Kalyn French, an Ohio State alumna is highlighting Columbus’ music scene through her capstone film project. Credit: Courtesy of Selenna Eng

An Ohio State alumna has created a celebration of local art, highlighting Columbus’ music scene through her capstone film project.

Kalyn French, a second-year student attending GROOVE U, a two-year music industry career program in Dublin, Ohio, is the creator of The C-Side project. The project is a weekly video series featuring Columbus musicians covering a different local artist’s song, followed by an interview with the band.

“We had free range to make whatever we wanted, but it had to be something that would take up considerable time and effort,” French said. “We decided to create a project in which we highlight the special camaraderie that exists in Columbus’ music scene.

French created the C-Side project with help from Maddy Slimak and Scott Saylor, who are both in music production, and Katie Dybzinski, who studies music business.

Charles Hauser, lead business instructor at GROOVE U, said the students took charge of the project from start to finish.

“They created the idea, recruited artists, recorded live performances, mastered an album, created a social media channel and promoted the launch to let music enthusiasts know about this innovative artistic project,” Hauser said. “What they accomplished was not easy, but that’s a bridge to understand that establishing yourself in the music industry isn’t going to be easy either.”

French graduated from Ohio State in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Korean. Initially, she wanted to travel to Korea and teach English but found herself in what she called “graduation limbo.”

“I knew what, ideally, I wanted to have for a career. I really wanted to work with Korean artists. I had this huge dream with a huge gray area post-graduation, so I just worked for a year,” French said.

During that year, French said she looked inward and explored potential outlets that might have been the path to her dreams. Her mother discovered and pushed her toward GROOVE U,  which would allow French to stay closer to home for the program.

Sterling Brunsvold, lead video instructor at GROOVE U, compares the school’s program to that of a master’s program in the music industry. Students within the program declare a focus such as video production, audio production, music business or law in the music industry.

“When students get into their second year at GROOVE U, like Kalyn, most of it is self-driven similar to in the way a master’s program would be,” Brunsvold said. “The big focus is getting them exposure to real skills that will help them secure actual employment or really strong internships to lead to that employment.”

French is spending the summer at an internship before graduation in August. She said she doesn’t know where she will end up yet but wouldn’t mind staying in Columbus until she makes that decision.

“Once you graduate, that doesn’t mean everything just stops. When you’re looking for an employer, really show them what makes you unique and why having you onboard would make their lives better,” French said.

The C-Side project series can be viewed on Elementary Records’ YouTube page. Vinyl records of the covers will be available at the release party at 7 p.m. on April 25 at Craft & Vinyl.