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The Rap Clinic

Nashville very recently opened their third studio.

The opening was a week long event. This was made possible by a number of N4N Staff as they set out to make it very impactful.

Each day had a different schedule varying from singer/songwriter and youth artist performances to small meet & greets and workshops.

One specific workshop that the youth at the Nashville South Studio took advantage of. The Rap Clinic.

The date was set for Friday, Nov. 10th

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On this day the youth had a chance to sit down with multi-platinum, Grammy nominated producer SykSense and rapper Mike Floss.

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Not only did the group sit down and talk about the industry and ways to improve their music but there was also a collaboration.

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 This jam included a beat created by SykSense and Nashville North Studio youth producer IV.

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The south studio youth rappers sat down and wrote lyrics with Mike Floss.

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This experience is to not only teach the youth of some other artists who may have gone through the same struggles as them, but to also put the youth in an environment that is fun to learn and create in.

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.


DAY 1: GRAND OPENING W/ LINDSAY ELL 

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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!


DAY 2: SONGWRITER’S WORKSHOP W/ MELODY SHEPPARD

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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.


DAY 3: MUSICIAN/ PRODUCER MASTERCLASS W/ ELLIOTT BLAUFUSS

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!


DAY 4: ARTIST VISIT W/ DAVID FANNING & SONGWRITER’S NIGHT: INSTRUMENTS OF JOY 

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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DAY 5: RAP CLINIC W/ SYKSENSE & MIKE FLOSS

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!

A HUGE THANKS TO :

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.

Weirdos

Weirdo Workshop came through the Andrew Jackson B&G club to talk to some youth about believing in their dreams.

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Weirdo Workshop is a platform initiated by Grammy-nominated songwriting and production team Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony. They formed a duo named Louis York due to both members being fromThe two explained to a group of youth about their journey in the music industry and how that can relate to any dream that they may have.

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Claude and Chuck started with a video of their most recent track and music video “Hipsters” And then asked the youth what their dreams were. The youth responded with career choices and other aspirations.

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That was followed by Claude and Chuck letting the youth know that anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself enough.

Louis York is proving that it is possible to live the life you want to and love it too.

Melody Sheppard encourages us to TRY

Featured artist, Melody Sheppard, writes…

I received an email one day from someone I’d never met, to visit an organization I’d never heard of. In an age where everyone has something they’re promoting, it can be tricky to decipher what’s what, but this seemed worth looking into, and I’m ever so glad I did.

That 1st day spent at the Nashville South location went from what was supposed to be a “quick visit sharing music with the youth” to an entire afternoon mesmerized by what I saw around me. Between walking into a recording studio that existed purely for kids and whatever their creative hearts desired, to becoming captivated by their smiles and stories, their passions for rap and making their own beats, lyrics they were writing – all of it in an environment they had access to daily and completely free of charge – I was absolutely hooked. I remember telling the studio director, Cameron Cassell, how I hoped he was ready for me to become super present from that moment on, and though he smiled and told me that was just fine, I’m not sure he knew just how much I meant it. I had never seen such a place. Here was an environment I would have given anything to be a part of when I was a kid! This was not only a safe place, but a place for exploring creativity and allowing kids to express themselves musically…to learn from people who had hearts to teach and saw each kid for the individual he or she is, and I wanted to be a part! I didn’t know to what capacity at the time except that I knew I’d be back. And I did go back. Often.

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I knew I could be a cheerleader for them at the very least, but I believe that nothing happens by accident, and the timing of this new connection in my own life and career was becoming very apparent. At the moment, I was about to launch a fundraiser for a music video for my upcoming single, ‘TRY’.  The song itself talks of pushing past obstacles in order to accomplish our dreams…that everything we could want or strive for is truly within our grasp, if we simply ‘try’

It’s a subject that comes up regularly in my conversations with the kids, and the link between those conversations, my new song, and the fundraiser was too strong not to piece together. Thus began the partnership bringing Notes for Notes alongside this video project, introducing other people to their mission, and dedicating 20% of what was raised to help further their efforts. Getting kids in the Nashville and Los Angeles studios excited with me as the funds came in was so much fun, and I felt incredibly honored to have their attention while I showed them how doing something scary as an independent artist, like raising $10,000, was absolutely attainable, if I’d only let myself try and push through in order to reach my goal! Showing fans and followers via social media exactly why I’d fallen in love with Notes for Notes opened up new conversations on how they, too, could become involved. The day I was finally able to take that check over to that very same Nashville South studio where the whole adventure began was nothing short of amazing and something I won’t soon forget.

As a kid, I was inimage4credibly blessed to have a few key individuals take time to encourage me with my music and help open doors for me to walk through. No matter where my music goes today, what keeps it growing is understanding that this whole musical journey is so much bigger than I am…that it began with the seeds planted by those around me willing to invest in my future, and it now only goes as far as the lives it touches and the hearts it moves. What better way to reach into younger hearts with my music than to spend an afternoon writing lyrics to a new pop song with a 7th grader, or being a captive audience for Nashville’s newest 15-year-old, up and coming hip-hop artist? Or simply sharing with them bits of wisdom I’ve been given in my own experiences? Notes for Notes has allowed me to do those very things, and I couldn’t be more thankful and excited for all that’s ahead for them….as well as the ways they’ll hopefully continue to let me come along for the ride!

I’m so very thankful for that email from that organization I’d never heard of before, because it’s brought about a friendship that has grown so beautifully, and yet I know we’re only just getting started. They’re sort of stuck with me now, and I think we’re all ok with it.

Editor’s note: Check out Melody’s personal page here .
Look out for the single ‘TRY’ on November 17th!

An Unexpected Stop on the Witness Tour

Thursday, October 19th, was a very special day at the Nashville South Notes for Notes. 

Witness_The_TourKaty Perry, a huge supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, was in town for her “Witness: The Tour” Nashville stop.  Several fortunate members of the Boys & Girls Club had gone to see her live in concert the night before. Their minds were blown by all the elements that made a Katy Perry concert a Katy Perry concert – the lights, the sounds, the dancers, the music.

Little did they know, the next day, some of the very same people they watched perform from the crowd would be shaking their hands, dancing with them and listening to their music! Although Katy was unable to tour the N4N studio, her amazing team filled the room with just as much energy and inspiration as we imagine she would have.  Katy‘s dancers and band toured our studio, learned what N4N  (which was ironically founded in Katy‘s hometown- Santa Barbarba) is all about, then listened to some tracks from our awesome youth artists. 

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Katy’s crew listens to a track from a N4N youth artist

Katy‘s crew were all inspired by the music being created in the N4N studio, and even found themselves excitedly bobbing along to the tracks as they cheered on the young artists. A member of her band even expressed interest in producing tracks for the youth! 


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Katy’s band member signs her poster on our wall.

N4N Program Directors on site were excited to be able to give studio youth an example of working music industry professionals and what dedication and hard work can look like once it pays off! It served as an inspiration for them as studio leaders and gave them a chance to discuss the vast amount of roles in the music industry that it takes to make a successful show happen . One of the highlighted artists, Reckless Young’N, took the opportunity to network and ask for career advice that he plans to put immediately into action.

Overall the visit was full of electric energy felt by the touring company, N4N staff, and youth. 

As partners of the Boys and Girls Club, we are so grateful for Katy‘s support and hope during the next stops, we get the chance to make some music in one of our Notes for Notes studios. 

Mission

Everyone has a mission. Weather it’s a small goal you are trying to achieve or if it’s mission impossible.

Reckless Young’N (Keveen) has been on a mission ever since he stepped into the studio. Although he has not always been a rapper he has a vision and the work ethic it takes to become one.

Young’N has been working on a project and recently released a couple videos to prove that his mission is possible to achieve. The first music video is of his song  “Mission” This song explains everything that Young’N is facing in his life that motivates him to be the best he can be. He brings to light issues and other things that he sees every day in his environment.

Fair warning that the content is explicit and will all be edited soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV8LuVJKsG8

Reckless Young’N is currently working on getting clean versions of the songs posted on his Youtube page. If you enjoy the songs that you hear and want to be notified when more is released, please like and subscribe to his channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_sn-26BsqKgU9xUe8Zgngw/videos?view_as=subscriber

This is the link to his SoundCloud if you prefer to listen on here.

https://soundcloud.com/user-852189254/tracks

Super Hot

Recording has become common practice at our Nashville South Studio.

Delali is one of the older youth that come through the studio. He loves all aspects of music and is really interested in the writing and recording process.

This is Delali’s first recorded rap. He had written the rap a few months prior to recording but just couldn’t find the time to get into the studio. When he finally did it was Super Hot.

(Super Hot is the name of the track)

Xavier, was the hype man for the song. He is in the video standing and dancing behind Delali. The extra hype really added to the video recording and the vocal recording as well.

Tyrone (the boy with even more dance moves) has been attending the studio for about 3 years. He has always been a youth that loves attention. This music video was his chance to show what he can do.

 

Delali is currently working on the second verse in hopes to get it put on the NotesforNotes Nashville South Studio Soundcloud.

Vorie on the Beat

Exploration is very common in the South Studio.

Vorie has been attending the studio for a good while. His fascination for music has moved him all over the studio.

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 Whether he is playing clarinet to practice for the school band or making beats at the beat creation station. It is an inspiration to see him concur the obstacles in front of him.

Many of the younger youth are looking up to Vorie and witnessing just how the studio can be a great resource when the equipment is used properly.

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Tae is at it again!

It has always been Tae’s intention to create music that makes people happy and want to have fun. His new song shows just how much he plans to make that intention known.

He has also created a Youtube Channel so that he can expand his fan base.

 

Check out more and more songs to come on Youtube. Also, if you are interested in the music he makes, I urge you to subscribe to his Youtube Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGlfga_Akmw9SCP1fY-_y2A

Studio Remodel

As many know, Nashville South was the first Notes for Notes™ Studio in Tennessee, opening in November 2011. The years of active use by hundreds of youth took its toll on the studio over the years. It was evident that it was a loved space, but needed a refresh….a new coat of paint, some new equipment, and a new layout. A couple weeks of work went into the project. We shut down the studio and engaged some of our more dedicated youth to invest some sweat labor into their new space!

We started with clearing equipment out of each room.

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Once that was done, we started the painting process.

After the paint dried the studio started to come together, and a few new features were added.

Then to prepare the studio for the next few years to come, we brought in equipment to create a podcast station (to teach interview and radio hosting skills), made room for a PlayStation 4 and Rock Band (to teach fundamentals of rhythm and instrumentation) thanks to our friends at Harmonix, and designed a killer rhythm station to engage our youngest members.

The Studio has found new life, and the youth in it have found many new ways to be productive.

We’re excited to see how the renovations inspire creativity among our youth members and hear the content that will be created within this space!

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