Chi-Town to Atlanta: My Internship With Reach Records
Before the idea of attending Wheaton College had even crossed my mind, I was already dreaming about one day interning at Reach Records in Atlanta. In addition to being a long-time hip-hop fan, I also have a passion for impacting culture through art, so working for Reach has always been an aspiration of mine. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the brand, Reach Records is an independent record label that was started by Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist Lecrae. The label originally catered to a primarily Christian audience, but over the past few years it has started making moves within the mainstream hip-hop industry in an effort to leave a lasting impact on culture. Lecrae, and other Reach artists like Andy Mineo, have started working more frequently with mainstream artists and producers like Ty Dolla $ign and Metro Boomin, all while continuing to be open about their Christian worldview. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had to help out with new music releases from the artists at Reach, no matter in how small of a role.
Picking up food for artists, transcribing new music, and modeling to promote merchandise is a small part of what comes with the “intern” job title at Reach Records. I’ve also had ongoing opportunities to learn more about how the label operates in ways that are tailored to my specific interests and strengths. Given that I’m interested in pursuing a career in art direction or creative marketing, I’ve had the pleasure of designing marketing materials for new music releases and participating in brainstorming sessions for marketing ideas. Thankfully, I can look back at my Wheaton experience over the past two years and feel like I’ve been sufficiently prepared for maximizing this internship experience.
I’ve never taken a class in creative marketing, art direction, or even graphic design, but I’ve felt prepared for this internship based on my involvement in different student leadership roles at Wheaton. Throughout the roles I’ve served in on Student Alumni Board and Freshman Class Council, I’ve been able to develop and practice my inclinations toward design and marketing, and I’ve learned how to effectively work as a team member. I’m grateful for these opportunities that I’ve had on campus, and I encourage current students to take advantage of the numerous student leadership opportunities available to them.
Interning at Reach has been an unforgettable experience thus far, and with only half of it under my belt there are still plenty more music releases to come. In the coming weeks I look forward to designing more email/social media campaigns and executing creative marketing ideas for upcoming albums. I’m thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given, and I’m continually thankful for the way Reach is impacting the music industry.
Brian Connelly ’19 is double majoring in business/economics and art history and is an intern this summer at Reach Records in Atlanta. Photo captions (from top): Brian standing in front of the backside of Reach's offices where you can find a mural depicting the cover art that appeared on Trip Lee's latest album; Brian working on his laptop inside of Reach Records’ studio complex which consists of four studios, a bunkhouse, and showers--visiting artists frequently claim that it's the nicest studio that they've ever been in; Brian sitting on a truck that appeared on the cover art for Andy Mineo's debut album. The truck was designed and photographed in Seattle, and was recently relocated to Atlanta after Reach opened up their new office and studio complex during summer 2016.