The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), Nashville Music Equality, the Recording Industry Association of America, and Wasserman Music have launched the second annual installment of their Maymester Music Accelerator Program, at HBCU Tennessee State University.
The program, powered by Amazon Music, offers Black college students in Tennessee career resources to help them break into the music industry. With an emphasis on mentorship, the Coalition brings in executives and artists to guest lecture throughout the program. This year’s program will be sponsored by Primary Wave’s BMAC-James Brown Education Fund — a fund announced at BMAC’s second Music In Action Awards Gala that’s set to grow annually and that will cover the costs for 30 students to take this elective class for free.
The program announces additional sponsors who will join to bring music industry insight and expertise for the TSU Students. These sponsors include:
Monday, May 8: Tri Star Sports and Entertainment presented a reception, hosted by company representatives Lou Taylor, Heather Kinder, and Tyler Hubbard
Tuesday May 9: Life of Song hosted by Eric Holt of Love Noise with guests AB Eastwood (Producer/Writer), Katie Fagan (Prescription Songs), Tim Gent (Artist/ Songwriter), Bryant Taylorr (Artist/Songwriter), Rachel Wein (Prescription Songs)
Thursday, May 11: Record Label 101 with Def Jam Recordings, featuring Actress/Def Jam artist Coco Jones, Naim McNair, EVP A&R, and Charlene Thomas, VP Marketing, with moderator, Prophet, from the Black Music Action Coalition.
Monday, May 15: a Rolling Loud Takeover with Co-Founder / Co-CEO Tariq Cherif. Focusing on live music, the new takeover will also feature representatives from Goldenvoice (Marcus Johnson), Live Nation (Gade Raferty), and William Morris Endeavor (Kevin Shivers).
Thursday, May 18: The TSU Artist Session will feature Waka Flocka Flame. As part of the engagement, one (1) TSU student will be chosen to open for Waka Flocka at a show at the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville.
Monday, May 22: Music 101, hosted by Amazon Music, with representatives Gary Bushrod and Frankie Yaptinchay
Monday May 25: Closing retreat, with moderation from Prophet, BMAC, actress/artist Bre-Z, artist/activist YelloPain, and Tennessee native artist and songwriter Daisha “The Rap Girl” McBribe at the National Museum of African American Music. Topic: How to use your platform to impact change.
The 2023 Maymester Music Accelerator follows in the footsteps of last year’s successful inaugural program, which placed students in opportune internships across multiple music industry companies, including Wasserman Music, Warner Music Nashville, and LVRN. The program included speakers from various sectors of the music business, including recording artists BRELAND, Blanco Brown and Joy Oladokun, team members for artists like Post Malone and Mary J. Blige, plus representatives from companies like Wasserman Music, YouTube Music, Goldenvoice, BMG, and EMPIRE. The program concluded with guest lectures from super producer Dallas Austin and recording artist Sir The Baptist, both of whom received an honorary doctorate in music from TSU that month. The last class was held at the National Museum of African American Music, where each student was surprised with their very own gold plaque from the RIAA.
This year’s program aims to continue last year’s wide-ranging curriculum and impressive list of guest speakers, while instilling a strong sense of social responsibilities
BMAC Co-Founder/Co-Chairman, Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, says of this year’s program, “…while many have put the down the protest signs and lower the urgency around racial and social justice, Black Music Action Coalition is doubling down on our commitment to creating sustainable pipeline programs and providing real access for the next generation of music executives and artists, that have historically been denied access to the level of exposure and training that our music accelerator program provides. We were intentional about Tennessee State University being the hub for this program and with Nashville being such an important part of the music industry, it’s imperative that we are building programs like this right here down the street from Music Row. This year we expanded the music accelerator program to include FISK University and the goal is to eventually have students from all 107 HBCUs to participate in this program annually.”
“Tennessee State University is fortunate to have these music-related companies participating in our Maymester course. They bring deep content and wide contacts. From the beginning of this partnership, we identified a mutual goal, which is to provide real-world opportunities for students who otherwise might be under-represented in the music industry,” said Dr. Mark Crawford, coordinator of TSU’s Commercial Music program.
The Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Gary Bushrod for Amazon Music adds, “What the Black Music Action Coalition is doing to bridge the racial gap in the music business is invaluable work. As an HBCU graduate myself, I am extremely proud and energized by what the Music Accelerator Program is creating for students at Tennessee State and Fisk University.”