Fourth–year hopes her band’s debut CD builds upon record label’s success
As indie pop singer Megan Frestedt began the summer of 2008, she decided that months of scooping Chubby Hubby ice cream would not be enough for her ambitions.
The University of Chicago student had just completed an internship at a radio promotions company in Wicker Park, a gig she had secured through a University jobs posting site for the spring quarter of her first year.
Suddenly, her job at Ben & Jerry’s felt like a return to high school.
Undeterred, Frestedt found a way to keep up with her muse. In between ice cream shifts, she and two friends in her hometown of Minneapolis founded their own record label, Tandem Shop Records.
“A lot of it has been learning along the way, on our own,” Frestedt said of navigating the finer points of music management and promotion.
Since that summer, Tandem Shop has released two albums by Chicago–based bands, Mr. Bear and Honest Engines.
Next month, Frestedt and Sam McAllister, a fourth–year at Columbia College and a co–founder of Tandem Shop, are set to release “Chicago,” the debut CD by their personal band, Project Film.
Tandem Shop has yet to turn a profit, but the label has tasted success. Mr. Bear’s front man Jack Bishop was featured on National Public Radio’s “All Songs Considered,” and one of his tracks appeared on PBS’s “Roadtrip Nation.”
Project Film, too, has shown early promise.
Four of its tunes already have gotten traction on local college stations, including at Boston College and on CHIRP, the Chicago Independent Radio Project.
Now 21 and a fourth–year History and English major, Frestedt is exploring post–graduation jobs in music public relations.
Balancing work and academics has not been easy, Frestedt said with a sly smile.
“It definitely distracted me a bit from school, but it also taught me to be better at balancing my time,” she said.
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