In an effort to encourage and inspire young, aspiring musicians; Miami-based music producer Thomas Demerritte is currently promoting what he calls “a music industry sourcebook for the next generation.”
Demerritte, who currently serves as the president and founder of the Alternative Directions Music Industry Training (ADMIT) program, which provides technical, social and life skills training for youth ages 12-18, has recently released a 160-page book to inform and educate young professionals on how to enter and succeed in the music industry.
The easy-to-read book, cleverly titled That’s a Rap!, offers chapter summaries, mini-quizzes and photographs in an effort to keep the reader’s attention, and begins with a personal shout-out from nationally acclaimed record producer and local radio personality DJ Khaled.
Khaled, who affectionately refers to Demerritte as “my brother Tommi D,” wrote the book’s foreword and praised the new author for his efforts and passion in helping behind-the-scene professionals from the Miami area make their mark in the music industry.
“As music business people from slightly different generations, me and Tommi D strongly believe in representing our city, while showing the world that we can come together to encourage young people all over to learn about and reach for their career goals through music,” wrote Khaled.
Demerritte told the South Florida Times that the inspiration for the book came from his years of operating local record
studios, where he worked with several artists who lacked the knowledge and technical skills needed to sustain a successful career in the music industry.
He further stated that after researching other books, articles and websites that he came across over his 30 plus years in the music industry, he realized that a comprehensive guide that walked production enthusiasts step-by-step would enrich their musical education and develop their production skills.
Demerritte said he was able to tailor-fit what started as a training manual for ADMIT students so that it would reach a younger audience.
“I thoroughly enjoy assisting our youth to find their way through music.” Demerritte said. “I realized that through the reading practice that the book would bring, youth all over the world will benefit from the knowledge.”
He added: “I want young people to understand that music can be used to paint positive images of their communities and peers; but they must be the ones to create and promote this positive media.”
Demerritte further stated that young people like the book because it exposes them to many previously unknown tricks of the trade that lead to the success or failure of an artist and their music.
“They also compliment how easy it is to follow and read while parents are thankful that they can buy their child a book that they will actually enjoy reading, since it deals with their favorite subjects – music,” he said.
Demerritte’s credentials include serving as producer, songwriter, musician, performing artist, sound engineer, record label owner, publisher, music industry consultant, video director and artist manager. He also studied music business, production and sound engineering at Miami-Dade College and has written procedure manuals for Miami-Dade County Police Department while serving as a Police Planner.
He told the South Florida Times that his experiences encouraged him to strive for the success of the ADMIT program, which was almost dissolved due to recent budgetary issues. It was during this period that Demerritte found comfort in utilizing his skill set to become a new author.
“The financial crisis led to the threatened closing of both of my after-school programs located in Miami Gardens and West Perrine while decisions were made within Miami-Dade County on how to continue with funding for all community based organizations,” said Demerritte. “The lull in our programs until operations resumed gave me time to complete the book and generate funds for its publishing. I realized this book was needed to generate revenue to help run the program in the future, considering the budgetary cuts being made to social service programs, so this is an ideal time to launch and promote this book.”
Demerritte, whose ADMIT program overcame severe funding cuts and a reduction in staff to continue conducting after-school sessions at both facilities, plans to showcase the book at several venues throughout the area including the Church of the Ascension, the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, the Miami-Dade South Regional Library, Miami-Dade’s North Regional and Caleb Center Libraries, and the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale.
He told the South Florida Times that a future marketing campaign is in the works for the Atlanta area to try to get recording artists on board with the concept of the ADMIT Program and to support the new book.
“I also will approach Oprah Winfrey, Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden to inform them about my positive book for youth and the concept of hip-hop music being used by kids to effect positive social change,” said Demerritte. “I will be seeking publication and distribution support for the book, as well as replication of the ADMIT Program concept in cities around the country; and I am seeking a literary agent to pursue placement of the book in Miami-Dade County schools.”
For more information about That’s a Rap!, visit www.thatsarapbook.com.