The Collctve: A look into Penn's underground music scene


Their mission is simple: foster Penn's music culture. Bring Penn kids together with music through  listening, experiencing, producing, performing and talking about it. Music pervades every aspect of our Penn life—on Locust, in the library, at a dance show, at a pregame—but it’s surprisingly underrepresented in conversations at Penn. People go out and focus on what they did, who they saw, how drunk they got, but rarely the music they heard. That’s the problem that the Collctve’s founder, Mike Palamountain C’17, wanted to solve. He realized there was a lack of creative space at Penn for his type of music. Soon, he met like–minded people and the underground–music group soon grew, beginning to get hired to DJ different events at Penn. This was last year. That is far from how the group functions today. 

Mike Palamino, Founder

Aayush Sanghrajka

Today, the group is shifting and growing its reach. They’re rapidly expanding to create what seems like Penn’s first hub for underground music–culture. What is underground music? We had the same question.  It's the music you won't hear on top 40 –the stuff that many people won't know exists.  But, the music is not exclusive to that genre. Because of the group's size, their music styles and tastes span a wide and diverse range.  In the past year, the group’s new class has expanded to 26 members—with titles ranging from DJ, rapper, singer, writer and producer.  These roles have come together to visualize and create various projects. Not only does the Collctve provide DJs to other events, but they host their own parties, concerts and performances.  Most of their project titles mimic their vowel–deprived name like LVE TRIO, WRKSHP or BOILER RM. They’re providing space for their underground niche.  I personally had the ~journalistic pleasure~ of attending their Mura Masa pregame. It gave me a window into this community, but also an excuse to drink and hang out with the members (guilty). Not only did they play music that rivaled the actual concert we pre–gamed for, but the vibe was all we imagined it to be. Every conversation was genuine, every personality was different and every mind loved music.  You should see for yourself at their Louis the Child pregame in November.

You can also see the development of The Collctve’s brand with their online presence—their images and videos are clean, branded and tasteful. Each video or photo created by The Collctve features their logo and gives a slightly mysterious sneak peek of each project as they come to fruition. The images are minimalist yet pull you in. The latest video project, the Freshman Cypher, is something to look out for in the coming weeks. If you’ve seen XXL Magazine’s Freshman Cypher you’d get the gist. The Collctve pulled together their Freshman class and tasked them to create a product that showcased each individual talent (singer, rapper, producer, videographer) of the class. It just dropped yesterday, so check out the promo and the cypher here. They also do event photography and video, so if you want your #party to look cool, check 'em out.

From what you we can see, the Collctve is living up to its name. Truly, they are a collective of talented musicians and designers at Penn, collaborating on events and projects. Here at Penn, there is so much going on with music, from Penn’s thriving performing arts (music, art, dance) scene to the SPEC concerts, it makes sense that select individuals from all facets of the arts and culture scene would interact and collaborate.  We’re excited to see what happens next with them, we expect big things. 

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