After-School All-Stars (All-Stars) and TikTok are pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural Songwriting Academy, where All-Stars students will showcase their unique voice and perspective through the creation of original lyrics honed with the mentoring and coaching of industry experts. Students will meet in a safe and secure virtual environment to explore the creative, technical, and business aspects of the music industry.  View the Press Release

Weekly TikTok livestream starting on June 24th at 3pm PST!


…or find @afterschoolallstars on TikTok to view.

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Academy runs from June 24—July 23

Launch headlined by Timbaland & Jozzy

The Songwriting Academy will take place over four weeks, with each week being headlined by one of the academy artists interacting with the students as they work through the curriculum. At the end of the academy, a culmination event will take place with an opportunity to have lyrics showcased in a public platform.

The Songwriting Academy will kick off with a weekly TikTok livestream starting on June 24th at 3pm PST. Throughout the Songwriting Academy, artists, songwriters, and producers will also go live on TikTok to share their stories and creative processes around some of their biggest songs. To join the livestream: tap the TikTok Summer Songwriting Academy banner in the TikTok App’s Discover page, or simply go to @afterschoolallstars on TikTok.

Artists

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    Timbaland

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    Jozzy

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    Jack Harlow

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    Jetsonmade

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    Melanie Martinez

  • Michael Keenan

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    DJ Dahi

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    Tiagz

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Academy Students

Meet the class of 2020!

Click on Student images to learn more about each Student.

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    De-maarii

    Philadelphia | 7th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B, Emotional-Based

    Artists:BTS, JewellBoi, Michael Jackson, NF, Eminem, Beyonce, Black Pink, Katy Ann, Scotty Sire, Bmike, Christina Perri

    Songs: Dear 2045 by Katy Ann , Mansion by NF , 2 Faces by Bmike , Love The Way You Lie by Eminem

    • “My music taste is mostly based off of emotion, all emotion. It is also sometimes based on daydreams or nightmares.”

    • “Music is a way to express myself. I listen to mostly emotion-based music. If I’m in a bad mood or I’m upset, I’ll play sadder songs”

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    Deori

    New York | 7th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Rap, Pop, R&B

    Artists:PATD, MARINA and the Diamonds, Ski Mask the Slump God, XXXTentacion, Brandy, Tevin Campbell, Sza, Summer Walker, Doja Cat, Rico Nasty, Trippie Redd, Taylor the Creator

    Songs: Riot by XXXTentacion , Coolest Monkey In The Jungle by Ski Mask The Slump God

    • “Music inspires me because when I'm feeling down there is always the right lyrics to bring me back up. Music can also be my voice when I can't find the right words.”

    • “Music can help my community during difficult and painful moment. It can bring joy and hope to one another.”

    • “I know a lot of people don't have the voice to speak up for themselves, and I would like to speak on behalf of them through songs.”

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    Derek

    Dallas | 8th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Hip-Hop

    Artists:ilytommy, Wassup Rocker, Cuco

    Songs: Lo que Siento by , One and Only by , She's Awesome by

    • “Music can make people feel happy and distract people from their pain and suffering. It makes me feel calm.”

    • “What’s happening in the world with racism and protesting might inspire the words to my song.”

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    Jabree

    New Jersey | 8th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Hip-Hop

    Artists:DaBaby, NBA YoungBoy, Lil Baby, Tory Lanez

    Songs: Saving All My Love by Whitney Houston , Human Nature by Michael Jackson

    • “Music is important to me because it’s a way to convey my inner thoughts and emotions.”

    • “There are lyrics that convey how I’m feeling with the world right now: 'Why Why, tell them that it’s human nature’. That speaks to me and remind me about the world because humans have specific tendencies and I think about politics.”

    • “Things that might inspire the words to my song is my life situation and my family. There’s a lot of things that I experience that I want to get out.”

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    Jason

    Orlando | 8th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Hip-Hop

    Artists:Lil Baby, Polo G, Lil Uzi Vert, YNW Melly, Drake

    Songs: Rags2Riches by Rod Wave , Wishing for a Hero by Polo G.

    • “My music taste is different in a good way. I don't listen to a song just because someone else likes it I listen to it because I like it and it has a meaning in it.”

    • “Music is therapeutic, and a lot of changes come from music.”

    • “Music can inspire someone to do anything, whether good or bad, like the song ‘Wishing for a Hero’ makes me want to learn more about my originators.”

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    Jeremiah

    Dallas | 12th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Rap

    Artists:Drake, Future, Gunna, Lil Baby

    Songs: How About Now by Drake , Life Is Good by Future & Drake

    • “Music is important to me because it keeps me focused.”

    • “Music helps during painful times because it can speak to the people and inspire them to keep faith. A lot of lyrics speak out to me but it always depends on the situation.”

    • “Friends and family might inspire the words to my song.”

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    Jerry

    Los Angeles | 11th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Pop, Funk

    Artists:Lil Peep, Suicide Boys, Nirvana

    Songs: The Last Thing I Wanna Do by Lil Peep , New Chains Same Shackles by Suicide Boys

    • “Music is important because it’s the thing that keeps me going everyday, calms me down, makes me think about the past. present future.”

    • “Music can be a medicine for the burden a community or a person holds ––, conflict, love, anger, etc.”

    • “The artists and my hopes on being something is my inspiration on making music and writing. I want to leave a mark on this earth.”

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    Jesario

    Miami | 12th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap

    Artists:Jay Z, StizzyB, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi, Vert & Gunna

    Songs: Superstar by Lupe Fiasco , Mood by StizzyB , Sky's The Limit by Notorious B.I.G.

    • “My taste in music is very unique and diverse.”

    • “Music is important because of the influence that it has on everyone. It can help me and my community by uplifting and inspiring us during dark times.”

    • “The events that are taking place in my community now will inspire my song.”

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    Kionna

    Orlando | 9th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Contemporary, R&B

    Artists:Beyoncé, Aaliyah

    Songs: The Vow by RuthAnne , My Song by H.E.R.

    • “I want people to know that I have that old school taste in music and I know what will attract the old AND the new generation”

    • “Music is important to me because when I’m in a dark space it’s my outlet and my escape and I can discover new artists.”

    • “Music can help my community because the music can have a message that could make that person stop and second guess on their choices.”

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    Myleen

    Hawaii | 8th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Country, Reggae, Island Song, Pop

    Artists:Common Kings, Sabrina Carpenter, Noah Cyrus, Mountain Boyz, Miley Cyrus, Ashe, DJ Noiz, Imagine Dragons, Camilia Cabello, Luh Kel, Mandy Moore, Doja Cat, Fiji

    Songs: The Climb by Miley Cyrus

    • “Music inspires me because when I'm feeling down there is always the right lyrics to bring me back up. Music can also be my voice when I can't find the right words.”

    • “Music can help my community during difficult and painful moment. It can bring joy and hope to one another.”

    • “I know a lot of people don't have the voice to speak up for themselves, and I would like to speak on behalf of them through songs.”

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    Rocky

    Los Angeles | 12th Grade

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    Music:Pop

    Artists:Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars

    Songs: Bloodline by Ariana Grands , Perfect by Ed Sheeran , XO Tour LLif3 by Lil' Uzi Vert

    • “Music is important to me because it helps people express themselves and its a window on how the artist can express themselves.”

    • “What I like about music is that it is something everyone can relate to. Music doesn't have barriers.”

    • “What might inspire words to my song are speaking about how people can't let difficulties bring them down and that they should try their best too stay positive.”

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    Tayvaughn

    Washington D.C. | 8th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Hip-Hop, Rap, Rock

    Artists:Eminem, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Evanescence

    Songs: Venom by Eminem , Blinded By The Lights by The Weeknd , Goosebumps by Travis Scott

    • “I listen for hidden messages the artist put into their music. There’s an artist who passed away (XXXTentacion) and he made a song entitled hope. It really spoke to me when he stated, ‘So outside my misery. I think I'll find a way of envisioning a better life for the rest of us, the rest of us. There's hope for the rest of us, the rest of us.'”

    • “Cause and affect of the pandemic around me might inspire the words to my song. Music is a way of expressing yourself in ways that people will understand, gets a point across and lets off some grief.”

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    Xanaria

    New Jersey | 7th Grade

    Favorites

    Music:Pop

    Artists:Melanie Martinez, Billie Eilish

    Songs: Show And Tell by Melanie Martinez , Lovely by Billie Eilish

    • “I like music that is different, things that are out of the box. I like artists who doesn't follow the same line as everyone else.”

    • “Music is important to me because music can be a form of art. Music can tell you about a person and how they feel.”

    • “Sometimes I may hear a line on TV or maybe something while someone is talking. Then all of a sudden I started to think of a beat and write it down.”

Academy Mentors

Click on Mentor images to learn more about each Mentor.

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    Felipe Alambar

    Dallas

    Favorites

    Music:Rock

    Artists:The Strokes, Mumford and Sons, The Beatles

    Songs: Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers , Walk by Foo Fighters , Trying Your Luck by The Strokes

    • “Music is important to me because it is a way of expressing how you feel and sharing those thoughts with others, as well as using music to connect with others. Music connects people, especially during difficult times.”

    • “I hope that through this experience, my students will be able ot know about different forms of expressing themselves, as well as gaining skills that they can use for the future.”

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    Tiffanie Allen

    Orlando

    Favorites

    Music:Gospel, R&B

    Artists:Tamala Mann, Tasha Cobb, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Gaye

    Songs: You Know My Name by Tasha Cobb , Speak To My Heart by Donne McClurkin , Change by Tamela Mann , What's Going On by Marvin Gaye , Imagine Me by Kirk Franklin , Wanna Be Happy by Kirk Franklin

    • “Music has a way of helping you cope with everyday issues. It rejuvenates me. I love gospel music because it moves me in way like none other. It reminds me that no matter what I may go through, try to be a blessing to someone else. Music can either fuel a fire or help put it out. The world is in chaos but music urges us to find a way to bring love and peace to world in which we all live in.”

    • “As a mentor my goal is to make sure that my youth succeed in going after dreams. My hope is that my student learn valuable lessons in how to find her voice in this world. To use what she learns to express herself through her thoughts, songs, poetry or any other positive mean.”

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    Bobby Belton

    Orlando

    Favorites

    Music:Classic Motown, Neo-Soul, Gospel, Country

    Artists:The Temptations, Kirk Franklin, Anthony Brown, Anthony Hamilton, Tracy Lawrence, Josh Turner, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chrisette Michele, Floetry, Kelly Clarkson

    Songs: Everybody by Anthony Hamilton , Find Out Who Your Friends Are by Tracy Lawrence , The Climb by Miley Cyrus , If You're Out There by John Legend

    • “Music is an avenue that brings people together. Music can bring a sense of harmony and enlightenment.”

    • “Being a mentor is very important to me because I have the opportunity to have an impact on a student’s development, and that student has an impact on my perspective. During this experience, I hope my student gathers the importance of connections, music, and a sense of self-belonging!”

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    Janay Boughton

    New Jersey

    Favorites

    Music:Gospel, Neo-Jazz

    Artists:Chelsey Green (Violinist) Johnathan McReynolds, Naomi Raine

    Songs: Lovin' Me by Johnathan McReynolds

    • “Music is art and art is a language that goes beyond culture, language, and tradition. Music is a tool that can be used to express, but also impacts and teaches both the creator and the listener. As the founder of the Celebration of Black History through the Arts (CBHA), I found music to be a passively forceful way to educate those who actively attempt to silence us. You may forget a speech or a statement, but songs can ring in your mind forever.”

    • “I hope my students use this as an opportunity to use their voices to let their communities know who they are, and how they are impacted by what happens around them. I hope they create music that will uplift others, but also will inspire themselves to stand strong and be proud of all they are.”

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    Anthony Hill

    New Jersey

    Favorites

    Music:Gospel, All Types

    Artists:Kirk Franklin, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, Chris Brown, Tank

    Songs: We Are The World by Michael Jackson , Hero by Kirk Franklin

    • “Music is what saved my life and helped me get a better chance at life by chasing a dream many people want. Music is always there when I need it whether its happy or sad times. It’s always a bridge when things are going good or even through bad times. Music can help bring a community together, whether it’s dancing to the tune or singing along with the song that’s being played.”

    • “The most important thing I hope my student takes away from this experience is how powerful music can be as well as the words behind a song – and how to believe in the work that they produce and how to push themselves to create great works, even if no one believes in it.”

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    Karen Medina

    Philadelphia

    Favorites

    Music:R&B, Rock, Latin

    Artists:Earth, Wind & Fire, Shakira, Hall & Oates

    Songs: Octavo Dia by Shakira , September by Earth, Wind & Fire

    • “Music helps you express emotions/feelings/events/things you cannot put into words. Music is more than just words, melodies, and beats to me, the process of making music is a form of expression.”

    • “Being a mentor means I can be there to guide, assist, listen, and learn from my mentee. I want to be a guide and an aid to help my mentee during this exciting and unique time, I want to make sure they feel comfortable as they continue to grow and test their amazing abilities.”

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    Jemn Napper

    Washington D.C.

    Favorites

    Music:Ambient, Alternative, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Afrobeat, House

    Artists:Little Dragon, James Blake, André 3000

    Songs: I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun by Rotary Connection + Minnie Ripperton

    • “Music speaks for me when I can’t find the words. Listening to and reciting music can give my community a sense of connection and hope. At times it can even give someone a moment to escape, taking a much needed break from their harsh reality.”

    • “A mentor sees a persons potential and helps them to realize it. I hope that my student takes away a greater passion for their craft, and for their songs to impact lives for years to come.”

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    Adly Norelus

    Miami

    Favorites

    Music:Everything! Old School R&Bm Rock, Hip-Hop, Reggae, 90s era

    Artists:Crys Alexandra, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Jay-Z, Nas, Fugees, Michael Jackson, and so many more

    Songs: Can You Stand The Rain by New Edition

    • “Music is the soundtrack of my life. Every stage of my life, I can recall what I was going through or experiencing with a song. I have learned a lot through lyrics and artists that came before me.”

    • “Being a mentor gives me the opportunity to share my wisdom with the next generation. Helping people find their purpose is exciting and rewarding. It is our job to make sure the next generation has everything they need to excel. The most important thing I hope these students get from this experience is the understanding that they have a voice and their voices matter.”

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    Chris Pender

    Philadelphia

    Favorites

    Music:Gospel, Inspirational

    Artists:Tasha Cobbs, Majesty Rose

    Songs: You Know My Name by Tasha Cobbs , You Keep On Getting Better by Majesty Rose

    • “Music sets the tempo for the day. Music is the place where I can go to see the good in the world and be reminded that there is a hope for a better tomorrow. It inspires, encourages and energizes me as I travel this road called life. Through music, students can learn healthy ways to share emotions such as pain, grief, love and happiness. Music is a form of therapy for many who struggle with verbalizing their feelings.”

    • “Through being a mentor, I can add to my reason for having been here on earth. The most important thing I hope to see students take away from this is that there is a message in music. Students need to be mindful of what they listen to and the impact it can have on their lives and decision making.”

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    Navyl Urias

    Los Angeles

    Favorites

    Music:Alternative Rock, Indie Rock

    Artists:Selena Quintanilla, Billie Eilish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes, Muse

    Songs: When The Party's Over by Billi Eilish , Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish

    • “Music is a form of self expression. I believe it is very powerful and it can definitely unite us during hard times. Simply listening to a good song can uplift my mood in a matter of seconds, and that's just me. I can only imagine what it can do to others.”

    • “Being a mentor is a huge responsibility but also a huge blessing. Having the opportunity to work closely with an individual is such an honor to me. I hope our students use this experience to express themselves more openly with music and also use music as a form of stress relief during hard times.”

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    Chris Vaimilli

    Los Angeles

    Favorites

    Music:R&B, Rap, Island Reggae, Afro Beats

    Artists:Prince, Maxwell, Tupac, Figi, Common Kings

    Songs: Adore by Prince , Lifetime by Maxwell , Tupac by So Many Tears

    • “Music allows us to feel however we want to feel at any given moment. It gives another perspective to look at besides our own.”

    • “Being a mentor means spending time and learning from one another, and eventually the other person trusts you enough to receive mentorship. I hope this experience gives my student the confidence to write meaningful songs, and the understanding of how the music business works.”

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    Jamie Wenzlow

    Hawaii

    Favorites

    Music:Reggae, Hip-Hop, R&B

    Artists:Dezarie, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Common

    Songs: Strengthen Your Mind by Dezarie , I Am Light by India Arie

    • “Music creates a safe space to escape, to let go of everything, and connect to the words. I like to listen to music that has meaning and a message. It’s an outlet for people to communicate their pain and feelings as well as their hopes and dreams. It brings people together to listen, to create, to enjoy.”

    • “I truly believe every child deserves a community of people that care about them, support them, advises them and always keeps their best interest at the forefront while providing as many opportunities as possible for them to learn, grow and realize their full potential. I hope my student walks away from this feeling more confident in her ability to express herself through music, as well as impact her community through her music.”

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    Athen White

    New York

    Favorites

    Music:90s R&B

    Artists:Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson, Janelle Monae

    Songs: As by Stevie Wonder , Don't Touch My Hair by Solange Knowles

    • “I believe music is a universal language and can communicate across cultures. One may not be able to communicate verbally but emotions, ideas and feelings can be translated through music. During painful times, I think music can support in a call to action in my community. It can support with educating my community and uplifting my community.”

    • “Being a mentor means guiding and supporting someone through a journey of any kind. The most important thing my scholar takes away from this experience is self- confidence. I think having that can support with accomplishing ANYTHING in life.”

Make A Difference Today

Donations big and small enable programs like the Summer Songwriting Academy to continue year after year.

Academy Faculty

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    Bill Werde

    Bandier Program for Recorded and Entertainment Industries | Co-Director, Audio Arts Masters Program

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    Schyler O'Neal

    Artist, Producer, Songwriter

Steering Committee

Partners