Pioneer Records announces new Pioneer Stars

Written By Luke Mongelli, Co-News Editor

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Pioneer records named Elias Khouri and Dejah Monea as Point Parks’ 2019-20 Pioneer Stars.

According to Point Park University’s official website, Monea, a 20-year-old junior that majors in sports, art and entertainment Management (SAEM) from the Pittsburgh area, and Khouri, an 18-year-old freshman SAEM major from Emsworth, Pa. were the students selected to be the seventh and eighth artists to represent Point Park University and Pioneer Records as their stars of the year.

Monea is a Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School graduate, who started her music career at the age of nine, and mostly focuses her attention to R&B.

Khouri is a Nazareth Prep graduate who concentrates his time on mainly rock, blues and soul genres.

Amee Renninger, a 20-year-old SAEM major, is the Director of Operations at Pioneer Records. Renninger revealed that making this decision was difficult.

“There is an incredible amount of talent at Point Park, and we had more submissions for the Pioneer Star than ever before, which definitely made the decision a difficult one,” Renninger said.

Renninger further explained the criteria for deciding the Pioneer Star.

“Everyone who submitted music had a lot of talent, so much so we ended up picking two stars,” Renniger said. “Dejah had such a strong voice in her music she submitted to us, she also had original music which shows she has great song writing skills. Elias’s submission showed his great guitar skills. He has strong musicianship which we loved. Most of the decision from the Pioneer Star comes from listening to the music they send in. But we also look for artists who are really trying to get themselves out there and artists who are willing to work hard.”

Since 2015, Pioneer Records has chosen one musician through contest to select these stars. Becoming a Pioneer Star gives students the opportunity to record songs, music videos and publish CD’s to distribute.

“The Pioneer Star comes with some great opportunities,” Renninger said. “They get an EP recorded at Red Caiman Studios. This year because we have two stars they are each getting their own physical CD with a single on it. They also get an EP Release show over at The Club at Stage AE.”

The Pioneer Stars are not the only students to get hands on experience in the music industry.

“The Pioneer Star also gets a music video created by a class of Point Park students, half cinema students and half SAEM students,” Renninger said. “Pioneer Records also helps support them through social media, booking shows, PR, and anything else we can help the artist with.”

Pioneer Records is already on the hunt for their next two stars for the 2020-21 year.

“Artists who want to be the Pioneer Star can look into starting on our Talent Agency, this way Pioneer Records is aware of who they are,” Renninger said. “We want to help as many artists as we can, and want to hear from all the wonderful artists we have on campus.”