Local Rapper Kipp Stone Inks Deal with Chicago-Based Label
It’s almost fitting that cold winter winds seemed to finally blow down into Ohio just as reps from the Chicago-based indie record label Closed Sessions came to town to visit their first out-of-town signee, Kipp Stone. After a full day of visiting Stone at his home, touring the city to get a better feel about where Stone is from and the obligatory visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the final stop is Cauliflower Audio at 78th Street Studios to unwind and play a few songs.
The atmosphere is light as music plays in the background. A 12-pack of Stella Artois is nearly emptied as the guys in the room crack jokes about dating preferences and experiences with the Tinder app. Stone is calm and collected as he lays on one of the studio’s couches waiting to be interviewed.
Closed Sessions developed from a working relationship between engineer Michael Kolar and DJ/journalist Alexander Fruchter; Kolar would engineer the various projects that Fruchter would work on while running the blog Ruby Hornet.
“He mastered this mixtape I was doing with a guy named Naledge who was in a group called Kidz in the Hall,” Fruchter says. “When I took it in to master it, I asked Mike how much do I owe for this and he said, ‘You can pay me for this, or how about you never pay for the studio again, but every time you’re doing something cool, you bring it to my studio.’ That was like our deal. So I started doing that all the time. Then, I had the idea of when the artists come to do my party, I can take them to the studio, do video and photo and see where it goes. We did the first version of this with Curren$y and he made a song called ‘Rapper Weed.’ Right after he made the song, he got on UStream and within a few minutes he had a ton of people following him, the song went everywhere. He was like, ‘I don’t want anyone else in this space.’ And that’s how we kinda called it a closed session. It started off as a content piece for the blog.”
Kolar and Fruchter soon began to realize that this closed session approach was going to become its own thing.