SelfMadeGlory; much more than a music studio

Chris Parker has a clear vision for his upstart recording studio in Mankato, SelfMadeGlory.

“We want to empower the creators. It doesn’t just have to be music related, but we find different avenues for any artists,” Parker said. “It’s about bringing it all together and having that creative hub and a safe space for everyone to get their ideas out there.”

It just so happens his studio exists in a building that, not so long ago, had a similar mission.

SelfMadeGlory can be found in what used to be Two Fish Studios, the studio built by the late Wes Schuck and his wife, Kristi.

Located in downtown Mankato, SelfMadeGlory, has spent several months renovating the space and accumulating a team that wants to help take recording artists to the next level.

The building itself has a track record of local bands and artists’ use. SelfMadeGlory hopes to have the same success and become a vessel for artists.

Kristi Schuck, who owns the building, thought the mission of SelfMadeGlory aligned with what her husband was so passionate about — music. Wes Schuck died in 2015 after a long battle with cancer. In his time at Two Fish, he established it as a legitimate recording studio that nurtured local and regional artists.

“That building has been a part of my life for more than half of my life and perhaps that’s why I took it off the market,” Schuck said. “Historically there’s a great story about how it served the Mankato community and the early stages of Mankato’s beginning. It’s a space for creative people to come in and make some magic happen.”

Chris Parker, co-owner of SelfMadeGlory, started this endeavor aiming to be a place for artists in the community.

Seeking a change in scenery and to be closer to friends, Parker moved from Chicago to Mankato wanting to create a space for those who sought mentorship within the music scene.

“Seeing that it was a need in the community for artists as far as what happens after a song is recorded is what led me to want to start a music studio,” Parker said.

Renovating the space took several months as they decided the vibe they wanted to create was a homey feel. The studio is equipped with LED lights and a couch for people to hangout.

Understanding that there’s a business side equally as important as the talent, Parker wanted to involve a team of motivated go-getters.

“Everybody is so excited to put their projects out, but without a good marketing strategy or plan it is not going to be as successful as it could be,” Parker said.

Helping with the managing side, Xavier Thomas, SelfMadeGlory’s talent-relations manager and a business management student at MSU, works with artists and their promotion and media training.

One artist they’ve been successful with is Malik Harris, better known by his stage name, Leekthough, an MSU alumnus with millions of streams. Leekthough achieved platinum status for his EP “Astro” and “Fall For Me.” 

Starting his music career during his junior year at MSU, Leekthough earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science before realizing the corporate world wasn’t for him. 

Post graduation he reconnected with his longtime friend Parker and began working together roughly eight years ago building their brand and networking with others in the music business.

“I think that relationship is more like a mentor,” Leekthough said. “He (Parker) guided me with the business and I learned how to monetize what I do and he helped get me to the next level.”

Leekthough recently performed at a Timberwolves halftime show. But it hasn’t all been rosy; Parker said he has been with Leekthough through ups and downs.

“We went through a music situation that turned out to be a screw job. And of course, just being passionate about music, I didn’t want to see any artists go through what I went through,” Parker said. “I learned from the experience and I want to share it with others.”

Educating future artists about what they went through in the industry, SelfMadeGlory wants to share those experiences. 

With SelfMadeGlory in its start-up phase, one hardship those in the music industry commonly face is lack of financial resources.

“It’s hard to earn revenue off music,” Parker said. “Pacing ourselves to stay with our plan in order to move forward is our goal.”

This past month they were able to make revenue after switching to a subscription-based program you can sign up for through their website. SelfMadeGlory currently has about five recording artists and they look to increase that number going into the summer season.

Looking to grow, they reached out to MSU’s Music Department and are aiming to partner with them and their students. They also plan to make efforts to be more involved in community events as well as host events at their studio.

One renovation they are working on is getting their podcast area up and running. 

Header photo: Chris Parker (left), Leekthough, Soca, Elkanah Lion, and Andre Wise are all members of the local recording studio called SelfMadeGlory which is located in downtown Mankato. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Julia Lin at

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