While most teenagers might expect their first job to be a stint in McDonalds, the cream of Croydon’s creative young crop have launched their own record label, Outbr3ak Records.
Run solely by a collection of Croydon College music students, they aim to promote new underground music.
The label is currently cultivating a social media presence and fundraising for its launch party on the June 19.
The label’s head of PR, Oniki Laing, shared both her enthusiasm and frustration at the issues facing the project’s promotion as few media outlets seem willing to take a risk on the young hopefuls.
On the lukewarm media response Oniki, 19, said: “They just think we’re eight music students from Croydon College that are not taking it seriously.
“I think this is a great opportunity because we can leave college knowing what we can expect a label to do for its artists.”
This was echoed by Daniela Baruti, 18, singer and multi-instrumentalist and Outbr3ak’s co-manager along with Callum Mathews, 20.
They are staying positive in the face of difficult rejection but say they are now progressing well.
However the atmosphere at the record label was one of amiable, organised chaos as the musicians were setting up equipment.
A trio of the label’s artists performed a showcase of their talents, the first being Oniki’s stage persona, a whip-smart rapper by the name of Baby O.S.L.
Her backing track oozed upbeat synth while channelling the atmosphere of Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach.
When offstage, O.S.L is working towards a level 3 Extended Diploma in production and performance.
She was followed by the dynamic duo of Daniela and Callum, who performed a well-polished yet soulful acoustic reduction of Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive.
Among the other musicians in evidence was Trey, 19, who composes music for film and video games under the moniker of Nocturnal Sithis, and Jack, 19, who is a drum and bass producer and DJ.
While growing their brand is crucial to the record label’s future, there are times when internal struggles get in the way.
They said: “It’s a group of 18-year-olds and we all have our own opinions and sometimes it’s difficult to find a common ground.”
In a time of poor job security among young people this is an excellent example of using creative skills in a practical way.