UTICA, NY--Local singers and artists now have a new place in the Utica area where they can fine-tune their music, at Tha Bakery.
Tha Bakery LLC is a new music production and promotion agency that caters to local hip-hop, rap, and R&B artists through professional sound, photo and video work. Eric Armitage, audio engineer, and Jack Redmond, creative director, both founded the company after quitting their full-time jobs to pursue their music dream careers. Armitage is also a local hip-hop artist, known as generic tha character.
"In high school it was him recording himself," Redmond said. "Then he would always send me the music he was making I was really interested in it, so after that I started getting involved. I was making beats and that sort of stuff, we started shooting music videos together."
Redmond said he and Armitage worked together for years teaching themselves audio and music production as well as video and photography skills.
"We decided that we wanted to try and make it an easier process for other people who are interested in doing the same thing," Redmond said.
They came up with the name, 'Tha Bakery' because the two lived on Baker Avenue in Utica. They also had a friend who worked at Utica Bread featured on the cover of one of their albums. The friend is shown baking while holding a CD with his leg on fire. The two said the name stuck and it goes along with the company, "Like a homegrown sort of thing," Armitage said.
Malik Johnson, a rapper known as LeekyXIV, got involved with Tha Bakery to produce professional quality music.
"It's helped my career tremendously," Johnson said. "Technically I don't have the ability to make music on my own because I don't own my own equipment, so now that I'm at Tha Bakery and they've got a studio, we've become good friends. I have basically access to a studio all the time."
Tha Bakery services include vocal recording, mixing and mastering, photography, music videos, marketing materials and sound equipment to rentals, among other items. Tha Bakery also serves pop, acoustic and other solo acts, with services starting at $25 per session.
Local singer Cassidy Gerken, who goes by CASSIDI, is also working with Tha Bakery for assistance with everything from recording to performing.
"If I need a beat just mixed, if I make it and need it mixed I can send over to them," she said. "If I want them to help me with an entire beat, if I want them to help me with some vocals, it's very eclectic and it's a really good dynamic that we have between each other."
Gerken has even had her music played on local radio stations.
Many of the music videos produced by Tha Bakery show familiar spots in the Utica area, including Liberty Bell Park, Franklin Square Alley and the Oneida Square Roundabout.
"They were able to help me put my first mixed tape on Spotify and iTunes and everything," Johnson said. "They shot my first music video and we've shot a couple since then."
Both Redmond and Armitage agree they're goal is to offer affordable services to help local artists showcase their talents.
"We hope to just help anybody that's interested in making music, we hope that we can help them with an easier learning curve," Redmond said.
"I think bringing people together to in the area," Armitage said. "Local talent that you can help each other out, share ideas, share creative passions that you have."
Tha Bakery and its artists will be participating in Made In Utica's upcoming Downtown Getdown, a walkable music and arts festival in downtown Utica on August 24 and 25.
For more information on Tha Bakery visit: thabakerymusic.com
For more information on the Downtown Getdown visit: madeinutica.com/getdown/
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