UT-Austin to launch Spotify playlist highlighting student musicians

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Photo Credit: Barbra Daly | Daily Texan Staff

UT plans to debut a Spotify playlist featuring student artists in early December to showcase students’ work to the community.

The playlist will contain songs from all genres and is intended to connect students back to campus and UT’s music community. Playlist creator Michaela Newman, communications and industry relations assistant with the School of Design and Creative Technologies, said the idea for the playlist came from a lack of outlets for student musicians to showcase their work. 

“There was the Kerrville Folk Festival songwriting contest, and then showcases put on by Euphoria and other student organizations, but there wasn’t any official UT platform for student-musicians,” Newman said.

Newman said the playlist is no longer taking submissions, and she is in the process of going through the 30 suggestions and putting it together.

Newman said she tweeted a Qualtrics form Oct. 23 for students to add music to feature on the playlist. She said she hopes the playlist will help expose other people to student musicians. 

“It’s a pretty robust community, but it’s not centralized,” Newman said. “You just have to find it, and there’s many more students making music than we would think, because there’s not really a commercial music degree.”

 

Finance junior Thomas Sanchez, who is a blues rock singer, said balancing being a musician and a student is difficult.

“It’s hard to juggle the responsibilities of upper-level classes and maintaining music that you want to create and foster and grow,” Sanchez said. “Especially since any live opportunities have been pretty much eradicated by the pandemic.”

Curt “The Funk” Glatz, guitarist for the student jazz-rock band Beach Blossom, which submitted music for the playlist, said the pandemic hit Austin’s music community particularly hard.

“With Austin being the live music capital … there’s probably more musicians than there is demand,” graduate student Glatz said. “It’s causing quite a bit of financial strain because places aren’t willing to pay people anymore to play live because they don’t expect a crowd to be drawn.”

Advertising senior Madison Williams, who goes by the stage name Maddy Hatchett and submitted music for the playlist, said musicians in Austin were hurting because of the community’s focus on live performance.

“In LA, Nashville and New York you see what they have right is that they focus not only on live music, but also they’re focused on the recording and songwriting industries,” Hatchett said. “But Austin put all of their eggs into one basket by putting everything into live music.”