Driven by Doing University of Memphis Students Produce Debut Album

Insights cover art

When COVID-19 paused live performances in 2020, members of the University of Memphis Sound Fuzion band got creative and took to the recording studio. Over the school year, students involved in the contemporary music ensemble recorded original songs ranging from classic pop, rock, country, and R&B genres. Upon completion Sound Fuzion collaborated with Blue Tom Records, the student-run record label, to produce “Insights” – a full album featuring songs written, performed and produced by University of Memphis students.

“The comprehensive nature of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music allowed these songwriters and performers to work with music industry students to produce, promote and release an actual album across multiple platforms”, said Alandis Brassel, Assistant Professor of Music Business. “We made sure that everyone involved in this album understood the process and is properly credited and set to receive future royalties.”

Students are planning an early 2022 release of the full album, which will be distributed through Blue Tom Records partnership with Memphis-based distributor Select-O-Hits. This Friday, November 12, audiences can enjoy the first single from the album, student selected favorite “Say Nothing” available for download on Apple Music, iTunes, and other digital platforms. This track features vocalist and songwriter Brooke Swain (B.M. ‘21), with co-writer Compton McMurry (B.M. ‘21) accompanying on acoustic, and the rest of the Sound Fuzion band singing behind them. It serves as a wonderful introduction to Sound Fuzion’s powerful vocals paired with their impressive rhythm section.

Michael Parsons, director of Sound Fuzion was impressed by the determination of the students in creating the album and the collaboration in releasing it to the public. “Despite living through a global pandemic, these students chose to find a creative way of expressing themselves through music and, ultimately, were able to create something meaningful for the world to experience. Every song on this album was written by the students. In addition, our students tracked, mixed and mastered the album in our state-of-the art recording facility under the direction of executive producers Jon Frazer and Nick Black.” said Parsons.

Sound Fuzion will be performing “Say Nothing” along with original and cover songs tonight, Thursday, November 11 at 6:30 PM at a free concert at The University of Memphis Rose Theater.

Blue Tom Records is hosting “Kick Back Night” at The Listening Lab on Tuesday, November 16 at 6 PM as an opportunity to showcase the album and students involved in the production.

Performing over the past 30 years as ambassadors for the University of Memphis, Sound Fuzion has a stellar reputation across the region as a professional band that showcases up and coming talent across a variety of genres. Each year student musicians audition to join the 17-person ensemble to develop as performers, collaborate as a band and experience a music tour.

Blue Tom Records is a student run record label under Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music Highwater Record Company. Housed in the Music Industry program, Blue Tom students learn how to identify talent, represent artists, and produce and promote music.

The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music enjoys a proud 75-year history of producing successful and accomplished music professionals. The School’s immersive and forward-thinking curriculum along with broad community partnerships create unrivaled local and global opportunities for students and faculty. Instructing over 400 students in 26 degree areas, the School’s 70 full and part-time faculty are focused on student success in and outside the classroom. The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and is housed in the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

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