Drexel’s MAD Dragon Records Expands Ground-Breaking Relationship with Rykodisc and Cordless Recordings
March 13, 2008
Drexel's student-run record label will expand its unique relationship with Ryko Distribution. The student-run and faculty-administered label and executives from Rykodisc and Cordless Recordings will work closely together to produce, market and promote emerging and established artists. Rykodisc will have an exclusive, first-look opportunity to sign artists from the MAD Dragon roster. Singer/songwriter Matt Duke will be the first signing under this agreement and will release his Rykodisc album debut later this year.
As part of its expanded program, Drexel University has also launched an innovative new music industry course entitled “Cordless+,” which will allow students to interact with visiting Rykodisc and Cordless Recording executives.
Marcy Rauer Wagman, founder and CEO of MAD Dragon Records and director of Drexel’s Music Industry Program, said, “Rykodisc is a highly respected name in the music business with the credibility of an independent label and the marketing and promotional clout of a major international recording company. We are thrilled to offer Drexel students this unique and innovative new program.”
Since its launch in 2003, MAD Dragon Records has expanded from recording and producing only new releases to becoming a full-service entertainment entity. Today MAD Dragon includes a music publishing company, a concert promotion and booking agency, a music-related graphic design company, five recording studios, and a live performance recording team. MAD Dragon Records became the first—and remains the only—university label to be distributed nationally through Ryko Distribution.
“MAD Dragon is always evolving to reflect the realities of an ever-changing music industry,” said Wagman. “We are unlike any other college program.”
Concurrently, Drexel’s music industry program has launched a new course entitled “Cordless+”. This course is a special alliance between Drexel University and Cordless Recordings, the cutting-edge artist development label founded by music industry legend Jac Holzman in 2005. “Cordless+” allows students to work closely with executives from Cordless Recordings in developing bands through hands-on experience. Students develop their own marketing campaigns by focusing on online marketing, outreach to websites, bloggers, Internet radio stations and podcasts, among others. They will also work on concert booking and promotion, audio and video production, and create and manage street teams nationwide. The course was made available to students in December 2007 and immediately filled to capacity.
In making the announcement, Ruby Marchand, Head of A&R for Rykodisc and Cordless Recordings said, “’Cordless+’ is an extraordinary opportunity for Drexel’s music students to learn the intricacies of the music business and aid in the development of emerging artists and bands. The Rykodisc/Cordless staff is committed to mentoring these aspiring entrepreneurs and executives by offering our world-class resources and by helping them develop the practical skills they’ll need to succeed in both the digital and traditional areas of the recording business. We are confident that the students and our staff will benefit and learn from this unique experience.”
“Our new alliance with Rykodisc/Cordless Recordings makes Drexel’s music industry program stronger and more distinctive,” said Allen Sabinson, dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media & Design, which houses the music industry program and MAD Dragon label. “It’s forward-thinking, creative and collaborative, and gives our students unparalleled access to ‘real world’ experience in their chosen field.”
Students enrolled in Drexel’s music industry bachelor’s degree program, complete part of their course requirements by managing all aspects of the MAD Dragon label. When it was established in 2000, the program had eight students; it currently enrolls more than 200 students. As a result of the surge in enrollment, the program now has five state-of-the-art analog/digital recording studios. MAD Dragon Records and the Music Industry Program operate in conjunction with Drexel’s Kal Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies.
About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design:
The Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers degrees in architecture, arts administration, dance, design and merchandising, digital medial, entertainment & arts management, fashion, film & video, graphic design, interior design, music industry, photography, screenwriting, and television management.
About Rykodisc and Cordless Recordings:
Rykodisc and its sister company, Ryko Distribution, are headquartered in New York City and are subsidiaries of Warner Music Group. In 2007, Rykodisc merged Cordless Recordings into its operations. Cordless Recordings focuses on developing and exposing new talent through the digital media space. The label was founded by legendary industry veteran, Jac Holzman, who also founded the esteemed labels, Elektra and Nonesuch Records.
Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau
215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org