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Release sits down with “That New Jam” creator Christian Randell

Electronic music blogs are taking off in the Triple Cities. Last week we sat down with Live for The Drop, but the party doesn’t stop there. Christian Randell, founder and co-owner of music blog That New Jam, is also a Binghamton student. Randell describes his website as “a music blog aiming to pass on not only the best new tracks in hip hop, house, dubstep, indie and overall ear-pleasing music, but to bring back some of the classics that are floating around in everyone’s iTunes.” As That New Jam closes in on its one-year anniversary, the site has over 1,000 likes on Facebook and a cult following on Twitter. What began as a small project is now one of the most well-known music blogs around the Binghamton University campus. Complete with eye-popping pictures, samples from different tracks and mixes and several posts daily from writers who truly delve into all aspects of the music genres they know and love, That New Jam offers a little something for everyone. We did a Q&A with Randell to find out more about the blog that has everyone buzzing.

Release: What inspired you to start That New Jam?

Christian: Music has always been a huge part of my life and for as long as I can remember I’ve always loved the idea of knowing the “cool songs” before they’re “cool.” After LimeWire was shut down, I realized I had nowhere to go to find out about new music and download whatever I wanted and for a while I didn’t really find anything new. My brother (and co-owner of TNJ) Scott showed me ThisSongIsSick.com and my mind was blown that there is a whole community of people and blogs that are so dedicated to breaking new talent and providing consumers with free (and legal) music. After reading a regiment of up to almost 20 blogs at one point, I had a vision of what I liked and what I didn’t like from each blog and had an idea of a blog that was dedicated to breaking new talent and paying homage to the music that I had loved in the past.

R: When did the site officially go up?

C: I bought the domain name for ThatNewJam.com on Feb. 12 of last year. After sitting on my hands for the entirety of Feb. 13 trying to wrap my head around how the hell to build a website and figuring out what platform I was going to use, I dove in headfirst that night and started posting as much content as humanly possible.

R: Did it take a lot of outside help?

C: The help that I received was absolutely invaluable. Ryan Salerno, a Binghamton Rugby alumni turned me on to the WordPress.com platform of blogging which took all the intimidation of website design out of it and allowed us to start up the site for free and slightly “on training wheels” with use of a premade theme (the original site had an entirely white background and a simple teal “That New Jam” on top.)

C: Are all of TNJ’s writers exclusively Binghamton University students?

R: At the site’s inception all of the parts were based in Binghamton with the exception of my brother Scott who was still a senior at Oneonta at the time. We still have writers around Binghamton such as Alex Valera who helped us a ton in the early goings of the site and more recently Jordan Dienstag. Since then we’ve grown to include writers such as Alex Goldman (a Miami University grad) and Tyler Roper (our LI-based lifesaving “tech-guy” and content contributor.)

R: How do you feel about similar websites, such as Live For The Drop? Do you ever visit them for ideas or inspiration?

C: I have a huge respect for what Live For The Drop does and often look to them to see what kind of content they’re putting up. The beautiful part of the relationship is that although we are both music blogs, we do not occupy anywhere near the same niche; they are an authority of 128 BPM club music from the top artists that could call Ibizia home whereas we like to give a variety of everything from moombahton to hip-hop to indie pop to bass music and throwbacks.

R: Where do you see TNJ going in the future?

C: We look to continue growing and expanding the brand and influence of our opinion to eventually become an authority for people looking to follow the trends of the music industry. With the team of people we have right now and the grassroots support we have from the people around us, we know that as long as we continue to provide intelligent/interesting content and align ourselves with forward thinking people and brands, sky’s the limit right?