With artists like Kid Cudi and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony hailing from Cleveland, The Land certainly has some cred in the hip-hop world—but music producer Simon Mastri thinks our city has only scratched the surface.
That’s why he’s teamed up with four other Clevelanders to launch Spin Cycle Records, a new full-service recording studio and early-career navigation hub for hip-hop & R&B artists.
“There is a lot of talent here, but not a lot of people who can effectively guide those artists through the music industry,” says Mastri, a Cleveland Heights native. “That’s where we see a need.”
Mastri understands a young musician’s trajectory well, having honed his chops at The Music Settlement as a high schooler and spent two summers on a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee's five-week music intensive program. After living in New York for several years as a student at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, Mastri returned to Cleveland in August 2019, where he began taking classes at Tri-C’s Recording Arts & Technology program.
“I initially enrolled at Tri-C to be able to connect my conservatory training with electronic music production,” says Mastri. “But after I took a music business class, I realized that what I really wanted to do was help provide more music business infrastructure in the city of Cleveland.”
The team at Spin Cycle RecordsEnter Spin Cycle Records, which will offer music production services, a recording studio, and an in-house advertising agency known as Permanent Press. Currently, Mastri runs the business out of his own residence in the Hodges School work-live complex in St. Clair-Superior, but he and the Spin Cycle team recently acquired a second unit to open a dedicated studio and office in the building.
“It’s an old elementary school filled almost entirely with artists, and it’s a been a great place for us,” says Mastri. "We're looking forward to expanding into the new space."
Mastri's partners on the project include his former Cleveland Heights High School classmates Giles Von Doom and Dorian Martin, as well as graphic designer Eleanor Conrad and A&R rep Phillip Bounthisavath. Together they hope to elevate Cleveland's music scene and mount their own record label within it to empower emerging hip-hop and R&B artists.
"There is a lot of talent here that has never gone beyond the confines of Cleveland," says Mastri. "We want to provide all the pieces of the puzzle toward becoming a successful artist and being heard."