Tennessee State University’s new on-campus music studio is preparing students for the music industry.

The music studio, located on the ground floor of Kean Hall, is accessible to members of the Men’s Initiative campus program and is fully loaded with quality equipment to engineer, record music, and produce beats.

David Nyenwe, a TSU freshman majoring in business administration who produces music told the TSU News Service, that the studio feels like a “safe haven.” “A lot of people are better at music than they think, they just need the resources. So, supplying a studio for people to use, will help shed light on the talent that’s at the school,” Nyenwe said. 

The studio was funded by TSU alum, artist, and music producer Aaron ‘DUBBA-AA’ Lockhart. He said he wanted to give students a space that he didn’t have when attending TSU.

“I want to give the students the opportunities that they should be having on a college campus. We need something on our campus for us, by us.”

– TSU alum, artist, and music producer Aaron ‘DUBBA-AA’ Lockhart

Joshua Akhidenor, a sophomore majoring in business, is grateful to have a place on campus where he can further develop his skills.

“I feel like I belong in here,” Akhidenor told the TSU News Service. “It (the studio) helps me visualize who I can become. I came to college and took advantage of the networking opportunity.

Joshua Akhidenor said he looks forward to breaking into the music industry and one day creating his own record label to find artist from HBCUs.

As of right now, the music studio is exclusively open to members of TSU’s Men’s Initiative program, which currently has more than 100 members.

The Men’s Initiative program is designed to help African American/Black Male students succeed each semester as they continue their studies towards graduation. This program uses a strategic and collaborative approach that integrates the experience both inside and outside the classroom.

Dr. Andre Bean, director of the Men’s Initiative and interim assistant dean of student activities, said the music studio is a part of the program’s mission to “find new and innovative ways to engage the Black male students that are enrolled in higher education.” 

“And this space is open and available to our Men’s Initiative guys … to create beats and have an opportunity to tinker and toy with things of their interest,” Dr. Bean said.

According to Dr. Bean, the university hopes to one day open another studio on a larger scale that will be accessible to all students at TSU.