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Rising Stars: Meet Collin Schnitker of Shiny Boy Press

Today we’d like to introduce you to Collin Schnitker of Shiny Boy Press.

Hi Collin, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
In 2020, I started a small independent record label called “Shiny Boy Press”alongside my 2 longtime friends Walsh Kunkel & Daniel Gurley.

This stemmed from a lifetime of collaborations between the 3 of us but most importantly materialized as a reaction to the sudden death of our close friend/collaborator Alessandro Lori. We have had the goal to put our combined efforts to elevate the work of our individual projects as well as our peers in the Baltimore community.

We have been building our brand & an eclectic catalog of music from artists spanning genres such as Experimental Electronics, Indie Pop, Jazz, etc. over the past 2 years. In September, we are hosting our first festival called “Shiny Fest” at Le Mondo.

This event will be showcasing that eclectic sensibility having not only our artists from the label’s roster but some beloved Baltimore artists that we admire & respect.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has been a lot of learning involved. We are constantly checking ourselves on how we can improve what we do for our artists & I believe each time we are getting better and better at the tasks at hand. Whether that means we learn what techniques might sound better during recording or how to make a product look cleaner or whatever it is.

We’ve all known each other forever so talking to each other is easy, but we’re all learning how to better our communication with individuals about their art & with that comes actualizing some wants and needs that someone is feeling about a particular project.

The most recent obstacle has been pulling off Shiny Fest. I have never put together such a large even so this is new territory. It’s been a lot of coordinating as you could imagine – between figuring out the venue, keeping in touch with all of the artists involved, making sure I don’t put myself in the grave financially while still ensuring the performers get paid out, etc. It feels like a high wire act at some points haha. As long as the audience & performers enjoy themselves we will be happy!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We are a record label but we have always tried to incorporate a visual aspect to what we do. Walsh & I were in an improvised A/V noise band called 2 2 1/2 2 with our friend Alessandro who passed, so when we started this project that was something we wanted to continue and keep some sort of legacy alive by doing so.

Another thing I really think makes us stand out is our emphasis on the DIY feel. We truly do everything ourselves. A great example is what we have been doing with our cassettes. We do these very unique hand-stamped sleeves for our tape releases, all in limited runs with each individual sleeve being different from the next.

That is something I have never seen before. It’s been cool to see the collection grow!

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
As far as risks go I think the most important thing is that all 3 of us are such close friends – getting into business with someone you love can be tricky.

Money complicates things, creative criticism can complicate things. All in all, we can put our pride aside and push through (the few) difficult spots we might find ourselves in.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Collin Schnitker, Walsh Kunkel, Daniel Gurley, & Micah E. Wood

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