership to the hard work and diligence of the student employees.
“The students who run Owl Radio are dynamic in the ways that they invest their time to Owl Radio despite their personal lives, social lives, family and relationships,” said Amie Mowrey, Owl Radio adviser and marketing manager for student media.
“This partnership offers endless opportunity, and Owl Radio management is proud of the partnership,” said Bonza.
Owl Radio is also in talks of partnership with various artists, Universal Records, and Reverb Nation.
To continue to follow and support Owl Radio, tune in to “Georgia’s #1 online college radio station” on KSURADIO.COM.