Alumni Spotlight: Activist and Founder of Blackman Music Group, Anthony Blackman

Across all our SAE Institute campuses, talented individuals graduate with an education that prepares them for a career in the creative media and entertainment industry. Our career services team keeps in touch with our alumni to provide support, learn about how their career is evolving, and help maintain our alumni network.

We spoke to Anthony “King” Blackman, founder of Blackman Music Group, community activist and SAE Institute Miami Alumni of the class of 2019, about his successful career, community work, and why he decided to enroll at SAE Institute Miami. Here are some key takeaways from our discussion, his answers are paraphrased below.

Why SAE Institute for your Audio Technology Diploma?

SAE Institute has the track record and sustainability in terms of how long it has been in existence, which was a deciding factor in my choice. The campus also happens to be near my residence, which is an added bonus.

Why did you pursue audio engineering?

I’ve been an artist for over 20 years. Music is my passion. But after rapping for over 20 years I felt I needed to diversify my skill set. I was drawn to audio engineering even as a little kid. I feel that I don’t have to be out front any longer at this stage of my career so I decided to help and teach young people behind the scene by learning how to mix and master post production. To do that I needed education from a school like SAE Institute.

What was a step you took that got you to where you are now after Graduation?

I produced the song Peacemakers, my first single on the Blackman Music Group, at SAE Institute. This song secured us a contract with Miami Dade public schools, something we don’t take lightly. Admittedly, our skill level was not where it is now. Working with a good group of people at SAE Institute to learn the fundamentals of audio engineering worked out really well.

Do you think you were able to build relationships at SAE Institute Miami?

Relationship building at SAE Institute opened doors for us at Blackman Music Group. I actually have a meeting today with a fellow graduate. We started together and we work closely together still today.

Tell us about the work you do for the community.

I joined the Circle of Brotherhood in 2012 as the sixth active member after a string of murder had happened in the Liberty City area because I, like so many others, felt that nobody really cared for the young people that were being murdered. We started exercising every Saturday; we walked around the community, just to create a presence. Later, we started doing talent shows at schools, which really reignited my passion for music.

This newly awakened passion led me to record a song for Haiti after the 2017 earthquake. I hadn’t recorded in about 10 years, but the experience showed me that not only was music still in my blood, but also that there was an audience for positive music. Positive Hip Hop is not something that’s widely known, so I have to prove my concept to people.

What do you envision for the future of Blackman Music, and how does that connect to your community work?

I am currently a full-time employee at the Circle of Brotherhood as a street outreach worker, a peacemaker.We are a part of a gun violence initiative in Miami-Dade County. It’s serious work, I deal with families of murdered or hospitalized loved ones all of the time, and it’s dangerous. But that’s my work, my vocation. And it crosses over to my music.

Our community work refers individuals we meet back to Blackman Music. We teach at-risk youth basic audio engineering and other useful skills like personal development, responsibility, accountability, and conflict resolution.

As Blackman Music is a for-profit company we will continue to create the highest quality of content, but we will also be monetizing that. The resulting revenue will allow us to do more work in the community. It will also allow us to create more businesses. One of our goals is to launch an entrepreneurship program for individuals in the community, guiding them from A to Z, from getting a skillset to opening a business to grow.

If someone wanted to help out with the Circle of Brotherhood or with a Hip Hop Peace Hub, how would they reach out to you?

If you want to help out with the Circle of Brotherhood or a Hip Hop Peace Hub check out our website or our social media channels. We also recently secured a partnership with Fractured Atlas. They are acting as a financial agent for Blackman Music Group, which allows us to receive monetary donations.

What’s your motto?

Never, ever give up!

Do you have a favorite quote, one that inspires you?

Do not despise small beginnings.