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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Former freelancer becomes own boss, developing Scotify Studios into next media competitor

#Collaborateforever key to initial success, open to working with other businesses
J. Scott Kunkel/Scotify Studios

Scotify, the nickname turned business moniker of 25-year-old J. Scott Kunkel, is launching his first ever official location for his photography and videography business next month.

Kunkel was a freelancer for multiple Madison businesses, including the Majestic Theatre, before he founded Scotify Studios, with new employees and new goals.

Located at 312 W. Lakeside St. by Monona Bay, the location allows for Scotify and his team to immerse themselves into the local community, while also staying close to the downtown area. Having this space allows for employees to easily travel around the area as well as having clients come in for photo shoots, interviews, etc.


Since starting his business in 2014, Scotify has built up a sturdy client list and has garnered a good amount of support from the community. Because of that, he is able to take his business in this new direction.

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Their new website — which is also “coming soon” — reveals part of this new direction: Artist development, branding and content management. Along these lines, the hashtag “#collaborateforever” has been showing up all over Scotify Studios’ Facebook page, paired with photos and videos of artists and businesses they’ve been working with.

#Collaborateforever speaks to his mission as a creative, which to him means to not limit himself with whom he works with. That’s one of the biggest mentalities behind their process, he said.

“I want to be working with other people because it’s going to challenge me, and it’s going to push me to be more open-minded to individuals as well,” Kunkel said. “I think that everyone has a strong voice; I think that everyone has a strong vision.”

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What does all of that mean? For them, it means growing along with the artists they work with. Being involved with the music scene is what Kunkel loves most, and growing creatively through that process. Along with other businesses and through commercial work, the business is moving in the right direction.

To continue making such progress, Kunkel and Scotify are going to be building portfolios that showcase the studio’s work, as well as giving the artists a platform.

Currently, they are continuing to work with people they’ve already built relationships with, as well as reaching out to local businesses to see if they’d be a good fit for each other. This is where the content management side comes in, which displays both parties’ work through building an Instagram presence. For example, they’ve been working with a local blacksmith, Isaiah Schroeder, who makes kitchen knives and other utensils. His Instagram page features a handful of photos taken by Scotify Studios.

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From there, they hope their content will enable Schroeder to get his knives into a local restaurant, which brings yet another business to the picture. And for them, that is exactly what collaboration looks like.

“It gives everyone a conversation online that they’re actually connected to,” Kunkel said. “It’s not some big, thought out ad campaign, it’s natural organic content.”

Madda Udvari-Solner, Scotify Studios’ Director of Artist Development, shed some light on what that development process looks like. To help artists get their content out, they help them build an electronic press kit, including press photos, live sessions, social media links, etc. The goal is to create a cohesive space for artists to share their work and one that looks good too.

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Looking at the big picture, Scotify Studios not only wants to connect people in the community and provide a space for growing artists, but to also create a space for up-and-coming college graduates to test their skills, Scotify said. Giving them a chance to work on a few projects would be a way for them to build a portfolio that they could use moving forward.

“I want to create a space that I feel comfortable going to and working out of. That’s the vibe that we are trying to create with Scotify Studios,” Kunkel said.

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