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Redefining the modern record label

The creativity and entrepreneurship of CAMD students was strongly represented at RISE:2014, the university’s annual exposition of research, innovation, and scholarship. Third-year Music Industry major and Green Line Records president Joey Lafyatis won the “Humanities and Arts Award” for his project “Artist Co-Funding: Redefining The Modern Record Label.” Here he answers a few questions about the project and what he’s working on next.


Joey Lafyatis (AMD’16)


BS in Music (Music Industry concentration), Minor in Business

About the project

Artist Co-Funding is a project that would redefine how the modern record label works with their roster of artists on a financial level. The model allows the record label to co-invest with artists in the products of their career and divides revenue streams using an algorithm based on the initial investment’s percent split. In the past, record labels have completely funded artist projects and expected 100% of revenue until profitability, a model that is notorious for leading to massive losses on failed projects and artists putting themselves in debt for money that will never come. Artist Co-Funding immediately reimburses the artist as revenue is earned, rewards the label with a small overhead for backend operational costs and–most importantly–deposits a majority of revenue into an account reserved for the artist’s future projects with the record label. This provides a seed from which the record label and artist can grow and work with each other on future projects, and hopefully larger investments. The model was collectively developed by a team of over 30 Green Line Records volunteers during the Spring 2013 semester.

Support for the project

The biggest support we’ve received is from the 70 volunteers who participate in what Green Line is doing each semester. Though they haven’t all directly contributed to this specific project, their work has helped us create this microcosm of the real-world music industry at Northeastern. We sincerely believe in experiential learning and student mentorship, and Green Line’s success is greatly derived from those students as our “customers,” so to speak, as well as our greatest resource. Additionally, we’ve received amazing support from CAMD (particularly the music faculty), Dan Gregory and the student IDEA team, and a lot of individuals across Northeastern who have listened to what we have to say and believed in what we are doing. Colin Sullivan from the Center for Research Innovation and the hosts of RISE:2014 have also been very supportive.

Next steps

We are currently working on a presentation to the CAMD administration. We plan to discuss the similarities between IDEA, the university’s student-run venture accelerator, and Green Line, the university’s student-run record label, and highlight the ways in which Green Line can increasingly serve as an Artist Accelerator and as a vehicle for more experiential learning and student mentorship. Our hope is to work closely with Northeastern Center for the Arts and the CREATE initiative to develop a system by which students can plug into current practice in the music industry and bring new ideas, research, and methodologies, such as Artist Co-Funding, to an actionable research lab like Green Line Records.