A handful of music industry organizations recently completed the three-week Maymester Music Accelerator Program at Tennessee State University. The Music Accelerator Program at TSU is a program in partnership with Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), Nashville Music Equality, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Wasserman Music, and YouTube Music.
Over the course of the 3-week program, TSU students heard from influential music executives, and took advantage of internship placements across multiple music industry companies, including Wasserman Music, Warner Music Nashville and LVRN.
Speakers who participated in the program included Post Malone manager Dre London; Artistry Group founder/CEO Max Gousse; Tuma Basa (Youtube Music); Andrew Lieber (MAC Agency); Roddy Ricch manager Shawn Holiday; recording artists Breland, Blanco Brown and Joy Oladokun; Mary J Blige’s manager Ashaunna Ayars; Marcus Johnson (Goldenvoice/AEG); Brandon McEachern and Marcus Allen (Broccoli City); EMPIRE product manager Russell Barrett; RIAA’s Jackie Jones; VP of EMPIRE Tina Davis; BMG’s Tim Reid and Jon Loba; Wasserman Music agents Lee Anderson, Lenore Kinder, Callender, Chappel McCollister and Mallory Smith, and many more.
“The Music Business Accelerator course was a one-of-a-kind learning experience that exposed students to successful music professionals,” shares Dr. Mark Crawford, Professor of Music and Coordinator of Commercial Music, TSU. “Whether having guests in the classroom, or visiting a music related company, the course provided real-time and real-life information that have enabled the students to see their future careers as a tangible goal and not an ambiguous dream. This course provided inspiration, calculation, and anticipation of things to come!”
Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, co-founder/co-chair of BMAC, adds, “Black Music Action Coalition wants to be intentional about addressing the erasure of Black artists, executives, and the creative community on Music Row by creating a real pipeline to opportunities and resources to level the playing field in Nashville. I was able to watch the students in this music accelerator program show up at 8:15 in the morning on a daily basis, ready to learn and were completely engaged for over 3 hours, as some of the most successful and influential leaders in the entertainment industry poured into them. The students were able to learn about publishing, management & branding, distribution, marketing, tour routing & talent buying and even participate in a focus group for an upcoming release from an artist signed to a major label. Three weeks of nonstop action.”
Stiggers continues, “I met some incredible artists, rappers, singer-songwriters, managers, and producers who will definitely make their mark in this industry. Not only through the paid internships that follow this program, but we will continue to work directly with all of these students to ensure they are equipped with all they need to succeed. This was an incredible first step, of which many BMAC will take with those in Nashville dedicated to racial, social and economic justice. We are grateful for the partnership with Dr. Crawford, Wasserman Music, RIAA, Youtube Music, Nashville Music Equality and Tennessee State University.”
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