New magazine aims to influence music tastes

By Matt Dolloff

From offering concert reviews to exposing new musical trends, Northeastern’s latest student publication aims to open the music industry world to a wider audience.

Tastemakers magazine made its debut in late October, and was created by the Northeastern chapter of the Music and Entertainment Industry Association of America (MEISA).

Editor in chief Clara Rice said the idea behind creating a music industry-based magazine came from a series of MEISA meetings last summer. Funding was provided through both MEISA and the Council for University Programs. She said their goal is to provide students with a collegiate perspective of the Boston music scene.

So far, student reception has been positive.

“It’s great to hear about local music I can see,” said Mike Tibaudo, a sophomore business administration major who read the magazine. “It’s also great that students write about it, because I can relate to them more than someone I’d read in Rolling Stone.”

About 300 copies of the magazine were released, and Rice said the group hopes to increase the circulation to 1,000 for the next issue, which should be available before Thanksgiving. She also said she wants to distribute Tastemakers to Boston-area schools like Wentworth and Boston University.

“For now we’re taking it step-by-step,” Rice said. “But we’re hoping for distribution to spread beyond Northeastern.”

The magazine is designed, written and edited by MEISA members. During the creative process, their first priority is the student readers, said Nicole Sabino, a member of the Tastemakers design and marketing team.

“We’re trying to make a magazine that’s fun to read, like the Phoenix,” she said.

Although the stories are primarily written by music industry majors, the magazine’s creators said they are offering writing opportunities to all students who are interested.

The makers of the magazine said students don’t need a music industry background to appreciate the content.

“You definitely don’t have to be in music industry to read this magazine,” said Brian Vinikoor, a member of the design team.

The magazine offers CD reviews in addition to concert reviews, making it possible for local bands to gain notoriety in stores or a live setting. Many of the shows covered have been at afterHOURS. Other venues in the Boston area, like Avalon, Axis and the Somerville Theatre, are featured in the monthly concert schedule.

MEISA is holding a national conference in California next March, which will feature performances and lectures from chapters across the country. Rice said she hopes the magazine will put the Northeastern chapter on the map.

“Music industry is always changing what’s in, so we’re trying to get what’s coming in before,” Vinikoor said. “That’s the reason it’s called Tastemakers.”

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