Collin Walsh’s life changed as he walked home from class. He was on 32nd Street, on the edge of Drexel’s campus, and took a call from a representative at APA Agency, a booking and talent agency. Collin’s band, Grayscale, was being offered a deal to have APA represent them and book them on tours. Collin and his bandmates signed the deal and through that connection they signed a deal with Fearless Records. Within the week Walsh went from being the lead singer of an independent local touring act to signing a record deal. “It was a crazy moment. It happened so quickly,” says Walsh.
Grayscale is an alternative rock band with a sound that Walsh compares to bands such as Third Eye Blind, The Main and Mooseblood. When they signed a record deal, Collin was a junior finance major intent on finishing his studies like any other student, but the band’s rapid success necessitated a change in plans. When the opportunity to go on a national tour arose, Walsh had to put his studies on hold. “Drexel has been so helpful with me jumping in and out and allowing me to pursue music and graduate as well,” says Walsh.
When he returned to class after Grayscale’s first tour there was some initial awkwardness. “It feels like I’m living a double life in a way. I go to class and I’m a Drexel finance student and I go on tour and I’m something totally different. But at the same time, in a lot of ways they merge and it’s super cool to see that,” he says.
The life of a touring musician is certainly different than the average finance student’s, but Walsh noticed early on that the knowledge he had gained in his studies would cross over and actually prove to be an advantage. “Being in a band is no different than owning your own business. You have a product, you have a target market and you have distribution — you have all the elements of a business. But a lot of musicians don’t think of it that way,” explains Walsh.
The most tangible aspect of Grayscale’s “product” was released in May – an album titled, “Adornment.” The band will go on tour for six weeks with over 40 shows, including a stop in Philadelphia’s TLA venue on September 7.
Walsh intends to finish his final credits upon his return and thereby join a very small demographic — rock stars with finance degrees.