Brennan Beaudin is enjoying the success of his online record label, Paper Cranes, but is finding it difficult to balance his work with his university studies as he plans for his future.
Paper Cranes is an exclusively online record label. While most of his label exists on YouTube, Beaudin also does promotions on Facebook and Twitter. All contact with the artists, as well as the song submissions, is done through email.
At one point, Beaudin would receive about 450 emails daily, which he found very surprising.
“Just trying to comment to each one and reply to each one took a long time.”
Beaudin started the label in October 2016 and, since then, the official YouTube channel has garnered more than one million views.
“I want to start the label because I’ve always had a passion for music and just want to get in that kind of industry and see what I can do.”
His passion for music started in junior high, when he joined the school band.
“I was in the band of my junior high and I play percussion and I enjoyed that quite a bit and then E.D.M. [electronic dance music] came out and just kind of changed the whole music industry, and I was hooked since.”
Beaudin, along with his friend, Josh Brouwers, created the label in October 2016.
Brouwers brought up the idea to Beaudin in class one day a couple of years ago, and Beaudin says it clicked and felt right for them.
While Beaudin is still searching for his career path, Brouwers wants to keep doing the label work that he is loving, and he hopes to do it as his primary career.
“I can only promote [the artists] and I’m gonna give them all my support. I just want to help other people out and promote artists that deserve it,” Brouwers says.
When Beaudin first brought up the idea of him starting a record label to his family, he did not receive too much support from them.
“They thought it was just a hobby or whatever … my family just didn’t really see the point, I guess,” he says.
Although they do not understand exactly what he is doing, they continue to support him.
“When I told them that we reached 76,000 subscribers, they were kind of blown away by that.”
Most of the support came from his friends.
“[My friends] were really supportive and they ask me every now and then how it is going, and that’s nice.”
Beaudin does receive profit from the work he does on the label, but it isn’t enough for him to live off of.The only profit Beaudin receives is from the advertisements on the label’s YouTube channel.
“The Internet plays a big role in today’s music industry so working with an online label is quite helpful and resourceful.” -Brennan Beaudin
One band that hopes to sign to the label is an alternative pop-punk band from Montreal named Called Out.
Xavier Morency, singer and rhythm guitarist for the band, says that the label can offer them promotion for their debut single now – and, in the future, hopefully a record deal.
“[Being signed to an online label] can definitely help us expand and allow for our music to be heard throughout regions we wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise,” says Morency.
“The Internet plays a big role in today’s music industry so working with an online label is quite helpful and resourceful.”
Beaudin is currently enrolled in his first year of environmental science at Mount Royal University. In the beginning he found it difficult to balance school and the label. Typically, he spends an hour or two a day on homework and other school work.
“Usually I will go home and do my record label stuff right when I get home … then I will start working on whatever I need to do, projects, assignments and that kind of stuff.”
For now, his priority is on his education.
“I know with my education, it will for sure get me a job in the future, and just because YouTube is really unstable and you never know if [the label] will falls flat on its face.”
Beaudin believes that he could do a better job at balancing the two.
“I balance the label and school not as efficiently as I should,” he says.
“It’s because sometimes something needs to happen in the label that needs to get done and sometimes I have an assignment that’s due the next day, and it’s really hard to manage my time.”
However, Beaudin does not know what is going to happen with the label, since it is still in the early stages of development.
“I mean it is still kind of a hobby, but I would always be happy to work on my record label and get new artists and everything.”
Beaudin is unsure if this is the right career path for him, but he says he will be fine with it either way.
“If [the label] blows up and it has some passive, sustainable income, then probably, definitely [will be my career]. As of right now, it’s just a hobby.”
Editor: Nathan Woolridge | firstname.lastname@example.org