DC music truck project helps spotlight local artists

There’s a new way of recording music in the District, and it’s all about giving lesser-known artists a chance to shine.

The “Out of Our Shells Project” was put together by Aram Sinnreich, the chair of communication studies at American University, and his wife Dunia Best.

They came up with the project as a way to help local artists record since live performances have been limited during the pandemic.

“Many of them rely on music as their first source of income and their principal way of connecting with people outside of their homes, so it was really devastating,” Sinnreich said.

The project used the Humanities Truck, a truck partnership with the goal of preserving the humanities across the D.C. area. The truck was transformed into a recording studio to help expose musicians and, with the help of a grant, will provide a way for musicians to reconnect and reach new communities.

Sinnreich’s AU students will be driving the truck around D.C. and stopping outside of people’s homes to cut demos.

“They’re your neighbors and they’re here to communicate with you through the language of music,” Sinnreich said.

They’ll also be getting help from AU doctoral student and music producer Neil Perry. His experience includes time at The Hit Factory in New York. The well-known D.C. music promoter Multiflora Productions, and the District’s public access television network, will help with getting the word out about the project.

They hope to get hundreds of submissions in the coming weeks.

“I especially want to encourage people who are a little intimidated about reaching out because sometimes that is the music that everyone needs to hear,” Best said.

Anybody who makes music or knows somebody who makes music can submit their demo to AUmusictruck@gmail.com or at their website by the deadline, Dec. 15.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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