The majority of bands and solo acts that make it big on the national music scene—particularly those that sign with big labels—have a sim­ilar sound, according to Joey Lafy­atis, a second-​​year music industry major. And that’s just fine with Lafy­atis, who is pres­i­dent of Green Line Records, Northeastern’s student-​​run record label.

We’re not looking for the next Justin Bieber, the next Adele, the next fill-​​in-​​the-​​blank,” Lafy­atis said. “We’re looking for the next unique act.”

Lafy­atis has spent much of his time at North­eastern helming Green Line Records, par­tic­u­larly helping it tran­si­tion from an over­bur­dened stu­dent group to a fully-​​functional label that helps stu­dent acts record albums, sell mer­chan­dise, and book shows. The Col­lege of Arts, Media, and Design rec­og­nized Lafy­atis last semester for his entre­pre­neurial lead­er­ship with the label’s restruc­turing, which involved jet­ti­soning Green Line’s existing crop of artists in order to rebuild the orga­ni­za­tion from the ground up. In the past year, the orga­ni­za­tion has devel­oped a sus­tain­able busi­ness plan and pro­vided music industry stu­dents with valu­able expe­ri­ence in recording and management.

Prior to April, Green Line had signed three groups since its reor­ga­ni­za­tion last year. But that number grew ear­lier this month during the Green Line’s first ever “Signing Week,” which saw the intro­duc­tion of five new solo artists or groups, including singer-​​songwriters Brandon Pascua and Anneka, indie rock band Bon­fire Blue, indie folk act brave ele­phant, and free-​​spirited jam band Under­water Bear Ballet.

Green Line Records signed The Great Destroyer, a local act made up of two alumni and a current student.

Green Line Records signed The Great Destroyer, a local act made up of two alumni and a cur­rent stu­dent. Cour­tesy photo.

In addi­tion to Green Line’s bur­geoning port­folio of artists, they’re becoming a go-​​to source for recording on campus. They pro­vide their acts—all of which have some North­eastern con­nec­tion, either as stu­dents or alumni—with the resources to record any­thing from a single track to a full album.

Musi­cians signed with Green Line say being part of a label makes it easier for them to focus on their music, leaving details like booking shows and ordering mer­chan­dise to those with the know-​​how to do the job. And having others working for the suc­cess of your band serves as an extra push to create the best pos­sible music.

It gives us moti­va­tion to become the best band we can be,” said Joe Froeber, a third-​​year music tech­nology major who is a member of The Great Destroyer, a classic rock-​​inspired band formed by two North­eastern alumni, Anders Olson and Mike Simpson. “When you see them wanting us to suc­ceed, it pushes us to do even more.”