April 01, 2018

By Emily Gibbs ’18

When Christian Coleman ’19 listens to music he wrote, he feels like he’s watching a movie.

“My music is just me painting a picture of my feelings,” he says. “It doesn’t really fit a genre. It’s just me telling a story.”

Coleman, known musically as Khan the Don, first recorded his own music at age 18 at the startup music studio Music Works NYC, where he completed a marketing internship last summer.

Yes, Coleman is a marketing major, not a music major. That’s because–from art and entertainment to music and fashion–Coleman wants to be part of the machine that promotes it all.

As an intern, Coleman’s duties included working behind the scenes in the recording studio, creating artist websites and contributing to the production of content for the label artist.

“Having the chance to be innovative in a business atmosphere makes you more prepared for the future,” Coleman says. “You get to see your ideas come to life and how to make them work.”

Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Music Works NYC is a multifaceted company that includes a recording studio and two media record labels, one reggae and the other hip-hop.

“My music taps into something in me separate from school, and even working with other artists,” he says. “Although the more you know about marketing, the more you understand why people like what they like and how to find a market.”

Coleman participates in a wide variety of activities on campus, including Fashion Club, the Black Student Union and the organization Design, Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship.

In addition, Coleman participated in the Sigmund Weis School’s House of Hawks business pitch competition in March. The competition allows participants 90 seconds to present their ideas before a panel of judges, win cash prizes and build networks with other business owners.

He presented a soundboard app prototype, called Lango, that he intends to develop throughout his time at Susquehanna. Coleman says the app will allow users to access a crowd-sourced soundboard for slang depending on location, offering multiple ways of interacting with each term and phrase. Possible forms of interaction include reading definitions and watching related GIFs submitted by other users.

“I’ve always known that an incomplete app would be hard to sell, but I got a platform to share my idea through House of Hawks,” Coleman says.