University of Arkansas Launches Student-Run Record Label, Hill Records

Students in the University of Arkansas' music department rehearse for a performance.
Photo Submitted

Students in the University of Arkansas' music department rehearse for a performance.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas will launch its new student-run record label, Hill Records, this fall, giving students access to a hands-on experience of the music industry.

This entrepreneurial, collaborative project will also function as a production and entertainment company, as well as a digital music industry platform to bridge the gap between higher education and the music and entertainment industry. 

With Hill Records, the U of A will join Berklee College of Music, Drexel University and University of Memphis as one of only about 20 institutions with student-run record labels in American higher education.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to explore innovative ideas in collegiate music education,” said Jake Hertzog, jazz area coordinator and one of the core faculty members involved in the label project. “As a research institution we can model that multidisciplinary collaboration that is so essential in the music business.”

The logo for the University of Arkansas’ new student-run record label, Hill Records, created by student Kenzie Klinkhamer.

Hill Records is the result of an interdisciplinary effort led by faculty and staff from the U of A’s Department of Music, School of Art, Technology Ventures, and Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department.

The student-run record label project, originally called “The 21st Century Music Industry: Imagining a New Role for Higher Education,” was one of nine inaugural initiatives selected to receive seed funding from the Chancellor's Fund for Humanities and Performing Arts. 

U of A Chancellor Joe Steinmetz formed the $1 million seed fund to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and spark creative activity in the humanities and performing arts. 

“Hill Records’ services will include recording projects, artist management, booking, music placement, merchandising, media campaigns, networking and more,” Hertzog said. “It will be a fantastic way for our students to get hands-on experience and learn this industry inside out, preparing them for successful careers and future ventures in music.”

Hertzog said the label will launch an open call for music submissions this fall for its first compilation release, and begin sharing digital content soon.

Participating recording artists will include U of A students, faculty and alumni, as well as talented Arkansas artists from every genre. Hertzog will teach one of the record label-related academic courses this fall and plans to incorporate music industry advisors in both his class and the label.

To prepare for the label’s fall launch, students from the School of Art’s graphic design program and from the music business-focused student group, MP3, developed various logo designs and discussed name selection before deciding on a logo created by Kenzie Klinkhamer and the name, Hill Records.

John Lee, senior and president of the MP3 student group, said being part of Hill Records has been a great experience so far. He’s been able to help the label evolve from a dream into reality.

“I'm so excited about this giant step forward,” Lee said. “We are grateful to the amazing faculty that have provided us with guidance, the music department for being supportive of our vision, and the chancellor for empowering us to achieve this vision. By creating Hill Records, University of Arkansas is joining an elite group of colleges that provide their students with real-world experience and insight into this essential sector of the music and entertainment industries.”

For more information, visit the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music online.

About the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with three schools, 16 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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