The fourth EP by Second District Records will come out on April 9, debuting student artists from American University who have been creating music during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with The Eagle, the presidents of SDR — Calvin Brewster and Michael MacGregor — shared some of the details of how the new EP came to be, the future of SDR and their enthusiasm about the release. They also touched on the challenges SDR has and the artists faced in creating the EP.
“No one was in the same room, we had someone produce a song in California and someone singing the song in D.C.,” Brewster said. “We had to take the extra steps along with each artist to make sure everything was COVID safe.”
Since many AU students were spread out throughout the country, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two said that collaborating became quite difficult. The presidents emphasized that some artists had to record their music from their own bedrooms as access to studios was very limited and ultimately not COVID-19 safe.
“It’s a unique mixtape in the sense that all the artists are bringing their different perspectives on this weird time in history,” MacGregor said when discussing what listeners should expect from the new EP.
The confusing and often stressful times of the pandemic inspired the artists to create a non-traditional SDR EP. While quarantining, many emotions transpired, which led to a discovery of new sounds by the artists.
The six-song EP will range from R&B to country, which showcases a musically diverse theme. The AU student artists that will be featured include Hunter Rich, Grace Becker, Quarters of Change, TRAV and King of Nowhere. Each artist will only have one song and each song will be a different genre.
“Each artist brings their own background, and you can sense that through the music,” Brewster said.
One of the challenges was that “in the past, [the artists] are able to offer their proposition because AU has a beautiful recording studio with a really nice soundboard,” MacGregor said.
Since this is both Brewster and MacGregor’s last year at SDR, they are optimistic and ambitious about SDR’s future.
“I want to see constant releases every year,” MacGregor said. “It would be really cool if the organization grew enough to have the manpower to get the mixtape, get all of these artists together, and even put on a show or do more events on campus”.
Brewster shared the same sentiments as MacGregor.
“It would be great if we could have an SDR concert during the summer when [students] first come in,” Brewster said.
Both MacGregor and Brewster said they’re grateful for the artists’ hard work and resilience. They hope people will enjoy SDR’s 4th EP coming out on SoundCloud on April 9.