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Delta Music Institute

Alumnus returns as featured DMI All Access guest

By | Delta Music Institute | No Comments

Delta State alumnus Cole Furlow returns to campus on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. as the featured guest of DMI All Access, an informal Q&A series with music and entertainment industry professionals, hosted by the Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University.

Furlow is a recording engineer, producer, touring musician, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter from Jackson. Born into a musical family, he started playing guitar at age 11. Throughout his high school years, he played in several garage bands which led him to Oxford to attend college. While in Oxford playing in bands, Furlow realized his passion was in the recording studio. After beginning college at Ole Miss, he transferred to the Delta Music Institute and graduated from Delta State.

After graduating and playing in blues duos and R&B ensembles around the Delta, he discovered his love for production and songwriting at a higher level.

Furlow went on to start the pop indie rock grunge band Dead Gaze in Jackson in 2009. After releasing multiple cassettes, EPs, and 7″ singles, he was discovered by the indie rock mainstay label FatCat Records in Brighton, England. FatCat released worldwide Furlow’s first full length LP – “Dead Gaze” – self-titled in 2012. He recorded his second LP, titled “Brain Holiday,” in 2013 for FatCat at the legendary Sweet Tea studios in Oxford. “Brain Holiday” was critically acclaimed, allowing Furlow touring opportunities all over North America and Europe with his new band.

During this period of touring, his friend and pop crooner Dent May invited Furlow to play bass for his band which led to more touring and exposure throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

After years of touring, Furlow returned home to Mississippi and started a recording studio named Easy Travels. In 2016, he released the last Dead Gaze record, titled “Easy Travels,” named in honor of his studio. His music has been placed in several different movies and television shows over the past few years. Composing and scoring has become a key part of the business in which Furlow flourishes when not touring or recording his own music.

Cole currently lives in Jackson, recording bands and scoring films in his home studio. He recently started a new indie outfit called Low Variety with plans to release new music in 2018.

DMI All Access is free and open to the public. The event starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17 in Studio B of the Delta Music Institute in the historic Whitfield building on the Delta State campus.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of excellence in the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State University. The focus of the DMI entertainment industry studies program is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, business, and creative areas of the music and entertainment industry.

For more information on the DMI entertainment industry program, please call (662) 846-4579 or visit dmi.deltastate.edu.

Fighting Okra Records to host album release party

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Fighting Okra Records, the student-run record label within the Delta Music Institute’s entertainment industry program at Delta State University, is hosting an album release party to celebrate the newest addition to its ongoing compilation series, “Fighting Okra, Round 3.”

The event will feature live performances from artists featured on the album and take place on the campus Quadrangle on Oct. 12 at 5 p.m.

Six student artists will perform at the event, each providing a different style of music, including hip-hop, electronic, alternative and soul. All artists are featured on the CD and will be performing their contributions to the album, as well as some of their solo material. Free refreshments will be provided, and entry to the event is free.

In addition to the musical performances, the release party will include raffles, contests and a photo booth for attendees.

“Fighting Okra, Round 3″ is the third entry in FOR’s compilation series, and fifth release for the student-run record label.

“I’m excited about a new release on the Fighting Okra Records label,” said Tricia Walker, DMI director. “This release marks the beginning of the search for the label’s next artist to be signed and produced in the DMI studios. There is so much great young talent here at Delta State, and this current release showcases a lot of that talent.”

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information about the DMI or Fighting Okra Records, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

Fighting Okra Records releases new compilation CD

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments

Fighting Okra Records, a student-run record label housed in the Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University, recently released its third compilation CD project, “Fighting Okra: Round 3,” featuring 17 tracks of original music either written, produced or recorded by DMI students.

The new Fighting Okra project was the culmination of a senior project by DMI graduate Jarrick Finkley during the fall of 2015. In a continuing effort to expose the music of DMI students to the campus and community, Finkley decided to assemble a third compilation CD to expose the depth of talent of DMI students.

“Fighting Okra: Round 3” contains 17 original works representing a wide range of genres including hip-hop, gospel, alternative, R&B, dub step, rock, metal, and country. The songs on the project were written, produced, engineered or performed by current DMI students and alumni, with Finkley serving as executive producer. Songs on the CD were selected by Finkley after multiple screenings and were chosen on the basis of lyrical content and recording quality.

“I loved working on Fighting Okra Round 3,” said Finkley, a native of Vicksburg. “It was a big challenge, but the project allowed me to learn so much within a cooperative work situation. I am grateful to every student artist and engineer who contributed their awesome gifts and talents to this project.”

DMI Director Tricia Walker served as the faculty advisor for the project.

“The lessons students like Jarrick learn in working on a real-world project like this are invaluable,” said Walker. “I’m very proud of what he’s put together on this CD. It really does represent the breadth and depth of the talent coming out of DMI.”

Copies of the CD will be available for purchase in the main office of the DMI on campus and online at www.fightingokrarecords.com. For more information on the album or the FOR label, contact the DMI at 662-846-4579 or visit www.fightingokrarecords.com.

The DMI is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State, offering a bachelor’s degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

2017 DMI Summer Campers to present showcase

By | Community, Delta Music Institute | No Comments
2017 DMI Summer Campers, from left to right (front row): Seth Barrantine (Pickens County, AL), Mollie Marks (Vestavia Hills, AL), Erin Wilson (Cleveland, MS), Xerian Rogers (Tupelo, MS), Marlow Barrett (Logsden, OR), Lilly Gray (Oxford, MS). Back row (l to r): Robbie McDaniel (Greenwood, MS), Evan Lindsey (Minter City, MS), Simon O’Neal (Raymond, MS), Cody McHardy (Rosedale, MS), Cobe Webb (Brandon, MS), Corterrius Allen (Shelby, MS), Ranicia Gorman (Shelby, MS), Amidius Sigle (Shelby, MS), Javel Wilson (Cleveland, MS), Taja Freeman (Cordova, TN), Abby Marks (Vestavia Hils, AL).

Students attending the 11th annual DMI Summer Camp, hosted by the DMI Entertainment Industry Studies program at Delta State University, will present a musical showcase on Saturday, July 15 at 6 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State.

The showcase will include cover songs by the camp band along with original songs written by the camp’s songwriting students.

Seventeen high school students from Alabama, Tennessee, Oregon and multiple counties in the state of Mississippi, are participating in the 2017 DMI Summer Camp. The intensive six-day residential camp experience explores four entertainment industry tracks, including performance, audio engineering, digital media and songwriting, culminating in a recording session at the DMI studios and the final showcase performance.

Instructors for the DMI Summer Camp are DMI faculty members, entertainment industry majors and recent graduates from the DMI program, and visiting music industry professional Steve Azar.

“The DMI Summer Camp offers a great opportunity for young aspiring musicians, engineers and songwriters to develop and showcase their talents by empowering them to each find their own ‘voice.’ I can report that there is no shortage of talent in Mississippi,” said Tricia Walker, director of the DMI.

The final concert is free and open to the public. Supporters of these talented young musicians are encouraged to attend and enjoy the show.

The DMI is an independent center under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University. The mission of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the entertainment industries. The DMI offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Industry Studies. For more information, call the DMI office at 662-846-4579 or visit http://deltastate.edu/dmi.

Follow Your Heart Arts Program partners with DMI

By | Academics, Delta Music Institute, General, Students | No Comments

The Follow Your Heart Arts Program, launched by Warner Brothers recording artist Charlie Worsham and funded by a grant from the Country Music Association Foundation, recently completed the first season of partnership with the DMI Entertainment Industry program at Delta State University.

The mission of the Follow Your Heart program is to enrich and empower the lives of young people living in Grenada County through music education, music business career exploration, and the study of the rich history of Mississippi music.

The DMI works with the Follow Your Heart Arts Program by connecting entertainment industry majors who provide instruction and mentoring to students in the program.

In addition to the Follow Your Heart Arts Program, Worsham, a native of Grenada, also founded the Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund to provide financial support to Grenada youth who dream of a career in the arts. In late 2016 he hosted the inaugural Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund Gala, which benefited the fund. Since starting the campaign, Worsham has raised approximately $60,000.

“I realize this is the most important work I’ll ever get to do,” Worsham said.

The idea for the fund was sparked in Worsham during a conversation with a class of teenagers at a high school in Grenada when one girl was too embarrassed to verbalize her dream of acting on Broadway. Worsham said it broke his heart.

“The kids in my hometown need to have hope. And if the kids in my hometown see me doing it, they need to know they can do it, too,” he said.

Worsham most recent CD, “Beginning of Things,” was released on Warner Brothers Records in April.

For more information on Worsham’s Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund, visit www.FollowYourHeartArts.org. To learn more about the Follow Your Heart Arts program, visit https://www.facebook.com/FollowYourHeartArts/

The DMI offers a B.S. in Entertainment Industry Studies degree in the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative, and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, contact (662) 846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.