[originally posted fall 2020]
Would you two introduce yourselves?
Oli Bentley: I’m Oli (she/her/hers), I’m a 4th year Timara major, and I’m Studio B’s Audio Producer!
Jane Rissover-Plotke: I’m Jane (any pronouns). I’m a 4th year Hispanic Studies/Latin American Studies Major, and I’m Studio B’s Executive Producer
What is Studio B?
JR: Studio B is a live radio show broadcasting on Sundays at 2 pm. There are new performers each week, who play a set, and get interviewed throughout the hour.
OB: We film and record these performances, editing, mixing, and mastering around 10 minutes (or 2 about songs), and post them to our YouTube Channel. It’s basically Oberlin’s version of an Audiotree session.
Studio B has hosted many touring musicians, while also offering a unique platform for student musicians to perform. How important do you think it is for Studio B to offer a platform like that to students?
JR: One of the biggest goals of Studio B is to provide a platform for musicians and performers who wouldn’t otherwise get an opportunity to have their music filmed, recorded, produced, and uploaded professionally, for public release, for free. We’ve had big names like Frankie Cosmos and Girlpool, which, in tandem with the YouTube algorithm, also helps boost local performers and students. Local talent uses the recordings from our sessions to help book shows, release music, and garner a fanbase.
I feel like you offer a really good musical experience that’s accessible to non-Conservatory students here, which is rare.
JR:We try to center students in the College, as well as community members. Obviously Conservatory students as well, but it’s important to provide that access for others because so many students and people come to Oberlin for the music scene. We had the owner of Cowhaus on the show, with his metal band, which was awesome.
OB: I think accessibility for all local community folks, not just students, is really important. Often, it feels like there’s a large divide between individuals enrolled in the school and people who aren’t, but are important parts of the community, and organizations like Studio B seek to bridge that gap and allow everyone to form a musical community.
JR: The thing is, Studio B is a teenager. We were founded in 2013, and we’ve been improving every year, expanding our reach. Every year it becomes more and more important to foster that community, and offer platforms for people.
So, obviously Studio B won’t be able to exist in person this year. What’s the plan for remote/online existence?
OB: We have a lot in the works. We’re organizing some outdoor sessions with student organizations and local musicians. We’re also putting out weekly prompts on our Facebook and Instagram that anyone can respond to with a video submission. It isn’t as related to our whole live performance routine, but it’s a way to get to know everyone on campus since we can’t interact the same way we used to. It’s a cool opportunity to show what you’ve got in a way.
Our first prompt was to “make a self portrait without looking.”
JR: And you can still submit to that prompt, by the way…
OB: And if you want to get a head start, our next prompt is to “show us your collection” of anything random.
How can new and returning students who have never heard of Studio B get involved?
OB: You can apply to be a performer, if you’re interested in doing a remote session or an outdoors session. You can drop by our ExCo, Mondays from 5-6pm in Wilder, to see a little bit of what we do.
JR: Also, we’re going to have positions that need to be filled, namely Executive Producer and Audio Producer.
OB: We’re both graduating!
JR: That’s why we’re the only people here. All our other staff members are juniors. Also, people should keep their eyes peeled because Oli and I are going around with a camera, asking people to do our prompts!
If you could have one guest, anyone, do a live set on Studio B, who would it be?
OB: Lin Manuel Miranda!
JR: Don’t put that in there.
OB: In seriousness, maybe Weyes Blood.
Final Question: The game is called Thank you, Bless you, Fuck you. The candidates are Ernie Keebler, Joan Jett, and Sandy (the dog from Annie).
OB: Obviously Fuck you to the Keebler elf, Thank you to Joan Jett, and Bless you to the dog.
JR: I think Fuck you to the dog, Bless you to Ernie, and Thank you to Joan Jett. I don’t like a dog named Sandy.