Grammy-nominated producer teaches music workshop in Durham ahead of Dreamville

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Monday, April 1, 2024
Grammy-nominated producer teaches music workshop ahead of Dreamville
Music industry fans and hopefuls in Durham got the chance of a lifetime Sunday, attending a free workshop from Grammy-nominated producer Groove and the legendary DJ Hed.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Music industry fans and hopefuls in Durham got the chance of a lifetime Sunday, attending a free workshop from Grammy-nominated producer Groove and the legendary DJ Hed.

Hosted at Durham's newest jazz club and live music venue, Missy Lane's Assembly Room, the workshop was packed, every attendee glued to Groove and DJ Hed as they gave advice and shared stories about their careers.

"We're really just providing them with invaluable knowledge on what's going on in the music industry, how to get in, how to perfect your skills," said Meherete Kassahun of EngineEars, the company behind the workshop.

If you're not familiar with EngineEars, it's backed by industry greats like Kendrick Lamar and DJ Khaled. It's the brainchild of Grammy-award-winning producer Derek "MixedByAli" Ali. It connects artists to engineers who can help them with every step of the music-making process, think mixing and mastering.

EngineEars has been hosting workshops for several years, and workshop organizers knew early on that giving back would be a main mission for the company.

"They realized that these kids, these students, they don't have the business tools, they don't know about taxes, they don't know about how to get clients, all things like that," Kassahun said.

This is the first year EngineEars partnered with Dreamville to bring workshops to six North Carolina cities in the days leading up to J. Cole's world-renowned festival, calling it "The Road to Dreamville".

The tour is complete with a tour bus featuring a recording studio in the back, allowing some workshop attendees to actually record music.

Marcel Mercer, co-owner of Missy Lanes, said that they were incredibly excited to partner with the tour to host one of the workshops. The timing works out perfectly as well, as Missy Lanes is planning to hold their grand opening next weekend. It gives them a chance to host community members and show them what the venue will offer ahead of the grand opening.

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With the success of the first "On the Road to Dreamville" tour, Dreamville organizers think this could become a regular part of the annual festival.

"We hope so. We're hoping that this workshop tour model that we've been working on with Ali is something that we can see expand and come back every year," said Dreamville's Adam Rodney.

Who knows? Maybe the next big name in music is sitting in one of these workshops, getting the tools they need to take their skills to the next level.

"We one hundred percent believe that at every workshop there are Grammy Award-winning artists, producers, engineers that aren't there yet," Kassahun said, "you can see the spark, the impact that's been created from this."

There are three more cities "On the Road to Dreamville" tour: Fayetteville, Wilmington and Raleigh. If you want more information, click here.

"On the Road to Dreamville" is possible thanks to partnerships with several organizations like Amazon Music, Come Hear North Carolina, Brij Entertainment, She Is The Music, and Visit Raleigh.