Detroit will be home to a new electronic music institution called Underground Music Academy if fundraising efforts by Waajeed go according to plan. The Detroit DJ and producer intends to launch online educational resources in 2021 with the physical location opening to the public the following year.
In an interview for The Face, Waajeed (real name Robert O’Bryant) told Ash Lauryn that the endeavor was inspired by Underground Resistance. Selector touched on the label and DJ collective’s legacy in protest music back in May, but one of their broader intentions was to empower young Black men to escape the poverty cycle often propagated by Detroit institutions. O’Bryant’s organization will focus on no-cost DJing and production courses, but it will also provide education on publishing, management and other industry topics.
“Our job is to teach those who don’t know, whether it’s you or a person who’s been marginalized because they’re 50,” said O’Bryant when asked by Lauryn if the Academy would be youth centered. “It’s open to anybody that is open and wants to learn. I always think about the artist Bill Withers; his career didn’t develop until later in life.”
Underground Music Academy is located on 2990 East Grand Boulevard in a space previously occupied by the NAACP. Donations can be made via ioby.