Student create Rinse 716 to help spread EDM

Student-created production company spreads EDM at UB


Zoe Sparks has loved electronic dance music (EDM) since she was in high school.

The graduate student in the School of Social Work has spent many weekends since her first arrival at UB in 2011 for undergrad searching for EDM shows in the area – with little success.

“I started to travel to shows because there wasn’t a lot at home,” Sparks said. “I went to Toronto, New York City – even Rochester and Syracuse – because it was so much more promoted. It was sad that I would hear about things to go to in Rochester but not in Buffalo.”

Sparks decided to fix the problem alongside Russell Divincenzo, a junior business administration major at Medaille College, and Nick Milbrand, who works at an autoshop in Buffalo. Last spring, the three created Rinse 716, their own production and event company.

Rinse 716 finds DJs and speaks to local bar and nightclub owners to set up their own events. Through the promotion of these events, Rinse 716 aims to reach as many people as possible – which is why at the start of the fall semester, the company began to increase its presence at UB.

One of the company’s main goals is an all-inclusive experience – something that, according to its owners, is lacking elsewhere in the EDM scene.

“We’ve found there’s a lot of discord in the music scene,” Sparks said. “It can be cliquey and not welcoming so we’re trying to just get everyone involved. With such a big population of students, UB is a great way to do this.”

It wasn’t always apparent to Rinse 716 just how important reaching out to UB students would be. Divincenzo, the booking manager of the company in charge of seeking out venues and finding talent, describes UB as a market that wasn’t initially tapped.

“I started hosting events when I lived up in Toronto and it was so much easier to get people out up there,” Divincenzo said. “When I moved back to Buffalo the numbers completely dropped. Now that we are marketing to UB students, I think it’s the biggest part we were missing. There’s so many kids coming to school here from all over and everyone’s looking for something to do on the weekend.”

Rinse 716 has hosted two events since they began reaching out to UB students and is already noticing an increased turn out. However, the company doesn’t only want to utilize students as attendants of their events – it also wants to be a resource for students who wish to showcase their talent.

“A lot of other production companies book the same artist over and over again and don’t give the younger generation a chance to play out and show what they can do, so we really wanted to give them the opportunity to do that,” Divincenzo said.

Wayny Colon, a freshman civil engineering major, is one of these artists. Colon started listening to EDM two years ago and it wasn’t long before he became eager to be on the other side of the music.

“When I started listening to EDM, my interest in being a DJ naturally followed,” Colon said. “I liked being able to dictate the level of energy that a crowd gives out.”

Colon is looking forward to playing at a Rinse 716 event on Nov. 28 along with at least five other artists. He is extremely grateful he was able to connect with the company.

“It has been a great opportunity for me to work with this group because they're helping provide exposure in a community I just recently moved to. I would definitely recommend Rinse 716 to other any other DJs or artists,” Colon said.

The talent Rinse 716 is looking to showcase isn’t limited to music. According to the co-owners, they know that UB has a variety of talented students and they want to get in touch with them.

“We’re always looking to add more people to our roster,” Divincenzo said. “Whether it’s DJs, graphic designers, promoters, videographers – anyone that thinks they have something they can offer we’d love to talk to them and see if we can include them in our productions.”

Sophia McKeone is a features staff writer. Features desk can be reached at