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Passionate Promoting

Not many people discover their life’s passion at 14. But after doing “street team work” (passing out flyers and promoting bands online) Baltimore native Christine Osazuwa ’11, interdisciplinary studies and music journalism, knew the music world was the place for her.

While some high school students dream of being rock stars, Osazuwa wanted to work behind the scenes by promoting bands. At age 16, she hosted a party featuring six local bands that drew 400 people, netting several thousand dollars in profits for the bands. Soon after, Osazuwa received requests from other local bands and venues to help them with promoting their shows.

In 2006, Osazuwa founded Scene Trash Promotions, an all-girl promotions company based in Baltimore that supports and promotes bands, shows and events throughout the east coast. As part of that business, she oversees the production of Scene Trash Magazine, which builds awareness of unsigned or independent-label pop punk rock bands through album reviews and interviews. Originally, the magazine focused on local bands but has expanded to cover bands from New York to South Carolina. Produced out of Osazuwa’s house with a staff of 15, the monthly magazine is distributed online to individual subscribers and in print at record stores and concerts.

Osazuwa continues to do street team work for record companies such as Island Records and Atlantic Records and this past summer got the opportunity to travel with Vans Warped Tour, a touring punk rock festival, for two weeks. She served as assistant to the press coordinator, which gave her a behind-the-scenes look at how a large tour is promoted and also allowed her to meet many journalists and photographers. The experience was not without its wild moments: Osazuwa fondly recalls dancing with a member of the band 303 at the after-party at one of the tour stops.

In addition to her business and academic work, Osazuwa holds several part-time jobs and has taken additional courses during summer vacation, noting that she likes to keep busy. She advises students interested in starting a business to “be organized, plan things out and manage your time wisely.”

In her last year at UMBC, Osazuwa will produce a documentary on fandom in the pop rock genre. Through concert footage and interviews with fans, artists, record label executives and concert promoters, she hopes to capture the intensity of the concert experience and how bands can brand and market themselves effectively to a teenage audience. Following her graduation from UMBC, she plans to pursue her MBA in marketing and hopes to one day start her own record company.

(2/19/10)