Gage Krakower with dad, Marty, at his graduation(Photo contributed)
Sister Kerry with mom Kaleigh Krakower (Photo contributed)
From left: Gage, Marty, Kerry, Kyle and Anthony Krakower (Photo provided)
By Anya Tikka
MILFORD — When 24-year old Gage Krakower talks about how music saved him from committing suicide, he becomes emotional — but then is quick to point out all the friends and family who helped him to get over the sad events that took place last year.
After his parents started to have problems, leading to his dad’s suicide in Feb. 2016, he thought he’d already gone through the worst. But when his mom, Kerry, was diagnosed with cancer later in the summer, it put him over the edge.
And then he decided to do something about it.
It was a devastating second blow to Krakower, but at the same time gave him added strength to go on because of his mom’s hospital bill.
Instead of trying to raise money for the hospital bills through direct fundraising online, he decided he needed to make something of himself to make the money himself, and then give it to his mom. So he’s launched a site to finance his startup record label — not to ask for money for his mom’s illness. Unfortunately, said Krakower, she’s not doing well.
“I’m trying to realize a dream too, to have my own record label,” Krakower recounted over phone from near Philadelphia where he now lives and works while trying to make it as a music entrepreneur.
Krakower grew up in Matamoras Ave. L, and attended Delaware Valley School along with his three brothers and one sister, although all are now out of school.
After his dad’s suicide, Krakower realized he should have forgiven him after a falling out, instead of not talking to him for a year.
“Everyone makes mistakes,” he recounted over phone, “You need to forgive and let go.”
The key to what not only lifted him out of his own depression when he was on the brink of taking his own life — like his father — was music.
One of his brothers pointed him to some of the friends they all knew back in school, who were making music, some with their own record labels already.
Krakower started to listen to their music, and found it helped.
“Music has the power to heal you,” he recounted. He said it’s both the message in the lyrics of the songs, and also the music itself that helped, and he now wants to bring the same help and healing of music to others who are in similar situations.
A new record labelOn July 26 last year, the day after his birthday, Krakower founded his own record label, CR3W Records, with the twin hopes of making his own dream come true, as well as making enough money to pay for his mom’s hospital treatments.
Krakower is one of four adopted boys who ended up in a home filled with love, he said. Eventually, they got a sister, too, who was born to the boys’ parents.
Although Krakower has already signed up eight artists in his new company, and his prospects look good, he needs more startup money to expand. He’s not an artist himself, but says, “I was blessed with a good ear of what sounds good."
Four of the artists Krakower has signed up are local Matamoras boys who all went to DV, and all played football together at school. They are Al-Tarik Johnson, Shakiem Terry, Anthony Krakower, and Tyrik Gales. Johnson has his own group called The Alphas.
“These artists’ belief in me and music healed me,” Krakower explained, “If it was not for each of these artists I would not have healed.”
One of the artist, A. Stiles, already performed one concert under Krakower’s label last November, and, “It went well.”
The other Matamoras boys all live in the Philadelphia area now as well, but have continuing connections with the area they grew up in.
“I want to be able to inspire and help individuals with my story,” Krakower stressed.