With today’s technology it has become increasingly easy to be able to produce and share music globally. What once required a studio filled with an array of live instruments, monitors, a mixing board and racks of recording/effect processing gear can in many instances be re-created/re-imagined through the software and synthesizers of a laptop, a MIDI keyboard, a microphone and a pair of headphones. A generation of laptop producers are creating electronic beats any and everywhere they go with some rising to the top of mainstream music (cue loved/hated dubstep producer Skrillex). Obviously there is creative talent all over the world, but what if aspiring producers (especially in developing countries) don’t have the means or the technical know-how to produce the songs they envision in their heads?
This is the goal of Beat Making Lab:
“Music can transform individuals and communities. We build studios in cultural centers around the world and train youth in the art of beat making.”
Beat Making Lab started off at the University of North Carolina as an innovative class founded by producer/DJ Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid), Dr. Mark Katz and professor/emcee Pierce Freelon. Partnering with PBS Digital Studios, they initiated this grassroots campaign to bring this idea to communities who could benefit from this type of creative environment. The first global Beat Making Lab was established in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo where students were versed in the ways of creating the beat. Check out one of the songs they produced below.
By following the web series, you can get a glimpse into the culture and personalities of these beat makers in the newly established (or developing) community beat centers in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo; Portobelo, Panama; Dakar, Senegal; Suva, Fiji; and Chapel Hill, USA.
Global electronic and hip hop beats can be a great way to spice up a playlist for brands that are forward thinking, have a global presence, and want to become a part of the sound of tomorrow.
Who knows where the next biggest producer will be from? Beat Making Lab may help change that…
– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design