Tell us about a club, business, or nonprofit that you have started.
My friend, Kyndal, and I started The B-Side through Listen Hear which is a non-profit radio station located right next to Garfield Park. The main focus of The B-Side is to play undercurrent indie gems by artists who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to be on the radio due to lack of exposure and mainstream popularity. We want to use our platform to introduce the Indianapolis community to new artists and songs by people they may not have discovered otherwise. In addition, we’ve highlighted some local Butler University student talent, including Ben Hohner.
What inspired you to create this business?
I’ve always had a passion for music and its ability to connect and bring people together. A small artist (J Solomon)—that I had been listening to at the time—made an Instagram post about performing on college campuses. I wanted to see if there was a way I could get him to Butler, but I didn’t know what program or council at Butler I needed to approach. Kyndal mentioned that one of her CME (Creative Media and Entertainment) professors and her had been discussing creating a radio station and she invited me to get in on the collaboration. I immediately said yes and from there The B-Side was born.
How has Butler helped you start this business?
I would not be on my current academic track without the help of College of Communication Senior Lecturer Cutler Armstrong. He has been there every step of the way throughout our journey with The B-Side and has impacted my academic journey as a Music Industry Studies and Strategic Communications double major. He taught my first Music Industry Studies class and really encouraged my aptitude for the music industry. Believing in yourself and your own abilities is definitely easier when you’re surrounded by people who believe you’re capable of achieving great things.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting this business?
Honestly, the most rewarding aspect of this whole journey so far has been the newfound appreciation and perspective it has given me on Indianapolis and its surrounding communities. As someone who grew up less than 20 minutes from downtown Indianapolis, I always thought I knew everything there was to know about the city and couldn’t wait to get out of Indiana and move on to bigger and better places and things. I think most people who grow up in Indiana can relate to this feeling. I still hope to venture outside of Indiana after I graduate from Butler, but I never want to lose touch with the Indianapolis community and hope to circle back one day and leave my own mark on the area.
What is your long-term goal for this business?
My long-term goal for the show would be to collaborate with Big Car Collaborative and put on a mini-concert series at Butler featuring local artists. I also think it would be amazing to bring back Butler’s own radio station as well. I love hosting The B-Side through WQRT at Listen Hear but for future students to continue it they will need to be able to commute to Garfield Park or other stations in the Indianapolis area. If Butler were able to have its own station, music and radio would be more accessible to all students.
What advice would you give another student who may be considering starting their own business at Butler?
My advice for other students would be to reach out to your professors and utilize the connections they have. One of the greatest benefits of the Butler community is its interconnectedness even after you graduate. Kyndal and I found out about WQRT with the help of CCOM faculty Cutler Armstrong and Mark Harris and their connection to Butler alumnus Marc Williams ’07. Marc also has a show at WQRT and emcees Butler men’s basketball games. Get out there and ask around and don’t quit because of a few roadblocks on your journey.