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Many people have anxieties about their next step after college. With graduation looming around the corner, I, for one can attest to the feelings caused by my impending quarter-life crisis.
According to recent UCSB graduate Miguel Jiménez, graduation isn’t the colonoscopy appointment we make it out to be. Fresh out of college, Jiménez and partner Jeremy Wineberg have just launched the Opus Label, a boutique record label based out of Los Angeles. Last Friday I had the opportunity to dine with Jiménez and discuss his entrepreneurial endeavors (as well as to dispel some of my pre-graduation apprehension).
We’ve all heard the old saying: “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life.” Jiménez has apparently heard the saying loud and clear as he has now begun forging his own place in an industry he initially explored by chance.
Jiménez’s love of music and lack of weekend entertainment led him to put on local concerts in his hometown of Santa Monica during his high school years. Leaving the scene he helped create to head north for college, Miguel began appeasing his appetite for entertainment by starting the blog worldcoco.com, which focused on new music, band interviews and designers.
Miguel’s involvement with the blog also gave him the experience and opportunity to help launch Cliché Magazine. At Cliché, he acted as executive editor and interviewed well-known artists such as Tiësto, Owl City and White Lies, among others.
According to Jiménez, during these years, much of his involvement with these outlets was done as a labor of love and out of genuine interest in the art and entertainment world. Now, four years in Isla Vista and two completed majors (Spanish and Art) later, Miguel has taken the experience learned from his past endeavors to create his latest hustle: the Opus Label.
Reconnecting with former high school friend and collaborator Jeremy Wineberg, Jiménez co-founded the Opus Label to set a new standard for the way people experience art, music, fashion and culture. The duo’s focus on the discovering and distributing of “quality eclectic sounds” has culminated in their inaugural Opus Label Compliation One.
Dropping on Feb. 28, Opus Label One will include a variety of acts like Keljet and J.Viewz. But Jiménez and Wineberg aren’t stopping there. The two are rapidly expanding their business to include an outdoor concert venue in the Coachella Valley called Desert Nights, scheduled to open March 29. Opus’ goal for the venue is to redefine nightlife with a dedication to presenting the newest DJs and entertainment, an energetic and modern ambience and decadent service.
The company is also moving into the direction of fashion, attempting to create their own line of art-inspired, collectable t-shirts, which will someday be available worldwide.
These are big things from a guy who would casually fit into the crowd on an average night on DP. Though he has already accomplished quite a bit, Jiménez understands there is still a long way to go before the company is truly successful, which surely creates other anxieties.
Still, the discovery of a career goal that coincides with one’s genuine interests is an incredible advantage when beginning to work straight out of college.
“Luckily, I just kind of naturally fell into what I’m doing now, and with all my previous experience in this sort of field it worked out,” Jiménez said. “But I definitely would have appreciated someone telling me how important that [experience] is, and how the piece of paper you get upon graduation is not the most important thing to plan your career around.”
These wise words from a promising fellow Gaucho certainly resonated with me.
Opus Label One will be available Feb. 28 on iTunes and Amazon.com as well as locally at Best Buy and Miss Behavin’.
For more information about the Opus Label and Desert Nights check out www.opuslabel.com.