Berklee's Student Newspaper Finds a New Groove
Berklee’s online student newspaper has a fresh look for 2020—and, its editorial staff is hoping, a new sound as well.
The redesigned Berklee Groove website, which launched in December 2019, aims to provide inspiration in the form of album reviews, wisdom from music industry insiders, wellness advice, and fashion tips. It also highlights student music, featured on the Groove’s homepage under the hashtag #BerkleeReleases. A Spotify playlist, updated weekly, showcases recent student and alumni releases in multiple genres.
We spoke with the Groove’s editor-in-chief, Francesca “Ceskie” Rijks, a classically trained violinist and eighth-semester professional music major, to learn about the Groove’s new direction.
Tell us about relaunching the Groove. How did you decide which direction to go?
A lot of it came from my own hunger for inspiration and information. As a musician and a student, it’s easy to get overwhelmed: there are a lot of things going on, both on campus and in our lives. I wanted to create a place where we could collect inspiration and foster human connection. With our hashtag #GetintheGroove, we want to motivate people to work on their creative projects, and also feel like part of a community.
One focus of the new site is student music. Can you talk about that?
Yes. Berklee is such an amazing place—everyone’s in several ensembles and they’re playing in shows, or producing them, all the time. But there’s no central clearinghouse on campus for all that information, and you miss some of it. I wanted to create a student brand that would truly represent Berklee students, and spread the word about student shows and releases.
We’ve got the Spotify playlist and we’ll also be highlighting student shows through our Facebook group. Anyone can submit a show listing. We want to showcase student events in all sorts of venues and genres. But we’ll also be featuring students in some of our interviews, because they have wisdom to offer, just as the professionals do. Our staff writers are students, of course, and they’re writing stories about what they love and are passionate about.
Listen to the #BerkleeReleases playlist on Spotify:
The site has several new sections. Can you tell us about them?
Our interviews section highlights our ongoing interview series with musicians, producers, and other industry professionals. It’s not just the music that makes a performer successful: artists have these huge teams behind them, and their stories are also interesting. And they’re succeeding in their own right. The definition of success is so much broader than performing hit songs. We’ve interviewed successful DJs, producers, and others.
We’ve also got a wellness section, which provides tips and advice for students looking to balance music with their mental and physical health. I’m a big fan of yoga—it keeps me grounded—and we’ve got a partnership with Down Under Yoga, where they run some of their articles on our site, and they offer Berklee students a discount at their yoga studios. And we have a fashion/lifestyle section, which is meant to highlight the amazing fashion you see on campus and also provide tips. So it’s a holistic approach to inspiration and creativity.
How can students who want to be involved "get in the Groove"?
That's actually our hashtag! It's a theme we've got going on Instagram. The first thing you can do is read and share our stories. And join the Facebook group. We want people to submit shows, releases, and concert listings—your own or your friends. Help us find great stuff, and we’ll feature you, and there will also be chances to win free concert tickets. Students interested in becoming staff writers can contact us via the Groove website.
We’ve just launched our line of merchandise, which we also hope will inspire people to #GetintheGroove. It’s a process, a journey, something you create every day. Join us!