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Grand Opening & Industry Week at Nashville East!

N4N INDUSTRY WEEKMonday, November 6th, 2017 marked the grand opening of Nashville’s 3rd studio – The Nashville East, Flagship Studio within the Boys and Girl’s Club at Cleveland Park. One of the largest studios in the country, the Flagship Studio – armed with an API: 1608 Console and our most intricate and elaborate recording structure – is undeniably something special that deserved a special week of creative and collaborative sessions to celebrate its opening in Nashville.


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The Cleveland Park Boys and Girls Club filled with excited supporters of N4N eager to tour the new studio and hear Lindsay Ell break the stage in with her amazing live performance and recording. After the ceremony in which our awesome partners, like the CMA foundation, Lowes and Hot Topic Foundation, were acknowledged and thanked for their amazing support, youth guitarist Stephen Dashiff joined Lindsay on stage with a soulful accompaniment and solo to “Superstition” originally performed by Stevie Wonder.

Thank you Lindsay Ell for a awesome inaugural performance and live recording!


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On day two of Industry Week, we invited Melody Sheppard– Singer, Songwriter, Pop artist and passionate supporter of all things N4N – to join us in leading the youth of the Cleveland Park Club in their first creative experience in the N4N studio. With the help of her writing partner, Maria, and lots of help from the brand new N4N youth, Melody led the group in co-writing a song about how we CAN do hard things.

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetYouth shared lighthearted examples of things that are hard- like waking up early for school, and heavier experiences- such as living with a sick parent or losing a loved one. Thanks to Melody’s ever bright light, everyone in the room walked away with the encouragement that they can get through whatever life throws at them.


Processed with VSCO with a5 presetSinger, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Elliott Blaufuss joined us on day three and picked up right where he left off during his prior visit to our North Nashville studio. Joined by youth artist/singer-songwriter ZuZu and fellow guitarist Stephen, the intimate group immediately began digging into one of ZuZu’s original songs.

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetElliott offered her pointers on establishing strong verse and chorus structure. They then added vocals, drums and keys that began to bring ZuZu’s vision for her track to life. N4N is so grateful for Elliott’s consistent support of our mission. We look forward to him coming back to finish the track and know that ZuZu is equally excited for his return!


Processed with VSCO with a5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a5 presetYouth artists Taylor Gayle and Landon Wall arrived to the studio on the afternoon of day four to meet and collaborate with singer, songwriter and producer David Fanning. After Taylor performed an original song of hers for all in attendance, David was moved to begin working on one of her tracks. He immediately began producing Taylor Gayle’s track “Sorry That You’re Jealous” assisting her with guitar techniques and giving her and Landon tips and wisdom gained from his journey in music. David was kind enough to delay his departure to New Orleans to get a little more work done on the song. N4N is so appreciative of David’s time and hopes this visit was the first of many!

Later that evening, N4N teamed up with Instruments of Joy for their Songwriter’s Night and Benefit Show. Landon Wall and Taylor Gayle performed sets of soul stirring original songs before Kid Politics and Dixie Jade took the stage!

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Processed with VSCO with a5 presetIndustry Week went out with a bang as multi-platinum, Grammy nominated producer SykSense and rapper Mike Floss joined us on day 5 to lead the Rap Clinic. Both Nashville natives- they resonated effortlessly with the aspiring rappers and producers in attendance. The clinic began with each youth in attendance playing their best track to receive feedback and constructive criticism. This led to conversation about how to remain honest, yet reach the largest crowd as Mike Floss shared that many of his biggest music placements were a result of his music being authentic yet positive. After the youth shared their songs, the tables turned and Mike Floss and SykSense gave the room exclusive access to some of their unreleased music and received feedback from the youth!

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The group then split up and IV, an up and coming producer, began working on a track with SykSense while Mike Floss led the writers in writing verses and a hook to a brand new track. Everyone in attendance left the clinic massively inspired and excited. SykSense and Mike Floss were so impressed by the N4N youth and both look forward to visiting each Nashville studio and finishing what they started at the Rap Clinic.

Thank you Mike Floss and SykSense for giving our boys your time, your advice and most importantly – something amazing to aspire to.

The N4N Industry Week was five straight days of creativity and collaboration that set the tone for what we are confident will continue to come from the Nashville East studio at Cleveland Park!


Will Flores for engineering sessions and recruiting/nurturing such gifted youth.

Cam Cassell for developing such a strong hub of youth Hip Hop artists. 

Keturah Brown for being an amazing program director already. 

Kristin Myers for your help planning this awesome week.

Jarrad James for all your engineering help and for all the hard work in designing and building such an incredible studio.

Ross Tyler for all your work in configuring such a complex console.

Phil Gilley, our CEO and founder, for giving us this platform to do this incredibly important work.

Taylor G. Bishop Briggs,

This week’s highlight goes to Taylor G (13). Taylor is an extremely talented Singer/Songwriter who attends our Nashville North Studio every week. For the past 6 months she has been working on her up coming project which is expected to be released sometime 2018. With a new single coming soon, we figured we’d share a one minute cover of Bishop Brigg’s “River”!






Landon Wall – “Dream With Me”

Landon, 14, is a Singer/Songwriter based out of North Carolina. Landon heard about Notes For Notes through a mutual Notes For Notes musician (Taylor G) and decided to stop by while playing a couple shows here in Nashville. After briefly checking out the studio Landon left “inspired”, his Mom said.

A day or two after Landon left Nashville, the Las Vegas tragedy occurred and he felt the world needed something to remind us all there is still hope for a better world. This song is titled “Dream With Me”, a track co-written with his father, also his first track at N4N.

In the video, the 58 candles lit represent the 58 people who lost their lives on October 1st, 2017. This song is a memorial to them and to our time.

Olivia’s First Beat

I’d like to share what Olivia (9) has been working on at the North Studio!

Olivia has been taking piano lessons at Notes for Notes for 2 years now. She’s in studio every Wednesday with her brother Dusty (Guitar Player) sharpening her piano skills. After learning most of her major and minor chords, Olivia has expressed interest in laying down her repertoire of songs. For the next few weeks we will be working on recording every song she’s learned so far as well as the songs she’s yet to learn.

This week we practiced playing “Closer” by “The Chain Smokers”. Olivia listens to a broad range of music genres, but tends to focus on Pop most of the time, so we figured we’d start by laying down the chords to this specific track and build a beat to it! After working on the track for about 2 hours, here’s what we came up with!

Volunteer Highlight Of The Week

This week’s Volunteer Highlight goes to Becca Stoll. Becca has been donating some of her time photographing Notes for Notes members for us here at the North Studio. About once a month she comes in and provides and opportunity for some of our youth members to have their own professional photoshoot. Whether they’d like to take some head shots or pictures of them making music she helps make that possible.  Here are some shots from two previous photoshoots with Taylor (Singer/Songwriter)  & Iv (Music Producer)
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Thank you Becca and all Volunteers who donate time and effort to our program!

Project Highlight Of The Week

This week’s project highlight goes to Eric (11), Josh (10) and Ethan (10). Although this project is still in the works, there’s just no way I could resist the urge to share the details! Earlier in the week the trio came in, as usual, to create a new song for their upcoming mixtape. Eric mentioned his Mother had spoken to him about making music that was 100 percent real and something everyone could relate to. I immediately saw it as an opportunity to speak to them about what they considered real music to be. After discussing a few ideas Ethan made a great suggestion closer to the end of their session – “Let’s talk about what we have in our lives; like loving parents”. After the day was over I went home and couldn’t stop thinking about the conversation I had with the youth. I was amazed by their level of awareness and appreciation for their loved ones and possessions. I knew we had to create a song in which they could speak about it and share it with the world.
The next day I woke up motivated and ready to start planning out the layout and foundation for the song. I wanted to make sure I provided the best structure for the youth to have a meaningful track, while letting them put their own emotions and thoughts into it. Then something sparked.. I got the idea to make a simple 4 bar piano loop. I figured if the piano melody was simple, yet emotional, the ideas would start to flow in naturally. Once I had the piano ready to go I wrote down the first three words the melody made me think of: true, need and want.
Later in the day Josh, Ethan and Eric arrived to the studio anxious to hear what ideas I had for them. Before showing them the track I wanted to speak with them about True Music vs “Hype” Music. We discussed the differences between saying things that make us or others feel good versus saying things that are true to us and others around us. The magic just started happening so effortlessly that it was simply surreal. They began to make points such as not having the best games, clothes, jewelry and other possessions, but they all had one thing which meant more than all of that put together; Family.
So far we have a Chorus and a Verse down for the track and spend about 30 minutes each day working on the project. Once we have the track fully written and recorded Eric, Ethan, and Josh plan on having a video shot for it! Since I can’t share the project just yet, I’ll share some of the lyrics with you all:
” Shout out to my Momma and my Dad for going big.

I ain’t got everything I want, but I got all I need.. that’s family.

I do my best at what I do to keep you proud

and everything I do is true, cuz it’s a part of me,

I hope that you can see. Through these lyrics i’m gonna tell you how.”


“I’m about to shoot for the stars and do it all for us.

Momma you gave me this life, daddy you gave me trust.

Now it’s a must for me to show you respect, you make me reflect on everything I need to correct.

You give the strength, when I’m weak and down on my knees.

No matter the length of my journey, you walk it with me. you’re my energy.

You’re my piece of land if I was lost in the sea.

You’re why I am who I am and all that I wanna be.”

IV On The Beat

IV is one of the coolest and most inspiring young musicians I’ve had the chance to work with! At only age 14 he’s spent numerous hours perfecting his production skills while in studio and studying well known Producers such as “Metro Boomin & South Side” while outside of the lab. IV enjoys producing a wide variety of music genres, but his favorite is the new “Playboi Carti” style beats. Using sounds based off of cartoons and keeping his tracks in minor keys allows him to produce the vibe he desires to be known for.
IV’s interest in music came at a young age. Growing up with a father who’s also a music producer and a brother who raps were just some of IV’s inspirations. He first began experimenting with FL Studio after a friend introduced him to the DAW and quickly fell in love with the art of creating music. As IV’s experience as a producer and love for music grew, he began to surround himself with other young musicians who also shared similar interests in music style. It wasn’t long before IV realized that being a music producer is what he wanted to do for a living.
IV now spends Tuesdays and Thursdays here at the studio working on improving his skills as a producer, engineer, leader and mentor. His goals at the moment include becoming a better mixer and even plans on expanding his production to Pop as well. IV sees Notes for Notes not only as a resource to master his craft, but also as a place where he can develop new relationships through music. It’s clear to him that collaboration is key in the industry and looks forward to awesome new projects with musicians he would have otherwise never had the opportunity to meet.
This beat below is the first one IV created while in studio at N4N.

Emmanuel & Elisha Collab

This week I’d like to talk about the awesome collaboration happening between Emmanuel (9) & Elisha (13).

What makes this project special is the fact that it’s the first time for both of them being on the microphone! Emmanuel, enjoys listening to popular artists such as Migos, Gucci Mane, Future, NBA Young Boy and many others. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak with Emmanuel about his music goals and what he was interested in learning. He then mentioned he was curious about how these musicians he looks up to, achieve the sound they tend to acquire when making music. After explaining to him how important practice and consistency are, I decided to share with him how much of the music creation process is related to mixing and he was ready to give it a shot!

 While Emmanuel was recording his new track, he was having a bit of trouble with melody and rhythm. That wouldn’t be a problem for long though since Elisha quickly came in to help him out! Elisha, has been attending the Nashville North Studio for about 3 years now and has spent most of his time sharpening his drumming skills. When he’s not playing some sort of percussion instrument, he helps around the studio with tasks such as: Turning studio gear on/off, helping keep time with programming, studio maintenance and most importantly helping others. He’s VERY musically inclined and has now become one of our studio leaders! Emmanuel and Elisha immediately took to each other. Elisha came up with the melody to the track and Emmanuel is focusing on coming up with lyrics for their new track.
After briefly showing them what their vocals can sound like in a professional studio environment, they’re both more than motivated to finish their new track. I figured i’d share a bit of their first time ever in the booth with you guys! They’ll be adding new vox and lyrics next week as they’re ready to share their project with the world on our N4N Sound Cloud!

The Third Room

For the past six weeks Zuzu, Divakar and Naja had been hard at work completing their first collaborative EP at our Notes for Notes North Nashville Studio as part of the Opportunity Now youth employment initiative through the Nashville Metro Arts Commission. Within that time frame they were exposed to beat creation, vocal production, engineering, mixing, mastering, marketing and financial literature. Using their combined skills sets and knowledge from the program, they’ve finally completed their master piece,

“The Third Room”!

“The Third Room – EP” consists of 4 tracks. Ranging from Pop, Electronic to Alternative music, the trio used inspiration from big time Artists such as Rihanna, Drake and EDM Producers Zedd & Skrillex to find the perfect sound to their project. Using EDM/Hip Hop based percussion along with Electronica style vocals, the project has a very modern and unique feel to it.
The project’s release date is still unconfirmed, but since we couldn’t wait to share some of this awesomeness, we figured we’d share one of the coolest tracks on the project! The track “CLYG” (Can’t Let You Go) was the first track created for the project and was written by Zuzu (Lead Vocalist),Divakar, Naja and Sarah (BGVs). After 2 hours of writing, beat production and slight mixing, we figured it was time to reach out for any collaboration opportunities.
With only 2 days before Bonnaroo ’17 happening, I mentioned to them that maybe taking the track on our N4N Roo Mobile Studio would be a great way to have some one hop on it or even get some feedback on how we could improve the song. We ended the session around 12pm on a Friday and I immediately made my way to Bonnaroo in search of an awesome Artist Collaboration.  After arriving to Roo a few hours later I rushed into the mobile studio to show the rest of the Notes team just what we had in our hands. Just as expected, everyone LOVED it.
Here’s where the magical moment happened… After being at Bonnaroo for only 45 minutes, Big Gigantic made their way into the studio while CLYG was being played! They immediately noticed the track and asked a bit about the songs story. After sharing how, when and who made the track, Dominic (Saxophonist/DJ/Producer for Big G) agreed to lay down some Sax. Needless to say it was AMAZING!  The Opportunity Now Youth are thrilled and very thankful for being able to have such a big name on their record thanks to awesome musicians (such as Big G) giving back some of their time.
Moments like these are what helps us inspire and fuel the next generation of musicians!

The King Of Auto Tune

This week I’d like to share what Cory (King Lil C’Jay) has been up to at the Nashville North Studio!  As one of our most experienced songwriters, Cory has spent numerous hours in the studio perfecting his work. He’s released multiple mixtapes and singles throughout the past 4 years and is now preparing to release his first professional studio album! Throughout his time at Notes for Notes, Cory has focused on recording and learning how to find the right sound for his voice. Now at 15 years old, he’s “finally figured out the missing part” he says; Engineering.

Auto Tune has always been one of Cory’s fascinations. He even refers to himself as “The King of Auto-Tune”. He loves the sound so much that he’s decided to start focusing on audio engineering as much as he focuses on rapping. Using Vocal Tuning, Reverb, and Compression, he’s now made his personal preset, which he uses every session. Aside from focusing on his own music C’Jay is also focusing on editing tracks and helping his peers find their sound in music through his new editing skills!

 Although there’s a long journey ahead, for Cory, nothing is impossible! Aside from his weekly session he attends the studio at least one extra day of the week to tighten up his production chops. Some days he’ll come in and practice on getting his vocals to sound like something he’s heard on a popular record. While other times Cory, will focus on something as simple as making his drum kick heavy or clean enough.
“Tweaking the smallest little details makes the whole project sound a million times better” he said.
For the rest of the summer KLC will be spending time in and out of the studio finishing up the remainder of his currently untitled project. He knows that in order to accomplish that and get the results he desires, it will take hard work and dedication. Therefore, practice is one of his main focus points at the moment. Since none of his upcoming music is ready for preview, I’d like to share one of his most recent songs titled “Is This Goodbye “. In this track Cory speaks about getting closer and closer to greater levels of success and how it feels similar to a goodbye. He doesn’t know if he’ll be around his family and friends as often once the heavy loads of work come his way.