Music Midtown in Atlanta played backdrop to a very special experience for a group of students from Stone Mountain High School when they joined us along with Alternative R&B singer, rapper, and songwriter, 6lack, for an exclusive sound-check and conversation during the anniversary celebration of his East Atlanta Love Letter album.
6lack is an alumnus of the Atlanta-area high school and the participating student group was full of aspiring musicians, rappers and producers–all driven to succeed in the music industry. The program included a backstage tour, a private sound-check experience, and an exclusive Q&A with 6lack. All students received passes to the festival itself to experience his electric hometown performance that night.
When we asked a couple of the students about their experience, they enthusiastically shared their encounters. After finding out that they were going to meet 6lack, one of the students, Alaysha Jenkins, said she felt “elated because he is one of my favorite artists and he is from my hometown.” She felt inspired by his connection to her school and community and his advice to “become someone to impact the world with your voice,” resonated with her immensely. At that moment, Alaysha gratefully noted that 6lack became a mentor to her.
Another student, Immanuel Kumbut, was the first to ask 6lack a question during the private Q&A. “What advice can you give to an up-and-coming performing artist?” 6lack simply replied, “Just be yourself… if you be yourself, people will be more receptive and willing to listen to what you have to say.”
All Access programs help students discover pathways to success in the music industry. In addition to meeting 6lack that morning, students experienced stage setup and soundcheck for the festival performance, where they saw the off-stage careers in action that are necessary for a successful show.
When youth experience direct learning from onsite experiences and meaningful connections, they feel empowered, confident, and motivated for success. 6lack’s authenticity and drive translate into his music, and the students of Stone Mountain High School internalized his words of determination: “Whatever you’re good at, whatever it is you love… work at it every single day. Work at it till you feel crazy like you’ve got to get it done…Nobody else is going to make it happen for you.”
The impact that All Access with 6lack had on these students during this special morning at Piedmont Park is apparent and it’s Music Forward programs like these that shape future goals and inspire future leaders.