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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Sam Haber: teenage CEO of a record label

Starting at 13, junior Sam Haber has built a record label called “Heartbreak Records,” and has collaborated with multiple underrepresented artists in Boston.

Amidst the typical motion and commotion of high school hallways, junior Sam Haber is immersed in his own world of changing music for Boston.

Haber has worked with music for much of his life and is also the co-founder of a record label called “Heartbreak Records” alongside junior Zachariah Libert.

According to Haber, with an entirely musical family, he’s always been surrounded by music. He’s played the violin for 12 years. He explored many different styles before connecting with hip-hop.

“I’m a classical violinist. I’ve been playing for like 12 years. My dad got me sort of into classic rock back when I was 12 or 13. I had a rock band in 6th grade. It took me a while to sort of find the style that works for me,” Haber said.

When writing his lyrics, Haber said he takes a large amount of inspiration from past events in his life; he writes about growth and his childhood, and how it has shaped the person he is today.

Haber works with many artists, including Libert. Haber met Libert in their 6th grade English class at Florida Ruffin Ridley School where they quickly bonded over their shared interest in music. They have remained good friends since, and Haber credits Libert for having introduced him to hip-hop.

“[Libert] was a big fan of Chance the Rapper at Chance the Rapper’s Prime. He introduced me to that, and also that was when Juice WRLD died, so there was a big resurgence of his music,” Haber said.

Libert said he looks to Haber as someone who is hardworking and willing to do a lot to get to where he wants to be. Libert admires Haber not only as a person but also as an artist.

“He’s not afraid to step outside the lines of conventional art. He really just does his own thing. Whatever he sees best, he’s not afraid to add it and step outside boundaries,” Libert said.

One year after the meeting, Libert and Haber founded “Heartbreak Records.” According to Haber, their mission is to give unknown artists from Boston a platform to get their music out in the world.

“We had observed that there’s a massive hole in the music market in Boston. Which is just generally that there’s a lot of talent and there’s a lot of good artists, but there’s not the infrastructure that they need in order to grow their brands,” Haber said.

Haber said that historically, Boston has been overshadowed by other major cities in terms of recognition for hip-hop. Haber and Libert noticed this, and hope to make a change.

“Our goal is basically to take all that talent in Boston and provide it with the scaffolding and infrastructure it needs: resources and all sorts of stuff in order to develop the entire city and develop the entire culture to a point where we can compete on an international scale like New York, Atlanta and LA,” Haber said.

Brookline Interactive Youth Media Manager Wes Kaplan has been working with Haber since Haber was in 6th grade. He initially met him at the Brookline Teen Center when Haber was involved in a band called “Orbit” with some of his friends. Kaplan said that Haber, as the violinist and vocalist, stood out to him.

“Sam struck me as really laid back, easy to get along with, but also just very focused and serious about being creative. He had tons of projects that he was working on. He was really good at coming up with instrumental parts on the spot and collaborating with people. He fit right in immediately,” Kaplan said.

Despite Haber’s success in creating a record label and making his own music, he said he still faces setbacks and challenges as an artist and CEO.

“It’s definitely a long, multi-step process of revisions of songs to make them sound good. And it’s difficult because there are so many different elements of a song. Each step of the process, like writing the lyrics, the beat, then, mixing, mastering, all that sort of stuff has to be revised in itself multiple times,” Haber said.

According to Haber, he struggles as the CEO of “Heartbreak Records,” when people don’t take him seriously because of his young age. Initially being only 13, it was difficult to work with industry professionals as these more seasoned producers wouldn’t take Haber seriously after realizing his age.

Haber pushes through these challenges and is driven in his career by his desire to make an impact in the world. He said he is especially proud of how far “Heartbreak Records” has gotten given that the entire staff is under 25 years old. He said he has learned and grown from his time working on “Heartbreak Records,” and that he has high hopes for the future.

“It has helped me get better at approaching people and talking to people because I used to be really scared to do that,” Haber said. “Hopefully my image can continue to grow with ‘Heartbreak Records.’ ”

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