The sounds of a ‘super’ internship
If you were one of the millions of people following the Super Bowl on social media this year, you might have seen a video or two featuring the work of John Kronlokken ‘16.
Kronlokken, along with Eric Fawcett ‘92, was part of a team that created a social media campaign for audio equipment corporation Bose that was publicized during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
They turned tweets of trash talk between Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos fans into music videos that were released on various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
Kronlokken worked with Fawcett to create 20 tracks for these videos. “My role in this project was really rewarding because I was involved in many different areas of music production,” says Kronlokken, who demoed, mixed, and arranged the music.
Then Kronlokken and Fawcett traveled to Boston, where they spent the week preceding the Super Bowl at Bose Studios. Fawcett, who was the music director of this project, was brought in by a New York-based music branding agency called Music and Strategy. The combined team spent an intense three days shooting all 20 of the videos, which feature a core band composed of Fawcett, Kronlokken, and three other musicians. “I got to play drums, percussion, guitar, keyboard, and I got to be a DJ,” Kronlokken says.
His experience at Bose Studios was a “life-changing moment,” says Kronlokken, “because it clearly solidified what I’m supposed to be doing.”
From the classroom to the real world
Kronlokken took the first steps toward Bose Studios last spring, when he attended an Alumni in Residence event coordinated by the St. Olaf College Piper Center for Vocation and Career that featured Fawcett.
The Alumni in Residence program brings St. Olaf graduates back to campus to provide students with information about specialized careers in specific fields. Kronlokken attended the event on a whim, but he was immediately taken with Fawcett’s work. Kronlokken struck Fawcett as “bright, ambitious, and confident.”
That initial connection led to an internship at Egg Music, which Kronlokken has sustained and developed since.
Fawcett, an award-winning drummer, founded Egg Music with acclaimed songwriter John Hermanson ‘93 after more than a decade of touring with their band Spymob. Egg specializes in creating custom music for all forms of media, including film, television, and radio. It aims to empower musicians and foster creativity.
Kronlokken spent the summer interning at this dynamic company, where every day was different and his own contributions were diverse. Fawcett says he and Hermanson quickly realized that Kronlokken “would say yes to whatever we asked him to do and then do something with it that we hadn’t even thought of.”
At Egg, Kronlokken worked directly with clients on recording projects, “getting to see how the business runs on the front line.” He also spent some of his time behind the scenes in the company’s music library, where he organized custom tracks by assigning keywords to each.
“Real-world experience is a really important part of this liberal arts experience,” says Kronlokken, who considers his internship at Egg “an important capstone to my St. Olaf career.”
Fawcett agrees. He says that St. Olaf’s “rich liberal arts education taught me how to write, how to communicate, how to question, and I’ve used that in every gig that I’ve ever had in music, whether I was drumming, or whether I was pitching new work for Egg.” For all that the liberal arts offer, though, “getting practical experience at a place like Egg” is invaluable, according to the musician.
A constructive and collaborative relationship
Gaining real-world experience is perhaps even more imperative for students like Kronlokken who are looking to pursue careers in the competitive music industry. Before his internship at Egg, Kronlokken was already well on his way — he is the chair of DNNR PRTY, a student-run record label that provides networking, performing, and recording opportunities to St. Olaf musicians and cultivates an alternative music scene on campus.
In addition, he has performed with the St. Olaf Jazz ensemble as a drummer and with the St. Olaf Band and St. Olaf Orchestra as a classical percussionist. In fact, Kronlokken just travelled to Cuba this March on tour with the Jazz band.
As an economics and music major planning to work as a record producer, Kronlokken is especially grateful for “the opportunity to collaborate with these experienced industry veterans.”
During his time at Egg, Kronlokken says, “I found my true passion, what made me tick, that sweet spot.”
Yet the most important outcome of Kronlokken’s internship is the relationship that he has cultivated with Fawcett. For Kronlokken, Fawcett has been a mentor, “a role model of how to function creatively, both as a business owner and as a musician.”
Kronlokken emphasizes, though, that Fawcett has also been a collaborator. “From day one, for someone who is so experienced in the music industry and so talented,” he says, “Eric has been the most open and the most supportive collaborator.”
And for Fawcett? “John is always there. He’s like half my age, and I have no hesitation getting his second opinion on all of this stuff,” he says.
So when Fawcett was planning his trip to Boston this January, he didn’t ask if he could bring his summer intern. He asked if he could bring his “right-hand man.”
Listen to just a few of the music videos Kronlokken and Fawcett created for Bose here: