Chargers Gain Hands-On Experience Creating Music Video for R&B Artist
As part of an interdisciplinary collaboration, students in the University’s music and communications programs produced a music video for Ayminor, an artist signed to the University’s independent student-run record label.
January 29, 2024
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Katie Asiel ’26 checks her camera to make sure it’s capturing the perfect shot. She’s sitting beside a bed covered with rose petals in the University’s TV studio, and she’s on the set of a music video shoot. She’s also the director.
Asiel and her fellow Chargers were collaborating with each other and with Janay Sylvester, known professionally as Ayminor. A pop and R&B singer/songwriter based in the Greater New York area, she is among the artists signed to Rein Records, the University’s independent student-run label.
For Asiel, who describes her directing style as “untraditional,” this was her first time directly collaborating with a team rather than working solo. She says directing with the support of her fellow Chargers was an incredible opportunity to build her skills while doing something she loves.
“The directing process is fun, and I like that you get to be creative and to be in charge,” said Asiel, a communication major. “I’ve loved music since I was little, and I am so happy to be working with a team and with the art of music. Plus, Ayminor is amazing and very easy to work with.”
‘A top-five life experience’
Ayminor has been working closely with Chargers for some time. As part of their roles with Rein Records and their “Record Label” class, students have been gaining real-world industry experience promoting artists such as Ayminor. They plan music releases, social media promotions, and even create merchandise.
“As an independent artist, I have found that the support of Rein Records has been life-changing in elevating the content I get out into the world,” said Ayminor. “It’s great to work with other creatives, people who are passionate about the industry.”
The shoot was for Ayminor’s new single “Back Where We Belong,” which was released late last year. The video was intended to fit the song, and scenes included the bed with rose petals and a conversation at a table. The shoot was held in the University’s television studio in the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation.
“To be in such a state-of-the-art facility and set with such a high level of production value is not something an independent artist typically has access to,” said Ayminor. “Having this available to put together the video, and having them treat me with such care, it’s a top-five life experience.”
As Ayminor’s artist manager, Kiara Greene ’24 has played an active role in working with the artist to promote her music. On the day of the shoot, Greene played a critical role behind the scenes, making sure Ayminor knew how to get to the University’s television studio, helping her get to and from the set, and taking photos for Instagram. She also took the lead at the planning meetings leading up to the shoot.
“It’s great to be a leader and to speak for the team to ensure that all voices are heard,” said Greene, a music major. “This has been a cool experience, and I’m glad we got to do it. This emphasizes networking, collaboration, and bringing different classes at the University together.”
‘I’m right where I need to be’
The shoot included students from the University’s music and communication programs. Prof. Natalie “Nicki” Chavoya oversaw the shoot, and Prof. Mark Tavern, who oversees the label and teaches the Record Label class, supported the music students. It was an exciting and immersive way for two departments to collaborate and to bring their respective fields together.
Jazmin Morris ’24, the video’s producer, had already taken film courses at the University before the shoot. She says she felt prepared for her role, and that she was very excited to be on the set.
“Katie had an idea in mind for the video, and we all agreed with it,” said Morris, a communication major. “After she presented her plan in class, we all came up with ideas and suggestions. We added to the idea without taking away from it. It was a great way to see what worked and what we wanted to change.”
For Asiel, the director, the opportunity to see her vision realized and to gain experience directing a music video before she graduates from college was invaluable. She says it was a wonderful learning opportunity that she’s confident will help prepare her for more such roles.
“Learning more about technology, how the cameras work, and the responsibilities of a director will help me find where I belong,” she said. “My professors have been amazing. I’m right where I need to be.”