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Teen Empowerment's B4 Studios to debut Thursday

Posted by Patrick Rosso  November 21, 2013 10:28 AM

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(Image courtesy Teen Empowerment)

Alex Cadiz, a Teen Empowerment youth organizer, recently tested out the new equipment.

Balfour Street in Dorchester could be the home of the next big musician as Teen Empowerment prepares to open its B4 Studios.

The project, a collaboration between the youth and community advocacy non-profit and the Boston-based The Record Company, aims to provide the talent and creativity that can be found throughout Roxbury and Dorchester a safe and supportive place to lay down a track. Use of the space will also be free.

“Our goal as an organization is to reach a disconnected population and we want to do that with things that speak to them,” explained Samantha Hale, a program coordinator for Teen Empowerment.

Equipment for the space was provided by The Record Company, a civic-minded recording company, and Teen Empowerment provided the space and organization.

“[B4 Studios] is something new and something that’s not being done everywhere,” said Hale. “We see the arts as a way to create something out of nothing and a way to think critically and deeply; it also helps people feel empowered.”

The new studio, which is located at Teen Empowerment’s existing facility at 21 Balfour St., has all the equipment, from mixers to keyboards, to help participants create rough cuts of their music. Hale said the goal of the center is to not only provide an outlet for the community’s talents, but also help teach skills, from the math and structure behind music to how to put together a track using the editing program Pro Tools.

“The ability to imagine something different than your reality is a huge life skill and when young people get stuck in the day to day reality of their communities arts is a way to escape that,” said Hale.

The young artists who will find themselves in the Dorchester studio will not only produce their own recordings, but eventually head over to The Record Company’s Massachusetts Avenue location to polish their work and pick up some tips from the pros.

Although the studio hasn’t even officially opened, Hale said plenty of young artists have showed interest. Once enough tracks have been recorded Hale said a “mix tape” is expected to be produce and that it will feature stories about the community and its inhabitants.

Thursday’s grand opening, which will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., will be an informational event for those interested in recording in the space and registering for studio time. Everyone from poets to instrumentalists are encouraged to attend and for more information contact Samantha at (617) 427-1599.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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