Gamellia hopes to use accounting degree to break into the music business

Instead of concentrating on methods for corporate financial reporting in accounting class, Nick Gamellia found himself wondering how much homemade Play-Doh he could afford to use in his band’s first music video without breaking the budget.

With shaggy blonde hair, a beard and a lip ring, Gamellia readily admits he is not the typical accounting student. The senior, who will graduate in June, is passionately focused on his latest music project and his aspirations of becoming a music mogul.

Through his band, King Jasper, which performs a mixture of rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop, Gamellia is showcasing his talents both on stage and behind the scenes. King Jasper, which features a singer, two rappers and a disc jockey, is performing locally and has plans for a college tour next fall, Gamellia said.

Getting King Jasper noticed in the music scene is where Gamellia said his business education will give him have an advantage over other up-and-coming acts. For the past two years he has used accounting, marketing and business law courses to form his own “Business School of Rock,” as he calls it.

“Fisher gave me the ability to step forward and develop the best game plan to help this project be successful,” Gamellia said. “This is my business plan.”

Gamellia plays the electric guitar on the project, but takes a larger role in the overall sound and branding of King Jasper. He co-produced and co-wrote the eight-track album, which will be released in April. He oversees the merchandising and is heavily involved in the creative process for the band’s first music video.

As he juggles a new album, coordinates the live show, the launch of the band’s Web site at the end of March and promotional materials related to King Jasper, Gamellia has enlisted the help of other Fisher students. Brad Wentz, a senior in the Honors Cohort program, is assisting the band's business matters. Jeff Whitt, a fellow accounting student, is helping coordinate King Jasper’s t-shirts and other promotional items.

“There are so many different elements that go into this beyond music to create the total image record labels are looking for,” Gamellia said. “Our new Web site, which will feature an online store with a series of t-shirts and belt buckles, will bring our fans together and allow us to do so much more in terms of marketing.”