Ever wonder who’s behind your favorite Yep Roc releases? Every month we’ll introduce one Yep Roc employee with a personal Spotify playlist and a quirky caricature from our creative designer, Nathan Golub.
This month, we’re talking to Mariah Czap. Mariah’s been a Project Manager at Yep Roc for over a year and has worked on releases like Mandolin Orange, Liam Finn, and Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell. Since she’s the face for December, her playlist is Christmas themed. She named it “Get Behind Me Santa,” because “that’s an awesome title.”
Start feeling some holiday cheer and read below to find out some behind the scenes info on recent releases and what it’s like to party with Yep Roc artists at SXSW.
What does that entail?
As a project manager, I am responsible of seeing every aspect of a record release. I collaborate with publicists, managers, designers, booking agents, and other key members of the artists team to ensure that the sales, marketing, and promotion of a release is successful. I also project manage the Sawyer Sessions.
What are the Sawyer Sessions?
A video series where we collaborate with our local community by highlighting artists performing in unique Hillsborough locations.
What shaped your music taste? What did your parents listen to?
My parents totally shaped my taste in music. My dad played guitar while I was young so there was always music playing in our house. My mom and dad are on totally opposite sides of the musical spectrum; if my mom was driving me in the car we would listen to Sting and if my dad was driving it would definitely be Metallica. The cool thing about my parents is that my taste now influences theirs, like my dad really likes Coheed & Cambria and my mom loves the Black Keys. They’re just as interested in finding new music as I am.
What was the music scene like where you grew up?
I was always aware that the Chapel Hill music scene was good even though I got into it late in my youth. The first time I ever went to a concert was in high school and a ton of people from my high school were in bands. My first experience with the Chapel Hill scene was going to see my friends play and it’s definitely a scene to be proud of. It definitely feels like a community where I’ve met a lot of friends at concerts and continuously see the same people at shows across the triangle. Just knowing that the community appreciates local music as much as the musicians performing makes you realize how great of a scene it really is.
What song would play over the opening credits of your life?
The Park by Feist. In my head, the movie would be, I’m walking down some European side street in the fall, and I’m the only person on the sidewalk. And then I introduce myself to the audience. And it has to be European and in the fall. I guess what I’m saying is I hope I eventually end up somewhere in Europe. In the fall.
Best interaction with a Yep Roc artist?
This past year at SXSW it was my birthday the first night we were there. Eleni Mandell and I went to the hotel bar and did tequila shots to celebrate my 23rd birthday. Then we went to go get barbecue and she bought me a headband. It’s really pretty.
Who were you most excited to meet while working at Yep Roc?
I actually started at Yep Roc as an intern and Born Ruffians stopped by the offices to see the new facilities in 2013. I was totally fangirling in the dark intern corner as those handsome boys walked the hallways. They played a show at Motorco the same night and I was more normal except when they played Little Garçon, my favorite song from back in high school. Now I’m their project manager… I wonder if they remember me…
Best live show you ever saw?
Even though I’ve seen Neutral Milk Hotel twice and Jeff Mangum solo twice, seeing Jeff the first time at Memorial Hall in 2012 was definitely the best show I’ve ever seen. The venue was seated and everyone was quiet and realized that they were seeing something special. He didn’t really talk so it felt like we were watching him perform for himself. For the encore he performed “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” and Jeff let the audience know that they should sing it and everyone was stoked to rush to the stage and yell those lyrics.
After the show my friend Rob and I ended up by the loading dock with a few other people and ended the night talking with Jeff. I assumed he would be expressionless but he was unbelievably nice. We talked with him and he signed my ticket stub. It’s a primal experience when the artists you’ve listened to for a long time are genuinely good people.
What project have you been focusing on lately?
I’ve worked at Yep Roc for over a year, and Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell was the first project I was assigned. It was released last month and aside from being a great compilation, it’s a powerful album that I’m so privileged to be a part of. Arthur Russell was an incredible musician who deserves to recognized, and when other great artists like Sufjan Stevens and Hot Chip participate it make you realize how many people have been touched by Arthur’s music.
There are two live dates confirmed next year for performances of Arthur’s songs by artists who were included in the compilation, so not only seeing a record get released but seeing it performed before your very eyes is something that makes me feel honored that I was able to work with great people on this touching project.
What’s the focus of your playlist?
Because I am the December Face of Yep Roc, I decided to make my playlist Christmas themed. And it’s titled “Get Behind Me Santa” because that’s an awesome title.
Describe your life with a Drake song title.