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The Lansing State Journal on 'The Cherrytree House Sessions, Volume 1' and Martin Kierszenbaum

Check out the article below taken from the Lansing State Journal, a newspaper that head of Cherrytree, Martin Kierszenbaum, used to deliver as a teen (on a bike throwing it like in the video game).

E. Lansing grad heads up Interscope imprint

A few decades ago, East Lansing native Martin Kierszenbaum had a vision to bring stripped-down, living room-close performances to the masses.

He founded Cherrytree Records, an imprint of Interscope, and brought big-named artists into his office space to perform - everyone from Sting to Lady Gaga to Feist.

His latest project is Cherrytree's first compilation digital album, "The Cherrytree House Sessions, Volume 1," featuring those intimate performances from Sting, Kelis, Far East Movement and more.

Kierszenbaum's first experience with music was playing piano as a kid. Later, he began jamming with locals.
"I tried to put together bands with kids from Okemos and East Lansing and met other musicians by posting fliers on the walls at Marshall Music," he said. "I ended up connecting with musicians from DeWitt, Okemos and East Lansing, and we were playing in high school bands and clubs. It was a different time. Things moved a lot slower because there was no Internet."

His parents, who lived in East Lansing, let him have rehearsal space in their living room. Not many parents were that cool.

"They were the only parents would let us do that," he said. "I became intrigued by music, and it consumed me."

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a triple major in Spanish literature, music theory and communications management, Kierszenbaum ventured to Los Angeles. There, he completed a master's degree from the University of Southern California, landed a job at a record label and worked his way up. He started Cherrytree Records in 2005.

"I had signed a Russian group called Tatu on my own label, and also worked with Keane, and they were both doing really well...I went to my boss at Interscope and told him I'd love to start my own label and brand it as 'pop alternative,' and develop those artists until the mainstream pays attention to them," he said. "So we started it, and the first artist I signed was Feist."

The roster grew to include Keane, Lady Gaga and Sting.

"Sting I knew from my years in the business, and it was an honor to have him join the roster," he said.

The compilation is a snapshot of artists who performed at his Cherrytree office.

"The Cherrytree House came from my experience in East Lansing and my parents letting me set up instruments in their living room," he said. "So now, it's like a stage set-up in my office, and a lot of the instruments I collected over the years from Music Manor and Marshall Music.

"I actually saved up the money to buy some of these instruments as a kid when I had a Lansing State Journal paper route, and they're still in my office today."

• Get it: "The Cherrytree House Sessions, Volume 1," featuring Sting, Feist, Kelis, more. $9.49 at 

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