Capitol Records: The End of an Era
By Samantha Wolf and Sahej Verma
Capitol Records was one of the biggest record labels in music history. But in the early 2000s, they faced turmoil with the rise of iTunes and online piracy. This year, LAMUN is reviving Capitol Records’ former glory to present a multi-faceted crisis committee relevant to modern day.
Los Angeles is a vibrant city known for its music legends. Committee chairs David Clymer and Shushan Ginosyan crafted the Capitol Records committee to capture the impact of this iconic industry. As a music major, Clymer has taken special interest in Capitol Records as a symbol of LA’s rich music history. “It’s an LA landmark. And now it’s just a building, with history,” says Clymer.
The goal of the committee is to re-experience the booming success of Capitol Records. Artists such as Frank Sinatra, Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg have all been signed to the company. However, after the creation of Limewire, a music piracy website, Capitol Records took a hit. Music began facing extreme devaluation.
This crisis committee is unique in many ways, especially in its unconventional topic. “A lot of MUN topics are always about diplomacy across borders,” explains Stephanie Yip, a member of the dais. “This is a committee that’s just about one place, and it’s a specific era of time, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with politics.”
Yip also mentions that this committee will be facing tough decisions, similar to the rigor and excitement of a real music industry. Delegates should be prepared to make tough decisions as a group, such as deciding which artists to sign. “It’s super fast paced, more fast paced than normal committees,” she says.
Nevertheless, there is a lot to look forward to. The committee staffers all share an anticipation for this upcoming LAMUN conference, like Keiyoko Bennett, another member of the dais. “This will definitely bring up a lot of creativity in the delegates, and that is definitely going to be one of the best parts about this,” she says.
The dais expect delegates to come ready to work, because the music industry is no easy business. For a lot of delegates, their job will be on the line. Everyone should be prepared to save Capitol Records - by any means necessary. “Even backstabbing. I kind of want to see that,” adds Bennett.
An important feature of this committee is its modern-day relevance. With the rise of technology and online industries like iTunes and Spotify, more and more artists are becoming independently signed while the idea of paying for music is a thing of the past. “People are losing jobs due to technology. Everything is being given up,” says Yip.
Clymer fears for the future of Capitol Records. “It’s one of those terrifying things to realize - this industry’s done.” Despite this, both chairs faith that delegates will find an appropriate solution. Ginosyan has one tip for delegates: “Be creative and think big. This is Hollywood, people!”