Michaels Burns, CEO of Oxford Originals, is a junior operations management and supervision major at Miami University. He said he made music on his laptop for several years and wanted a better space to record.
“It never came out sounding right, and I always wished I had the equipment or a place to record,” Burns said. “I figured there must be a bunch of kids like me that made music on their laptops without any equipment or anything, so I [thought] there might be some interest if there was a studio at Miami.”
Burns said his father gave him a large amount of his inheritance to afford the space. He realized there was no recording studio in Oxford, so he decided to open his own and contacted High Street Records, a student-run record label at Miami.
“I met Mike from High Street Records, and their original plan was to make music at Miami’s music center,” Burns said. “They found out that Miami would own any profit they made and own their songs for their artists, so now they are partnering with me.”
Mike Rellick is the president of High Street Records and a senior vocal performance and arts management major at Miami. Rellick said last semester his team focused on developing High Street Records and heard about a recording studio possibly coming to Oxford.
“We were interested to figure out more, because we were trying to find a home base that we could be able to start consistently recording in and really getting our artists recorded works,” Rellick said.
Rellick and Burns met during the High Street Records artist showcase concert, and the two immediately hit it off.
“We went right to the studio to check it out while it was being constructed,” Rellick said. “Then by the end [of the semester], we were like, ‘Well, let’s just go for a full partnership because we could definitely be able to fully benefit each other from this.’”
Initially, Burns was unsure if he wanted to open Oxford Originals. He didn’t know much about studio equipment, but when one of his classmates offered to be his engineer, he decided to go all in.
It took a few months for Burns to figure out the business end of the operation and get the space up and running..
“The place was pretty gross when I first got here, and there was a bunch of old copiers,” Burns said. “I hired a bunch of gut junk people, gutted it, and then just put flooring in.”
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Oxford Originals is now open for business, but it’s mostly available by appointment.
“Since I’m the only one who really runs it, I have to work around my school schedule,” Burns said.
Burns is excited for what the future will bring.
“I think it will be really good for my resume,” Burns said. “If I can say I got this many students in here in one semester … then maybe hopefully after I graduate, if it’s doing really well, then I’ll just have someone manage the place and keep it going or sell it to someone who would want to buy it as a full house with all the equipment.”