Swizz Beatz loves the kids. On Dec. 12, fresh off of jet-setting between Switzerland, Germany, Paris and Abu Dhabi (and right before heading to the 12.12.12. charity concert to support Alicia Keys), he stopped by New York's Jungle Studios to spend time with a room full of young music industry hopefuls.
“I was humbled when he agreed to bring all of these kids into his home, his studio,” said Michelle Edgar, the founder of the volunteer-based organization Music Unites, which raises awareness for the importance of arts and music.
Fifteen lucky students from CARES/Restart Academy, Bronx Charter School for the Arts and Women’s Academy of Excellence got the chance to visit his studio and pick his brain. “I want to learn how he makes the beats, how did he learn and where did he get it from. Like what made him want to be an artist,” said Destiny, a 10-year-old from Bronx Arts. After taking them on a tour of the studio--where the likes of Jay- Z, Kanye West, Beyonce John Legend and Chris Brown have created hits--Swizz entertained questions about the creation of his music, what inspires him, his mentors and advice for the future.
There were even more treats in store. On a whim, Swizz played two exclusive snippets of songs in the works for Kendrick Lamar and his wife, Alicia Keys (both were FIRE). He was impressed by two Music Unites Ambassadors who performed an original piece for the group and recorded it live in the studio. "It’ll definitely be something I remember forever," said Candace Lee Camacho, one of the singers. "There's no program like this that's dedicated to literally getting the student to meet the best mentors."
The discussion and interactive studio experience is a part of the Power of One series and serves as the precursor to their Music-Versity Intrepid event to take place on January 17, 2013, complete with panel discussions, interviews and a day of performances.
“I support any group that is putting music first," he said. "I love to be relatable to the students and not use my celebrity as something that makes them feel small, but make them feel even more empowered. Pulling out those inner feelings with those kids was a blessing because I know that they're leaving here with more information that they came in with."
With that being said, check out some pictures and the 15 best takeaways from being in the studio with Swizz Beatz.
Photos courtesy of Gene Bradley