Alexander Fruchter - Adjunct Faculty - Music Business
Alex Fruchter graduated from Indiana University in 2004 as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Despite graduating with high honors as a double major in psychology and sociology, Fruchter’s passion has always been music. Pooling together ten years of experience behind the decks as a DJ with years of experience as a music journalist, Fruchter helps guide students as the instructor in the department’s practicum course, AEMMP Hip Hop -- the Business and Entrepreneurship student-run hip hop label.
What lead you to being an adjunct at Columbia?
It’s an interesting story. I was originally hired in the fall of 2010 [by the students of] the AEMMP Hip Hop class to perform A&R and host the AEMMP Hip Hop mixtape. The school decided that they would not release [the mixtape] for sampling purposes and several other reasons. Everyone was pretty taken aback, and I think it changed how that class works. Justin Sinkovich was teaching the class at the time, and we talked a lot about the project, what the problem was with sampling, etc. Through those talks, [Sinkovich] came to my office and saw what we were doing here in the field of digital media and marketing. [The following semester] I taught E-Commerce, [and] this fall  I made the switch to the AEMMP Records class, actually taking over the Hip Hop section from Justin. So things have really come full circle.
Tell us about your work outside of Columbia.
Currently I am the EIC of RubyHornet.com, a hip hop music and culture site. I’m also the president and founder of Closed Sessions, an independent record label based in Chicago, IL. We record original music and documentaries with artists from all over the country. We’ve released two projects, most recently Closed Sessions: ATX, which was released in March 2011 by Decon Records. Our new project will be released in early 2012 and features music/documentaries with Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan, CyHi The Prynce, Blu, Vonnegutt, Freddie Gibbs, LEP, and more.
How does your time in the classroom influence your work outside of the classroom?
I’d say they really go hand in hand. All the things that I’m guiding my students through in their class are things that I am currently doing, need to do, or have done for our own record label and website. Working with the kids gives me new ideas and perspectives in approaching our projects, as well as extra practice. My students are a great representation of the people that I want to get our music to and come to our website, so being able to see how they work, see what they like, and interact with them always gives me new insight in how to reach our target