Owens’ Dorm Room Studio
Jordan Owens talks about his dorm room studio and his upcoming album.
March 14, 2012
A couple mics, one mixer board and a few other odds and ends are all one Bluefield College student needs to run a business from his room.
Jordan Owens, a junior from Kingsport, Tenn., is making a little extra money in what he would call his “dorm room studio.” Owens is an RA in Alumni Hall and says working out of his dorm room is great, surprisingly.
Owens in his dorm studio
“The smaller the area, the better when it comes to recording,” said Owens. “That way it holds in sound.”
Alumni Hall has carpet unlike the other dorms on campus, and Owens says that helps keep the sound from bouncing around, so recording in there works well.
Owens started the studio last April with two of his friends who are students at Virginia Tech; their record label is known as Sour Mash Industries.
Working with distribution and hoping to see Sour Mash Industries continue to grow, Owens realized he needed to have limited liability so he filed with the Virginia State Corporate Commission and got his LLC license.
“Professor Snodgrass helped me out with that, and now that I got that I can deal with business a whole lot easier,” said Owens.
Owens has worked with a couple bands from Kingsport, Tenn., and Chesapeake, Va., and with students from Bluefield College.
“I’ve recorded a song for Grant Thomas but I still have to master it,” said Owens.
Owens uses a file transfer online to do business easily with people who don’t live in Bluefield.
“I’m able to communicate with people through Facebook and email,” said Owens. “We also use a program called ‘drop box’ that allows us to share files between each other online.
Owens recorded most of his own solo album in his room as an easy way for him to make a little pure profit.
“I would eventually like to get to where I’m dealing directly with people like iTunes, Apple, and Amazon instead of going through a distributor,” he said.
Owens said before that can be done he has to have a number of albums under his catalog that he’s created on his own.
“My own solo album is coming out in April,” said Owens. “And my first solo single came out in February.”
Sales are something Owens looks forward to seeing, but he won’t see how well his solo did until sometime this month.
“Every Monday sales reports come up but we don’t see the results until about a month later,” said Owens.
Owens isn’t making money only from his music but from other people’s music as well.
“If you purchase a song under my label then I get the sale money from it,” said Owens. “And then it’s split up between the artist and myself.”
Sometimes people pay Owens upfront but other times he doesn’t take anything from them because he’ll make about 30 percent of whatever their song sells for.
Owens said he never thought he’d get into distributing online but now that he’s in it, he’s making a label out of it.
“It’s a slow start and the reason I charge so little is because I have to do something to get people to want to work with me,” said Owens.
Owens fell in love with the studio side of making music the minute he was exposed to it.
“One of my friends had his own set up in his basement,” said Owens. “And the more and more time I spent playing around with the equipment, the more I fell in love with just playing.”
Owens said he stays busy balancing his business, school work, and tennis, but he enjoys every minute of it.