Dorm Sessions 12 Release Party Brings Berklee Artists to the Sinclair February 16
The Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI) presents Dorm Sessions 12, the new release by its student-run label, Heavy Rotation Records (HRR). The compilation—a mix of rock, pop, singer-songwriter, hard rock, soul, hip-hop, and electronic music by Berklee students and alumni—features Lady Pills, Mayah Dyson, Flakes, Jack Martini, Aversed, Olivia Swann, and D-Will. The BPMI is an experience-based program enabling students to go from the classroom to the stage in every facet of artist development and touring—important preparation for a performance career.
BPMI will host an artist showcase on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the release of Dorm Sessions 12. The show—HRR’s 17th Annual Epic Event—returns to the Sinclair after a successful concert at the venue last year. The Sinclair is located at 52 Church St. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The show is $5 with student ID and general admission is $10. For tickets and information, visit BoweryBoston.com.
Attendees will receive a copy of the compilation and a free bag of goodies from HRR’s sponsors. Stream or download a preview of Dorm Sessions 12 for free at Soundcloud.com/heavyrotationrecords.
The cornerstone of BPMI is the opportunity for students to perform at some of the most popular summer music festivals. This year, BPMI artists featured on Dorm Sessions 12 will travel to major music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga, and Made in America, which BPMI artists also visited last year. In addition, Dorm Sessions 12 featured artists will also travel to the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City, the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, the Chicago Open Air festival, the Way Home Music and Arts Festival in Ontario, and the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco.
Eighteen students selected for BPMI’s inaugural class listened to hundreds of submissions in the fall to choose the six student artists based on live performances, recordings, videos, and social media presence. Each artist is working with a team of three BPMI students throughout the spring, preparing for the festival season. Turning their classroom work into action, the teams are handling artist development, marketing, promotion, contracts, tour budgets, digital presence, merchandise, and sponsorships.
“The Sinclair show has become an integral part of BPMI. It’s the first concert the students promote before taking on the business of major festivals,” said Jeff Dorenfeld, founding managing director of BPMI. “All of the artists on the album perform, and traditionally, this show is where we pick which artist and group of students is going to represent BPMI at the respective festivals.”
This year marks the first time the artists will tour to and from their festival appearance in a bus—performing club shows that the BPMI students will book, road-manage, and promote. While on tour, the artists will give clinics and workshops to underserved youth at community organization sites that are part of the Berklee City Music Network.
About the Artists
Lady Pills is a Boston-based garage rock trio composed of Berklee student Ella Boissonnault, and alumnae Alison Dooley B.M. '16 and Claire Duhring B.M. '16. Taking inspiration from bands such as Pixies and the Raincoats, Lady Pills combines elements of loud, fuzz-filled rock and a raw, stripped-down sound with intimate and relatable lyrics. Since forming in October 2015, Lady Pills has released an EP and a full-length album, Despite, and appeared at festivals including Boston Calling and SXSW.
Mayah Dyson, a.k.a. Mayah Denyelle, is a singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and model studying at Berklee. In 2013, Dyson released her debut EP, Mayah The ?. Dyson counts Kelly Rowland as a mentor and one of her biggest inspirations. Rowland saw something in Dyson and believed in what she could offer the world with her music and voice. In 2016, she appeared on Rowland’s television show Chasing Destiny. Later that year, she sang backup for Solange during her Saturday Night Live performance. Dyson is currently working on a new project, due for release in early 2017.
Flakes, a.k.a. Will Schu—true to his namesake—hails from the small ski town of Park City, Utah. He got his start in music as a jazz pianist and performed in various ensembles, culminating in performances at Telluride Jazz Festival and Carnegie Hall. In 2014, Flakes began studying at Berklee as an electronic production and design major. Since then, he has developed his eclectic, organic, and uncompromising electronic sound.
Jack Martini, an Italian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, cooks up songs with the finest flavors from around the world. Collecting places to call home, Berklee student Martini has lived in Rome, New York, Paris, London, and Boston. His eccentric sound and eerie melodies are complemented with simple yet thought-provoking lyrics sung in English, Italian, and French. The self-taught guitarist also plays piano, bass, and, occasionally, clarinet.
Aversed was formed in 2009 by guitarist and vocalist Sungwoo Jeong and Berklee alumnus bassist Martin Epstein B.M. '14. They began composing original music in 2010 and recorded their first demo. Guitarist and alumnus Alden Marchand B.M. '14 joined in 2011 and the band began writing and performing again with the addition of drummer Jeff Saltzman (ex-Buried Electric) in 2014. Multifaceted student vocalist Haydee Irizarry completes the lineup. Aversed has performed with Ensiferum, Exhumed, Korpiklaani, Sonata Arctica, Tengger Cavalry, and Incite, among others. In 2016, the group released its debut EP, Renewal.
Olivia Swann is a pop/soul artist from London, United Kingdom. Inspired by hip-hop, R&B and jazz, her sound is a harmonious blend of old and new. Swann, a Berklee student, aims to have an intimate musical conversation with her audience at every performance. Her main aspiration is for her audience to feel something when they listen to her music. She draws from personal experience about love and life and is passionate about narrating today’s culture and bringing awareness to its issues. Swann’s debut EP is set to be released in 2017.
D-Will, a.k.a. David Wilson, is an urban electronic/hip-hop producer and DJ. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, he now studies electronic production and design at Berklee. Wilson started classical piano training at age five. At age 16, he was exposed to audio engineering and began sequencing small productions in Pro Tools and Ableton. Since then, he has continued to create and collaborate with artists around the country, and has developed his own modern sound.