Speaker Series: Lyz Luke

Our Concert Career Pathways (CCP) interns took a trip to Second Line Vinyl, Oakland’s first vinyl record pressing plant since 1937. We saw a vinyl pressing plant in operation and spoke with Lyz Luke, Chief Community Officer (CCO) of Second Line Vinyl. With heavy machinery operating in the background, Luke began our speaker series event with a presentation about different ways to support local music and how she has utilized those methods in her daily life and made a career of it.

Outside of Second Line Vinyl, Lyz is the Executive Producer of UnderCover Presents, a nonprofit grassroots collective that gathers musicians from all over the bay area to celebrate the influence of classic albums such as Sly & the Family Stone’s Stand! (1969) to Green Day’s Dookie (1994). Luke uses her platform at UnderCover to reach out to audience members and encourage them to support artists by buying merch and participating in the “Music Enabler Pledge” to support local music. This pledge challenges audience members to be open to listening to new music.

Luke mentioned how important it is for her to be active within her community and how she was tired of seeing artists move to places like Nashville, Los Angeles and New York because they felt unsupported here in the Bay Area. As a result, Luke came up with Bump Town, an all ages hub in Oakland for artists to connect and showcase their work. Bump Town provides free curriculum for artists that discusses topics like social justice and music business. Bump Town is set to open up in 2019.

2017 was the first year that vinyl sales exceeded digital sales so there are no signs of vinyl slowing down. What does Second Line Vinyl bring to the table? It’s the first women-owned vinyl pressing plant in the Bay Area that utilizes modern technology so people can order vinyl online, not over phone or fax! Prior to Second Line Vinyl, artists were waiting 6-9 months for their vinyl orders, but the company can assure that you can get your products in 2-3 months instead. Not many people can say that they’ve seen vinyl being pressed, but last month our CCP interns were able to get a front row seat to witness the process after the presentation was over. Lyz then introduced Piper Payne, Second Line’s Chief Product Officer (CPO), who explained to our interns the process of how vinyl works.

To close off the presentation, Lyz gave advice on how we can support local music and different venues we can be a part of. We learned that an important part in making a first impression is following up and having a clear point of what to talk about. To see a woman from our community tackling multiple passion projects within the music industry is nothing short of amazing. One may think that pursuing so many projects can be overwhelming, but when asked how she keeps from getting overwhelmed Lyz said, “I love my job. When I do my job it never feels like I’m working. It also helps that I get to work with my friends.”

 

Jade Aguigui is from Fairfield, California and attends Diablo Valley College, where she double majors in Music Industry Studies and Sociology and hopes to prepare herself for a career that tackles social injustice within the music industry.